I have gotten two great reviews, and I'd like to repost them here:
From Matthew Capps:
"How to Play a Character is now required reading for my RPG group. Though primarily concerned with the game of Dungeons and Dragons, How to Play a Character contains sound advice for breathing life into the characters of any RPG. It does not bother itself to tell you the things you have heard in the front pages of every RPG you've ever read. Alexis does not bother to explain to you what an RPG is. He doesn't tell you how to affect a funny voice, or to dress up like your character, or to only say things your character would say.
"He also doesn't spend time talking about the best way to maximize stats, or to tweak a character for its optimal mechanical potential. The advice in the How to Play A Character essay concerns your character's needs, where your character keeps his things, the habits your character forms, and the way you can keep these things in mind to impress and motivate your DM, as well as make for a more fulfilling game.
"Along with How to Play a Character are a series of other essays that offer insights into the game. "Opening Module" is a wonderful way to start the book, as well as a wonderful way to start any sandbox style campaign. 'Wild Magic,' 'Breaking Camp,' and 'Full of Holes,' serve to inspire thought about how an RPG world compares to our real world, and how the former can perhaps be made more like the latter. All of these essays are well thought out, and well written. There are no empty words or meaningless passages.
"These essays are put together in a nice, pocket-sized booklet. The size is just right for slipping to a player on their break, or in a moment of downtime. The book is small enough to be read in a single concentrated sitting, organized enough to support reading in small, disconnected spurts, and worth enough to inspire several re-readings.
"My only complaint about How to Play a Character is that I wish there was more of it. How to Play a Character was put together by Alexis Smolensk to raise funds to better publicize his upcoming book 'How to Run: an Advanced Guide to Managing Role-playing Games.' How to Play a Character & Other Essays is the perfect appetizer for anyone anticipating his work."
Great comments, Matt. It's good to know I'm communicating clearly with my target audience.
From Luke Warring:
"On his blog, Mr. Smolensk's voice flows through a river delta. His voice twists and turns with raw drafts, tributaries of comments from blog readers, and bubbly and choppy debates of opposing currents. At times, I can be exhausted by the thoroughness in which role playing is debated. After all, I just want to play a better game-not write a treatises about role playing. To my delight the book's voice flows through a spigot. Crisp, clear, and refreshing. The coarseness of the blog was gone, and I did not miss it.
"For me, the meat of the book is in the first half. Every DM and player should read the first two chapters of this book. It is exactly what I needed to read. I enjoyed the second half too, which is a collection of essays - some creative writings. I will buy his next book. 4.5/5 - my main critique is that I wanted more pages of 'How to Play,' though it is covered thoroughly in the book. I await his next book."
Yes, it's true. I use a different voice on this blog than I do in the book, because here I am speaking directly to my audience. In the book, I'm speaking directly to the content.
By all means, keep these reviews coming! I could happily wake up every morning to this.