the Little Red Reviewer

Mystery Review, revealed!

Posted on: June 6, 2016

I did a mystery review last week.


I told you everything you needed to know about the book – what it was about, what I liked about it, etc – to help you make a decision as to if this was a book you’d enjoy.  It was fun writing the review, and I got a kick out of how people responded to a review that never mentioned the book’s title or author. Maybe I should make this a regular thing?


Ready to know what the title of the book is?


The mystery review book was The Sleeping Dragon, by Joel Rosenberg, published in 1983.  This is book one of the Guardians of the Flame series, which spans 10 books that Rosenberg published over about 20 years.

Joel Rosenberg_The Sleeping Dragon

Wow, that’s some really cheesy cover art!

Had you seen the cover art in the introduction to the review, as you usually do here, would you have read the entire review?  what are your immediate thoughts, upon seeing that cover art and title style?


Did having this presented as a mystery review change your interest level in learning more about this book?  I did this book as a mystery review, because I knew people would take one look at that cover art, one look at the title of the book and the publishing year, and not read the review.   Because that’s what I would have done.  #SadButTrue


For those of you who have read this series, or have read anything by Joel Rosenberg, what was your experience with this series? Have you read other books by Rosenberg? What did you think of them?

15 Responses to "Mystery Review, revealed!"

I think doing a mystery review is excellent for exactly the reasons you mentioned. You’re right; I would have probably passed on by, but now I’m intrigued and may read it (only “may” instead of “will” just because the TBR pile is so huge–but I liked what you said about it.)


Oh word up! I would have NEVER matched that cover to your mystery review details. Never! And beyond that, I would have never picked up the book because that cover screams boring. My mind just cannot wrap around your review details with this cover; they don’t go together. And the title! No way does that title depict the story as you did. By cover and title alone, I would expect a Middle Age type era. Actually, it gives me a feeling of Wheel of Time type book with the added interest of a dragon – probably because both have awful covers.

Presenting a mystery review was an excellent idea. I am now more willing to read the book. I am interested now, and will add it to my list. Kind of sad though, that a cover and title can have that kind of power. Sad that I judge by first glance. The publishing year does not put me off.

Liked by 1 person

I’m not familiar with this AT ALL so your mystery review really piqued my interest and proved there is more to a story than the cover/title. Love it!


The mystery review is such a neat concept! A good cover can help a book, but a bad cover can definitely be off-putting, especially when deciding whether or not to read a review.

I’m a weird person, because I often pick out old tattered paperbacks particularly because of cheesy cover art. But then again, I like pulp. 😛


It’s a great idea! The book does seem more intriguing when it’s stripped of the distracting factors such as a (truly cheesy) cover or title. I look forward to more!


This gave me a lot to think about. I can see why publishers refresh covers every few years!


Fooled me, I didn’t come close on the year. Thinking on it, I bet when it was published, the cover looked cool and helped sell the book.


Ah cool! It’s funny, when I was reading the review I had a feeling that the book was going to be an “older” one, some of the themes and ideas you described struck me that way.


Pretty cool. The cover shows the more “innocent” days of fantasy cover art, without the dark, grim tones, or crummy portrait style, of today.


If I’d seen the title/cover, I probably wouldn’t have read the rest of the review, but that’s because I’ve read the book. I was pretty sure I recognised it from the review, (not that I could remember the title). I know I read some more of the series, but not all of them, for what that’s worth.


Well, I can honestly say I never would have guess that book. But, I can also say that I already had that book series on my TBR! Thanks to your “Christmas in May” post a few ago 😉


This WAS fun – more fun than expected, even. So, yes, it would be swell if you made this a pseudo-regular thing (read: spoil us!)

I think the cover art is what would have made me read the review – because the art is so….gaaaahhhkkkkk. So, I would have had to read on at least to discover what made you read the book.


you know, this could be super cool for Vintage month.

*evil cackle*

Liked by 1 person

That is such an ace idea!


And, no tbh, I probably wouldn’t have read the review if I saw the cover – which is really ridiculous when you think about it. Most of my older books are just bound in the old style – leather look with the title on the front and the author and title on the spine – it doesn’t stop me from picking them up to read. It makes you think that books would be better off with old fashioned/traditional covers sometimes as we definitely do judge a book by it’s cover – and sometimes it has very little to do with the content!
Lynn 😀


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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