The Rat's Rating Criteria For Book Reviews

These books weren’t selected to impress your literature professor (although some will).  They are great reads that transport you smack dab into another world. You could find yourself tagging along for an adventure on the seemier side of Los Angeles or, just as easily, on the far side of the galaxy.

The books I recommend are from a variety of genres that are well written, have terrific characters, great plots, intriguing premises, or are just plain fun to read.   Best of all, they are guaranteed to take you away from whatever worries are bothering you today. 

I tend to prefer books that generate tension in some manner with gritty realism for both the characters and the settings, even within science fiction.  I generally avoid most pure fantasy works because they seem too arbitrary.  I also tend to gravitate towards books that contain some good humor although the humor could be a bit on the dark side. Of course, these recommendations are totally based on my highly biased opinions which may be very different from yours. 

All books are given an overall rating of 0 to 4 stars with 4 being best. The ratings are meant to reflect the overall reading experience. The best books are generally outstanding in multiple areas of plot, characterization, tension, ideas, and originality. To receive 4 stars, a book must provide an exceptional reading experience that usually transcends genres.

The complete rating scale is as follows:

4 stars  Brilliant! Superb! Fabulous! (Likely to expand your conciousness)

3.5 stars  Terrific! (Almost perfect. Don't miss this book)

3 stars  Excellent (Minor flaws but provides a great read)

2.5 stars  Good (Much better than average and well worth your time)

2 stars  OK (not too bad but not that good)

1.5 stars  Below average (Not worth reading unless it's part of a series you like or from an author you like)

1 star  Weak (Not worth your time)

half star  Poor (What was the author thinking?)

0 stars  Horrible! (No redeeming aspect, may be harmful to the reader)

Go ahead and start out with a 3 to 4 star novel. If you like it, you’ll want to check out more book picks on this site.

P.S.  You may notice that my book reviews are biased towards the high side. That's because many of the books I'm currently reading are books I've read in the past that I'm re-reading in order to provide an accurate review.  Now I'm not going to re-read a book that wasn't very good or even one that was just average.  I'm only going to re-read a book that I remember as being excellent or better.  As I read more new books that come out, I'm sure to find a few disapointments.