The Review Police

Amazon is disappearing reviews of disfavored books.

Like countless others, I’ve been reviewing products that I have bought on Amazon for almost a decade. Around a year ago, I favorably reviewed a book titled SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police (I recommend it). Reviews are in turn reviewed by Amazon apparatchiks prior to being posted. My review of the book was taken down for going against some general standards (which in this case I was criticizing leftists who censor).

Life went on. I kept reviewing books, CDs, clothes, etc. and my reviews were always brief, like others in the site. Sometimes my reviews involving books on or by leftists were characteristically caustic, but no one minded.

Except a month ago, with my review of American Injustice (an extended review was accepted here, in The Iconoclast). It was not accepted for the usual vague reasons (“violates our Community Guidelines”). I could appeal, which I did.

Whereupon all of my reviews were taken down. My reviews on electronics, on t-shirts, on shoes, on books, on games, on films—all taken down. Apparently, the leftist censor thought that my reviews of Jorge Bolet. Rediscovered Liszt Recital, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, All Creatures Great and Small, Batman Forever, The Confessions of St. Augustine, Duck Tales Vol.1, Gandhi: An Autobiography, Blue Jasmine, World War Z, 20 Million Miles to Earth, Fifty Shades of Grey, The Essential Artie Shaw, Jimmy Neutron- The Best of Season 2, Darwin’s Blind Spot: Evolution Beyond Natural Selection, The Biosphere, Lysenko’s Ghost: Epigenetics and Russia, Littleboutique Fashion Magazine Show Stiletto Sandals Nigh Club Strap Pumps, Basic Questions in Paleontology, The 39 Steps, The mosquito hypothetically considered as an agent in the transmission of yellow fever poison, 1881, 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed, The Sex Lives of Cannibals, and many, many, many more were worthy of censorship.

Gone. All gone.

I appealed, of course, several times. Ignored each time.

I’m not terribly surprised. I think this began around the middle of 2021, as you can see that there are relatively few reviews of SJWAL or A THRONE OF BONES that have been published in the last two years. I haven’t paid any attention to Amazon for a while, since I’ve been focused on other projects for most of that time, but it appears that in the aftermath of decimating the ebook market and centralizing its control of it through Kindle Unlimited, Amazon has now moved on to actively managing what books its customers are permitted to read or not by filtering its reviewers.

There are 884 reviews of SJWAL, but the most recent is dated October 18, 2021. There are 443 reviews of ATOB, and the most recent is September 19, 2022.

UPDATE: Amazon has deleted 11 ATOB reviews since this post, leaving 432.


Improving on Tolkien

The Amazon Abomination tries, and succeeds, to improve upon the late, great grandmaster of high fantasy. Needless to say, it doesn’t go well.

They are trying to improve Tolkien.

They are not succeeding.

Mithril now has an origin story. According to Celebrimbor, there is a legend of an Elf warrior fighting a Balrog for a tree in which one of the Silmarils is lodged. The fight was so titanic (and cliché) that it forced the power of the Silmaril through the tree’s roots, into the ground and created the Mithril.

No. It didn’t. Mithril’s origin story is that the Dwarves found it and dug it up.

Here is a brutally quick history of the Silmarils.

Feanor created three jewels of literally unsurpassed beauty, within them was the light of the two trees of Valinor. Manwë’s wife made the jewels sacred so that no one evil or mortal could touch them without withering and dying. Morgoth coveted them so much, that he killed the Trees in order to steal them. Then he took them to his fortress of Angband. Their light burned him but he couldn’t part with them, so Morgoth put the Silmarils in a crown that he wore upon his head.

Feanor and his sons made a terrible vow to recover them. Their clan committed untold crimes against the rest of the Elves to fulfill this vow. Great wars, Kinslayings, and misery were the result.

Beren stole a Silmaril, and gave it to his wife Luthien, when she died again (don’t ask) it passed to their son Dior. When the sons of Feanor killed him it fell into Dior’s daughter, Elwing’s hands. She flew with it to her husband and they sailed with it to Valinor to beg the aid of the Valar.

When Morgoth fell after the War of Wrath, the remaining two Silmarils were taken by Eanwë, the herald of Manwë. The last two sons of Feanor snuck into the Valar camp and stole them. Eanwë caught them but apparently decided to let the holy jewels pass judgment on them and gave one to each of the brothers.

They were so tainted by the crimes they had committed in the pursuit of these jewels that they were horribly burned and withered by the Silmarils. Maedhros threw himself and his Silmaril into a fiery pit. Maglor cast his into the sea and apparently spent the rest of his immortal life singing songs of lamentation.

So, of the three Silmarils, one of them is now the North Star, one of them got chucked into a volcano and the third was pitched into the sea. None of them was ever, at any time in a god damned tree, ever. Their locations were always accounted for in the legendarium.

As for Mithril, this is blatant idiocy. The Silmarils never worked that way.

Mithril is just a precious metal. Now it is super rare and worth ten times its weight in gold, but it ends there. It’s not magical and never was.

Well, at least they’re trying to tell a story of some sort. Even if it is an incoherent one that is completely inconsistent with canon.


The Hubris of Morgoth

The review for which you’ve all been waiting. The Dark Herald reviews The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power for Arkhaven.

You would have to have had the hubris of Morgoth himself to take on this project.

As a writer, I would have been terrified of it. If the producers had come to me to finish the Unfinished Tales by Tolkien plus some original pastiche based on the Appendixes, I would have told them. “Look, I’ll require two years prep time before I write word one. I’ll need to completely immerse myself in Tolkien’s work to the exclusion of all else. Then I have to spend a lot of time with Tom Shippey and other scholars, plus a Catholic priest with three doctorates who is really into JRR’s work. And at the end of the day, it still won’t be Tolkien, just so you know.”

Who would take this on? Bad Reboot that’s who.

The inarticulate slaughterer of every franchise where they press diseased foot is their bread and butter. Their mode of operation is now predictably obvious. Being completely incapable of creativity themselves, they select anything at all that might have an audience, invade and metastasize, then give it a Bad Reboot treatment. This consists of a Feminist Heroine’s Journey combined with a bunch of mystery boxes to lure foolish audiences along. Be sure to break the bank on flashy effects scenes.

I spent some time in sales, so I can see what Jar Jar Abrams’s school of non-writing is. It is sales technique disguised as writing. That’s it. That is all that the Abrams Mystery Box school really is. It’s just a hook with nothing attached to the hook but the next hook. It’s just one long sales pitch trying to keep you watching despite the fact that there is in fact nothing to watch.

Let me assure you now, there is nothing to watch here.

There is, however, quite a bit to read. And you should read the whole thing. After which, you should congratulate yourself for not adding to the “record numbers” that Amazon claims to be achieving.

So anyway, we get to see Commander Galadriel the Warrior Princess take up her brother’s quest to find Sauron. Like every feminist heroine, her primary obstacle is disbelief. Her MEN don’t believe in her quest to find Sauron. This is fundamentally stupid because it’s based on the belief that he died of old age which is kind of hard for an immortal to do.

So, they go to some Ice Fortress of ice, (Geode makes a guest appearance) and she kills an ice troll single-handedly, (second step of the Feminist Heroine’s Journey is now in the bag). She find Sauron’s mark thus proving Galadriel was right all along, but her men quit on her anyway. So, she is forced to turn back and report to Gil-Gilad.

Let me be clear about this, in a really bad show, Karen-Galadriel is the worst thing in it. Morfydd Clark is horrendously miscast. I’ve seen her act but only in Little Wounded Bird roles.

We meet Neil Patrick Harris Elrond. It’s an absolutely cringe scene as they declare their platonic love for each other. In the Legendarium, he’s her son-in-law. Here, he’s obviously gay. Elrond attempts to mansplain things to Galadriel who shoots him down as she’s supposed to in the Feminist Heroine’s Journey. She then gets some leaf crown as an award from Gil-Gilad. He then declares her recon team the greatest heroes in all of elf-kind so they get the super big prize. A one-way ticket back to Valinor.

Oh. What. The. Fuck?

Okay, after the War of Wrath all the elves had the option of going back to Valinor… EXCEPT GALADRIEL! If you know anything at all about Valinor then you know she can’t go there.

Galadriel was specifically prohibited from returning by the gods of Middle Earth themselves.

That door was completely closed to her until she refused the offer of the One Ring by Frodo. Only then was she allowed to “…diminish. And go into the west. And remain Galadriel.”

Just to state this one more time. Galadriel could not fucking go to *Valinor.

All of this nonsense has inspired me to set a goal of finishing and releasing the complete A SEA OF SKULLS in electronic form before the end of the year, with the print edition to follow once a few rounds of typos have been identified and corrected. This is doable; just last night I finished Theuderic’s second-to-last chapter.


Truth Social: A Review

NeonRevolt tries out the new social media platform and shares his opinion:

Truth Social is like being trapped in the world’s gayest Boomer containment unit, where Dan Bongino and Charlie Kirk fanbois celebrate their successful “throuple-ing” alongside the gender reveal of their gay test-tube babies, while posting weak memes from 2014 like they’re somehow still digital owns.

Oh, you can post Chippendale’s Make America Gay Again to your heart’s content, but call anyone a faggot or a retard, and cyber-Nunes will emerge from the clouds to Stalin your post from the timeline, so you won’t hurt Richard Grenell’s feelings.

Anything other than slavish devotion to Durham and the promise of “2 more weeks” is met with all the typical whining.

Sounds like yet another Republican gatekeeper platform. Hard pass.


Doctor Strange 2 Review

The Dark Herald is getting a little soft in these latter days of the Devil Mouse’s ongoing demise. If this is a recommendation with reservations, I shudder to think what it would take to get a negative review.

Strange is an idiot in this film. He knows that witchcraft is in play, and he doesn’t for a moment suspect a witch that he knows has gone bad. He tells the Scarlet Witch where the teenage Space Lesbian is; then finds out that Wanda is the one sending monsters to kill her. Oops.

Wanda attacks Kamar-Taj and kills most of the sorcerers there. It’s a good effects scene, lots of flashy lights and boom-booms. If you like high tech fidget-spinners, you’ll love it. Chavez get scared and stargates out, dragging Strange along for the ride.

There is another exposition scene. Because this is effectively a Marvel Disney + show. However, someone must have said something about “show don’t tell” in the notes. We get to see America Chavez’s origin story when she steps on a disk… In. Front. Of. The. Memory. Store.

I didn’t make that up.

Anyway, that is where we find out about how America comes from the universe of the space lesbians who don’t need any man to reproduce. Fine, whatever, there is breed of snake that does the same thing in this universe so, okay, sure. That should limit your genetic diversity but we are talking about a universe called utopia where science is whatever you need it to be to stay intersectional. And America vanished her parents when a bee landed on her.

So why is she named America and has the stars and stripes on her jeans jacket? Why does she identify as LGBTQ when in her universe being a homosexual means you are straight.

Stop asking questions like that; it’s science!

Skipping ahead because this is all stupid. We come to the famous Illuminati scene.

Well people are sitting, that means they are going to be talking. We find out that all Doctor Stranges in the cosmos go bad given enough time and the lIluminati are deciding if they are going to whack out this Strange for pre-crime. They haven’t voted on it yet but it’s probably, yes.

Before they can do that, Wanda shows up because she can Dream-Walk into the bodies of other versions of herself in other universes. She kills the illuminati in order of privilege, and it feels like the biggest fuck you imaginable to Marvel comic book fans. A lot of these are the characters and the actors playing them that the comics fans really wanted. Mister Fantastic in particular was killed in the silliest way possible for a man that is virtually indestructible. Oh, and if you weren’t tired of seeing Professor X die after two times, the MCU has got your back fam, he dies here too.

It’s good to see that the Devil Mouse has decided to double down on the wokery. Convergence has its consequences, and what’s bad for them is good for everyone else, including us.


“Arkhaven is the BEST”

This is an intriguing video from a comics book reviewer and illustrator who has not only been reading Arktoons, but is apparently going to be putting some of his original work up there in the near future. Full disclosure: There is nothing to disclose, as I know nothing about the reviewer or his forthcoming comic. The latter is news to me since I leave all that sort of thing up to the Production Editor and I usually learn about a new independent series the day before it first appears on the site.

Today’s topic is Arkhaven Comics. Arkhaven Comics is kind of like a Webtoons-inspired comics website primarily helmed by Chuck Dixon, although there are a number of other talented writers and artists across the board on the website. And this place, this website has been a haven and a godsend for me in many ways…

That’s probably one of the best resources for independent and professional grade comics out there at the moment. 100 percent free, so if you want to get into comics and you’re looking for new things to read or you want to check out the indie comic space and support some independent creators, check out

Arkhaven is the BEST place for FREE COMICS!

What pleases me so much about this video is that a) it represents a viewpoint from entirely outside the greater community, and b) it demonstrates how some of the less-viewed comics have their own loyal followings and are able to hold their own. While the site traffic has seen slow, but steady growth since Asteroid Day in April, we’ve begun to see some increased growth over the last month, and as Chuck Dixon observed last week, each million views is coming faster as we begin to approach the four-million mark.

The interesting thing is that while we don’t have anywhere nearly as many comics series as Tapas or Webtoons, we probably have more strong series than Tapas already and our best series are now capable of going head-to-head with the very best that Webtoons has to offer. And while we still have a very long ways to go in terms of the number of independent creators, views, and subscribers, it’s becoming clear to neutral observers that Arktoons is not only a competitive toons site, but is already, as the reviewer asserts, “the best place”.

And it’s going to continue improving. We’re already making plans for much higher resolutions and are beginning to lay the groundwork for that with some of our leading comics such as Hypergamouse, How To Succeed Like a Darklord, and Midnight’s War, while we’ll be introducing great new comics such as Witchstalker and Red Hornet in 2022. So, if you want to help us continue to advance on this front, don’t hesitate to become an Arkhaven subscriber subscriber in the new year.