About the ratings

Why am I rating the SFF books I’m reading?

The idea is that if you have read some of the same books I have, and generally agree with how I rated these books, then maybe you’ll find other books on this list that you would also enjoy. Or vice versa, I suppose – if you disagree with my ratings for books you love, maybe you can find other poorly-rated books on this list that you would also enjoy.

Note that I am not just reviewing the latest works, but sampling a wide variety of the science fiction and fantasy genre – the result is a somewhat haphazard collection of reviews.

The review system itself is admittedly very subjective:

5/5 Stars – One of the best, most enjoyable reads of my experience and a book I will recommend to anyone, without hardly any prompting. Excellant characterization, a strong plot executed very well, and expressing a theme that will leave a lasting impression on the reader.

4/5 Stars – A good book, without any major flaws, and worth reading for the better than average characterization, plot, or theme. Oftentimes what seperates a good book from the best books in my experiences is a nagging lack of something, or perhaps even just a slight problem which could and should have been caught and corrected somewhere along the line. Potentially lacking a little in one of the three categories mentioned earlier.

3/5 Stars – An okay book, with some problems, worth reading if you can’t get your hands on anything better and want to shoot some time. Okay books tend to have some sort of problem with characterization, plot, or theme that make it just sort of a ho-hum read.

2/5 Stars – There’s something wrong with the book, in my opinion. Some flaw or flaws which prevent it from rising to the level of its better points, if any. Either it suffers in two or more of the areas I look for (characterization, plot, or theme), or suffers so badly in just one of these categories that it pretty much ruins everything else about the book.

1/5 Stars – This book shouldn’t have made it into print, and the author, editor, and publisher should really be pursuing different careers. The characters might as well be cardboard cutouts of stereotypes, the plot is something an ambitious kindergartner could beat in a contest, and good luck finding the theme. I’m willing to be generous and give it one star because it is a number of words strung together and therefore somewhat more entertaining than a rock – but then again I’m not a geologist.

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