As an author, one of the most important things I do is read. Since I write fantasy, I naturally gravitate towards books in that genre, but often times I deviate from this. For instance, I am a big fan of philosophy, which helps me to form more intricate characters as I write. Regardless of the genre, I have recently been exposed to some review opportunities and would like to make this a regular feature on the website. With that in mind, I find it prudent to begin with a review policy.
Please make sure to read this entire page if you want a review or if you are reading one of my reviews so you know what to expect.
At present, I am not accepting unsolicited reviews, but that may change. If it does, this message will be immediately updated.
Getting that out of the way, here is what you can expect from my reviews.
- I work using a 5-star system. Yes, I find this very subjective, but it’s what people are used to and I’m not here to revolutionize the review industry. Naturally, 5 is the best and 1 is the worst. Since I look for the good in books, you will likely not see too many 1-star ratings here, but 2-star ratings are quite possible (see #2 for an explanation). For a concise summary of what each star rating means, please see below.
- I receive review copies for free, but this will never affect my overall impression of the book. I am a harsh and unforgiving reader, and if I don’t like something I will not pull any punches. With that said, if you are a new author releasing your first book, please don’t be too scared. I will not tear apart a poorly-edited book, and if I don’t finish reading it odds are I won’t make my opinion public. Why? Because there is no reason to tear you down as you go out on a limb. I understand that a novel is your own flesh and blood, and I am not here to insult your family. In those cases where I find the book excessively poor, I will likely just send a private communication detailing why. I hope you take this feedback to heart, but don’t get discouraged.
- My reviews are written in three parts. The first part is a mechanical overview of the book. It looks at the pacing, ease of reading, plot devices, and other mechanical aspects -there are no spoilers in this first part. The second part could (and often will) include spoilers. It looks at the characters, their story, and the universe as a whole. Finally, the third part puts these two together (without spoilers) and gives an overall rating.
- I am an author myself. While I review certain books because I get them for free, I still have to spend time writing. With that in mind, you won’t see me accepting many reviews. I will, however, send a reply to everyone who emails me. I hate sending out a request and not getting a response. It is rude. If you are accepting requests, then at least have the courtesy to respond. Keep in mind, if there is a message indicating that I am currently not accepting reviews, I may not respond. After all, I specifically told you I’m not taking them, so now you are the one being rude.
- As a final note, try appealing to my enterprising spirit when you request reviews. I am an author, you’re an author…perhaps we can help each other out.
Review Policy Rating System
1-Star: This book sucked. The characters were one-sided. The story was trite and hackneyed. I had to trudge through finishing this book and I wouldn’t suggest anyone read it unless they hate good literature.
2-Star: This book was pretty damn bad. Though there was one or two things that I might have enjoyed, the overall package was just lacking. Maybe it had a good protagonist but the rest of the book sucked. Maybe I liked the lore behind the world but the rest of the book sucked. Sure, you might like it, but I don’t know anyone who would.
3-Star: A perfectly average book. It had good elements, but nothing really struck me as special. Or, it might have had plenty of good elements, but some major weaknesses. Or, perhaps it had one or two great elements but the rest was weak. Most likely, books at this rating will appeal to others, but they just aren’t my cup of tea.
4-Star: This was a great read. I would recommend it to anyone who normally enjoys the genre it is in. It was almost entirely strong, but there may have been one or two weaknesses that I found. Maybe I felt a character was underdeveloped. Perhaps I thought the world was unrealistic. Maybe I just have a personal preference that hurt the rating. Whatever it is, this is an overall exceptional book and well worth the read.
5-Star: Everyone should read this book next. No matter what genre it is, you should pick up a copy and get started today. I strive to write this well and would feel honored if anyone enjoyed my books as much as I enjoyed reading this book. If I can find a flaw, it is tiny and I know that it is my own bias.