One of the intriguing things about reviews is the opportunity to see your work as a stranger would. I’ve been living with my books for so long by the time my readers see them I’ve lost all sense of distance and perspective. Then I’ll come along and read a review that makes me think “Hmm. Never really thought about that, but I suppose that’s true!” The most recent exemplar of this being a very nice review for Scent of Metal. (I didn’t *plan* to do “new things with genre”, it just sort of …happened. And I’ll probably do it again.)
And it’s not just the nice reviews that do this. Even the puzzled, bewildered, disappointed, or unhappy reviews can have gleaming insights. One recent reviewer, stating a preference for romance-genre books of varying types, was understandably not satisfied with my science fiction (same book as above). BUT! They read the entire book! To have enticed a hard-core (cough) romance reader to finish a moderately hard-core science fiction book is a triumph indeed….