I recently submitted a paper to a peer-reviewed journal and received feedback from two reviewers. Reviewer #1's feedback was rather nonspecific, but Reviewer #2's comments were quite perplexing.
This reviewer accused my paper of lacking novelty, stating it merely echoed previous findings but using new methods. Paradoxically, they also recommended that I reconsider my tone, claiming it lacked support from prior research.
In an even more baffling turn, Reviewer #2 appeared to completely misconstrue the methodology of my paper, launching extensive critique based on this misinterpretation. They also alleged the presence of multiple typos and non-standard usage in tables and figures, but didn't specify any instances. To top it all off, I received a letter recommending transfer.
My advisor opined that the comments were largely baseless and agreed to write a rebuttal letter in the name of her. I'm now in a bit of a muddle, unsure about the best way to respond to such a perplexing reviewer. The incoherent and contradictory feedback suggests to me that it may have been given by multiple individuals, possibly lacking foundational knowledge in this field. This is the only explanation I can think of for the confusing logic and conflicting statements in these comments. How should I best address this situation?
(PS: Our field is short of reviewers)