Monday, 29 August 2016

Early release of Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas controversy: Why can't we all be adults here?

In light of all the horrible controversy over Sarah's latest book, Empire of Storms, which is set to release September 6th this year, we've got to remember the one person who gave us great characters to look up to and root for!

The beautiful and talented Sarah J Maas!

Most recently we heard about Lindsay Cummings, author of The Murder Complex duology and The Balance Keepers trilogy, managing to find a hardcover copy of EoS at the Chicago Airport two weeks before the actual release date. This sent fans into a frenzy of emotions and chaos. At first this made me so excited and I was happy to see that a fellow author friend of Sarah's had managed to swipe a copy for herself.
When I woke up Saturday morning (NZ time) to check Twitter, I noticed that everyone had gone crazy over a number of other people who had also managed to get their hands on a copy (possibly from the exact same bookstore at the airport in Chicago where Lindsay got hers) and had finished it, along with either expressing their enraged thoughts about what had seemed to happen in the books or venting their anger by leaving abusive comments on the novel's Goodreads page.


A Snapchat picture of where I vented my frustration about the childish reviewers (a major understatement).

There seemed to be major tension about how certain readers thought that the Throne of Glass series was racist, abusive and discriminating through multiple characters actions, dialogue or have said that people of colour have seemed to be killed off more than others. In my opinion, some people on Twitter have gone way too far. They may say that there is no evidence of death threats towards Sarah, but that does not change the fact that there is plentiful hate and biases about particular themes that may appear throughout the series. Some people just can't seem to be adults and review a book in a more respectable manner. Someone take these children back to their mommies and daddies.
One anonymous source seems to point out that Sarah is not a good author and just writes in steamy sex scenes to cover up her lack of talent for plot lines and character development whilst comparing her work to Fifty Shades of Grey. Well sorry to disappoint you but Sarah actually has talent for writing and she didn't become a best selling author from writing a trashy S&M novel. Must I point out how much character development Celaena Sardothien went through in the first four books to get to where she is now in her story? Got a problem? Fight me.

Despite the horrors of this situation, there are still many devoted fans who are trying to support Sarah through this rough patch. A couple of hashtags #SJMDefenseSquad and #ToGIsJustBeginningParty started in an attempt to push the haters away and put a positive light on the imminent release of EoS.





 Please remember that when you're voicing your own thoughts and opinions on the internet, people will be affected in one way or another. Sarah J Maas, who I have personally met in person at her book signing in Auckland City, New Zealand last year in September, is such a wonderful, talented and down-to-earth individual and she has feelings like every one of us. If you have trouble with the concept of cyberbullying, try put yourself in her shoes or imagine saying what you've said to her face.

You are book lovers, book reviewers, fandom fanatics, etc. Please remember why you love to read and the fact that just because a book doesn't go in the direction you'd hoped or it doesn't contain a certain theme or aspect that you wanted, it doesn't give you a free pass to go and obliterate the author with your harsh words. Be a kind human and spread love and if you feel the need to review a book in a not-so-nice way, do it professionally through a blog post and leave it at that or talk to your friends about it through private message or even in person. Don't forget to be civilised and humane.

This world already has way too much hate and sadness. Do your part to make it a better place to live in so that we can all come online with confidence and celebrate what we love most.

A photo of Sarah and I at her Auckland, New Zealand signing in September 2016.

by Ella Fleming-Christie

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