Jo Walton is probably my favourite book reviewer right now. She's steered me to some old or oldish gems that I missed. Without her review, I would never have read Eva by Peter Dickinson, for example. A review of that is forthcoming when I get back into full-fledged blog-posting. Betcha you can figure out the general tone of it already.
Walton is reviewing at TOR.com right now. Back in March, she wrote this interesting post about the reason you DON'T see negative reviews all that much. I agree with much of what she says. But bluntly, she's nice and I'm not.
I've laced into Janet Evanovich for the drop off in quality in her last two Stephanie Plum books. Last year's Finger-Lickin' Fifteen didn't fare all that well with me. And I love Evanovich. But let's face it, the last two Plum books have dropped off badly. Guess it's time for Stephanie to make a choice between Joe and Ranger and see what happens next.
I enjoyed Carrie Asai's first Samurai Girl novel and then hated, REALLY, REALLY hated, the rest of the series. I said why here. And yeah, I went to town on the series. I made it to within 20 pages of finishing the fourth of the six books in the series before I came to my senses and stopped wasting my life. I'll never get back the hours wasted reading those 2.9 books and I needed to at least warn off potential readers.
But generally, the idea with a review is to point somebody to something worth their time. Something they might have overlooked. I know that when I read a book after a good review prompted its purchase (usually as a gift to me from somebody else), it's like winning the lottery. A whole new author to explore and enjoy some more. So that's why I usually put the good ones in the reviews I take my time to write. Maybe I can help somebody else.
On the other hand, I reserve the right to say that a book sucks. No namby-pamby pussy-footing around. Sucks big time. Some books just deserve it.
Just like my occasional posting here.