Saturday, 2 May 2009

Weekly Geek – Your Review Style





In July 2008, I had emailed Dewey with an idea for Weekly Geeks. Dewey responded positively to my suggestion but alas, the timing just wasn't quite right, considering... Here's my original email (I was quite excited to find it this week when The Weekly Geeks team offered that I be a guest host!)

Hi Dewey, I just had an idea and thought I could propose as a theme for a someday Geek Week: How about everyone's suggested standard REVIEW questionnaire/format? could be genre specific or ???? And if, for example, I chose YOUR standard questions for a review, I would reference YOU in my next review? Feel free to pan, alter, whatever.
THANKS! Care (aka

This was her response, dated 11/23/2008:
Hi Care!
I am finding several July emails that were buried by this huge pile of bookworms carnival hosting emails! AHHHH I'm drowning in bookworms carnival! Anyway, I love this idea. I will use it next week! Dewey

And now, thanks to the awesome team that is so good to continue hosting our Weekly Geeks activity, I am honoured to guest present the idea. I only ask you to do one, some, all or none of the following:


1. Explain your review format - if you have one. Or maybe your rating system?

Up to about a month ago i used a traditional format to review books. However i soon realised that the words i wanted to convey in my reviews could not be condensed enough in the traditional standards, so over a pot of pasta and Salmon, I came up with a few headings to act a guide and i am having fun with it..


My Format :

Cover of the book - A good size picture of the cover is vital

Blurb of the book - A must (From Author/Publisher website)


Main Review Section…

Characters – A brief synopsis of the main protags or any characters that stands out in the book. I keep this very short and only highlight the main description of them.

The Plot – I don’t do spoilers at all, I rarely deviate from the blurb. My plot are at the most two, three paragraph and it covers the theme of the book,

Surprise Element – The unexpected. Whether i have read anything by this author before or not, the surprises,could be plot, setting, pace, length of the book, just something that stood out for me.

Predictability – Out of every 200 books i read, there might be the odd one that actually comes up with an original plot. Most authors use the same format and make it there own. Styling it, personalizing, humanizing it or just simply slowing it down. This section highlights the care and time an author takes to make a difference to his/her rendition of a well used plot.

Positive – This is kinda self explanatory. anything and everything that makes this story a good read. I look at the whole thing, even things i don’t agree with – I like to think i am  observant enough and gracious enough to give credit where credit is due.

Negative - A book is a labour of love for somebody and i can’t see the reason to trash a book. Criticisms, suggestions or just plain “i didn’t like” does it for me. I give clear reasons why i had issues with a scene, a character or just the storyline.

Cover – I give my opinion of the covers as some covers really stands out, some publishers use a general format and never deviate from it. Some covers the cover artist just has to be mentioned – they are so good.


2. Do a review in another book-blogger's format of your latest read.

One style of review that i am not partial to, are the reviews that gives it all away and more over too wordy. I did this review for Maya Banks – Into the lair - (Spoiler Aplenty) and just too long….




Falcon Mercenary Group Book 2: Into the Lair

After killing the brother of a psychotic drug dealer - Ricardo de la Cruz, Katie Buchanan goes on the run. With only her brother – Gabe - knowing of her plight, he teaches her how to defend herself, and most importantly to trust no one. Playing phone tag as their only means of communication, she prepares to go on the run - again, when Gabe misses the second call and she starts to face the reality that he might be dead.

On top of all she has to deal with, a strange man calling on the number that should only be known by Gabe, not only confirms her fear for Gabe, but also ups her plans to go on the run and run as fast as she can.

Ian and Braden are on a mission of sort and it may not have a happy ending if Ian has his way. Acting on a promise to their friend - Gabe, they try to locate his sister and bring her safety. They are on a race against time and a lot of it depends on the slippery Ms. Buchanan, as, as soon as she is found, she gives them the slip – again and again.

With problems of their own to deal with, an attraction to the feisty young woman who gives them a merry chase is not what they want or need. But as shifters, as that is what they have both become – they enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the other emotion that Katie has unknowingly brought out in them.

Trust does not come easily for Katie and both men have a hard time convincing her that they have only her best interest at heart. Ian and Braden are themselves faced with an emotional involvement that has come upon them most unexpectedly. With trust issue and secrets aplenty – what chance does these three have of making a go of it - together?

Ms. Banks has one mighty powerful imagination. Every since reading the first in the Falcon Mercenary Group SeriesInto the Mist – my anticipation for the second book was not unexpected, as although it was a little out of the realm of what we are used to from Ms. Banks – it was a book to make you sit up and take note.

Ian, Braden and Katie are evenly suited; they all bring different element to their union and it worked well for them. They are not only funny, but brave and loyal, while also being hell on each other’s nerves as only true lovers can be.

Ian is the most reserved of the group, but also the most protective of those he holds dearest to his heart. Braden, the joker of the pack is all strut and ego, but knows when to draw the line between business and pleasure and for his mates, he is all business. Katie is that unexpected force of nature that they never in their wildest dream imagine they would meet or have the opportunity to call their own. She handles Ian and Braden beautifully and turns out to be more of a firebrand that they would ever imagine.

The loves scenes are scorching hot and although a union of three, the pace of the booked is evenly timed, allowing for the mystery of Katie pursuer to run its course and the three protagonists to learn enough about each other to make a fair assessment of how they will work together.

Ms. Bank has brought her own style to a genre that is over run with the usual. Into the Lair is a thrilling ride and although the second in a series – it stands alone and will give reader a fantastic feel of what a brilliant author Ms. Banks is. If however you are looking for a bit more depth and knowledge about the situation that the men have found themselves in, it’s highly recommended to start with the first in the series.

© erotic horizon


3. Highlight a past review that you are particularly proud of and why the format or structure may have had something to do with it.

In my traditional format i would recommend

Phantom Lover – A.J. Llewellyn

In the new format

Stranger – Megan Hart

Cry Wolf – Patricia Briggs – A collaboration between myself and Cecile.. Great Fun..



24 Speak To Me:

Unknown on 2 May 2009 at 20:45 said...

Hi EH!

I love your review style. I always want to express the emotions the book aroused in me while I was reading it.

I may try the question and answer style sometime. I received a request for a review that will not format to my review style, so if it's okay, I may try yours. The books is a partially fictional account of actual facts. I think the question and answer format may work the best in this case.

Dottie :)

Lea on 2 May 2009 at 20:50 said...

Hi EH!

Great post. :) I actually found your review of "Into The Lair", excellent and not too long at all.

I also like your current format.

I don't think there is any right or wrong way per se of reviewing EH, it is whatever style the reader is comfortable writing. I've tried both ways and have come to conclusion that I can only offer my thoughts in the way I am best comfortable. Folks can choose to read them or not.

However, I have to preface that by saying, I'm always trying to improve my reader reviews and do try and pick out the salient points as best I can.

Thanks for another well thought out post.

Warm Regards

Anonymous said...

I try never to give too much away and usually leave off the review making the reader wonder what the conclusion will entail.

My goal as I write a review of a book I liked is basically to get the reader as interested in the book as I was. I do have a tendency to write lengthy reviews, however, I can't seem to help it. It's me. I write it how the story made me feel as I read.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I love your review format. You give exactly what is needed to peak a readers interest in the story.

Blodeuedd on 2 May 2009 at 21:13 said...

I love your review style :)
It's so nice, maybe I can steal it sometime.

Btw do i give away too much in my reviews? I try not to but it's hard to say from an outside point of view of my own work

Unknown on 2 May 2009 at 21:21 said...

Hi EH!

Forget to add that I thought the review of Into the Lair was perfect, not too long and it gives real insight into the book about the characters and how you felt about them and the book. I loved the review!

Dottie :)

Mandi on 2 May 2009 at 22:30 said...

Summarizing the book is so hard. I never want to give away spoilers..but you want people to know what the heck you are talking about. I've only been doing it a month and I need to improve. Thanks for this post!!

I love the way your review btw:)

Maree on 2 May 2009 at 22:36 said...

I try not to post spoilers, but if a book has really irritated me for whatevery reason, they might come into play. I do telegraph them as much as possible, though.
Happy Weekly Geeks! :)

Lily on 3 May 2009 at 03:23 said...

EH, I love your blog and the way you do your reviews. I've only been blogging for about a month and generally just try to give my thoughts on the book, not an in-depth review like yours. I hope as time goes by I'll get better at it.
Lily :)

Confuzzled Shannon on 4 May 2009 at 03:14 said...

Good post! I like your review format as well. Not to long and says what it needs too.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious from all the comments that your style works! Thanks for playing along this week. I love the photo in the header - very romantic.

Val on 4 May 2009 at 22:27 said...

Hi, E.H., what an interesting question! I wonder about review styles as well. For example, I know readers in a hurry may want short reviews and a grading system, but I can't make myself fit those parameters.

I like very much how you do it here where you address the specific categories like Characters and Positives and Negatives. I've been trying to get this organized with my own reviews since I've seen your method.

I think there is room for many types of review styles on the www. The only type that makes my heart sink is the one or two times I've seen a reviewer do a review in a psuedo nursery-rhyme style. It seems too dismissive, considering the work that goes into a book.

I'm with you on keeping reviews spoiler-free. I don't mind spoilers myself as a reader, but I know that other readers might and I try to avoid them as a reviewer. It does tend to tie one's hands on a review, ha, ha!

Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2009 at 13:16 said...

Hey Dottie..

Thank you..
This style works for quite a few senarios - looking forward to what you come up with..

Thanks for stopping by..


Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2009 at 13:19 said...

Hey Lea,

Thanks for the comeback on Into the Mist - I like what I came up with, but I think I have gotten used to the short snappy lines..

I agree with you, a review is totally what a reviewer make if it. As long as you are feeling the book, and give your honest opinion - i'm good..

"I'm always trying to improve my reader reviews and do try and pick out the salient points as best I can"

I love this phrase - As much as this style is working for me now - i might just sharpen it up a few month from now...


Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2009 at 13:22 said...

Hey Barbara..

You have express all the things I like with your reviews so well. You have not just a review but a commentary to your style that I really like...

And if I'm in a rush - I know where to look in your review and with your irreverent style you always have me laughing..


Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2009 at 13:25 said...

Hey Blodeuedd..

I love your style - If you are feeling it, it works for us as well..

No i don't think you give away spoilers, there were a few books this month, that made my list just from your reviews...

The reviews were really good.


Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2009 at 13:26 said...

Hi DOttie..

I like that book alot, I love a woman who can handle her men..

too good..


Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2009 at 13:41 said...

Hey Mandi..

Although you doubt that you can summarize well, that is the thing I love about your reviews. It's concise and I know whether you love or hated the book..

you put your heart into it..
another thing i love with your blog is your obsession with Edward.. I love your blog for the funkie pictures you expose me to...


Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2009 at 13:43 said...

Hey Lily..

Never change you style, I admit I visit more than once a day - just in case I miss something..

Love the style you have.


Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2009 at 13:46 said...

Hey Maree..

I get you about the spoiler, I don't mind anyone writing spoilers especially if that the only what to express what you are feeling..

I love your reviews and you always give clear warning about the spoiler..

"you have been warned" -


Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2009 at 13:47 said...

Hi Confuzzled..
Welcome to my slice of the pie.. and thank you for the compliment on my format..

You have a great week..


Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2009 at 13:48 said...


Brilliant topic this week...

Thanks for coming by...

susan on 7 May 2009 at 16:40 said...

The more formats I read the more I realize structure is not one of my strengths. lol

Enjoyed this. Thanks.

Erotic Horizon on 7 May 2009 at 17:19 said...

Don't worry about it hon..

Do what you are comfortable with..

Wether it's the big paragraph, the list to keep you grounded or a all over the place scenario..

As long as you are comfortable with it - you do your thing..