Category: Reviews

Because I like to read (and every writer should read), I belong to several groups that offer books or advance reader copies in exchange for reviews. These are some of the books I have been fortunate enough to read.

Not all reviews are favorable because I also know the value of an objective critique. If an author is not willing to look at what is wrong with their work, they will never improve. I find it extremely valuable to know what not to do the next time

When I am reviewing a book, I consider the following:

POV:
Is the point of view consistent throughout the book? Does it seem appropriate to the story?
CHARACTERS:
Are the characters fully realized or are they cliched cutouts? How much do we know about them? Do we care about them?
NARRATIVE:
Does it flow easily and naturally or is it stilted.
VISUALIZATION:
Does this writer show or tell what we see/feel/hear? Do we have a sense of location and setting? Does the writer evoke the five senses?
DIALOG:
Can the reader easily determine who is speaking? Does the dialog flow naturally as with normal conversation?
MECHANICS:
Are there a lot of typos/misspellings, grammatical errors or other editing failures? Are the passages properly formatted so as to be easily readable?
PACE:
Is the easy reading or do you have to really concentrate? Is it a quick read or should you plan to spend several days? Some people look for something that can be read on a lunch break.
RATING:
Does the book contain adult language or situations? If so, is it appropriate to the story. If there are scenes of bondage or torture are they handled tastefully or just used for shock value? Does the author make this clear before the reader starts reading?
CLIFFHANGER?
Some people object to cliffhangers because they don't want to wait several months for resolution. With a series, you know up front there is a continuation, but that doesn't mean each volumn can't be read "stand alone". Some readers want to know if there is a cliffhanger before they start to read.