Comparative reviews are one thing and obviously must be done as objectively as possible but reviews of individual items are in many ways more difficult because you're not giving them context. They must be handled as objectively, as fairly, as possible and the following is the overall way in which I try to review something.
It is not enough to simply say you hated a film or loved it, you must be seen to be consistent so proper evaluation is necessary. I know it's a pain but it works quite well and can give some quite surprising results. The following outlines the method I use and the categories I use to do so, all the reviews on this site follow this method. I've given some considerable thought to these categories and hope that they make the review that little bit more objective and interesting.
Most reviews on this site will be books but occassionally I will also review films, TV & DVD, all are typically evaluated against the following categories:
Books are typically evaluated against the following categories:
Games are typically evaluated against the following categories:
All reviews carry two further categories:
Guidelines for reviews:
All category marks are out of 10 but the "Personal" category score is doubled.
The "Overall" score is calculated as:
(SUM + (2 * PER)) / CAT
SUM: Sum of all category scores except "Personal"
PER: "Personal"> x 2
CAT: No. of Categories excluding "Overall"
Ultimately it up to a reviewer how they evaluate a film but this does, at least, allow for a degree of objectivity and if anyone has better suggestions we'll be only too pleased to listen.
Thanks for reading.
J. C. Rocks (aspiring author: "The Abyssal Void War" series)
A brilliantly written popular science book that explains how evolution can create the staggering variety it has, whether dinosaurs were warm or cold blooded, why cinematic monsters such as King Kong and Godzilla are laughably impossible, why the marsupials kept control of Australia, why insects are so small. Finally he explains why, despite our apparent superiority, we really don't own the world at all, that there is no such thing as a superior or dominant lifeform on the planet. He also explain why, of course, elephants do have big ears.
In the last article I dealt with mastery of your chosen language. This article discusses the basic inspiration which we gain from a variety of sources such as events, people, books, movies, television. My own arose from book series, several well written and one not so much and from that I could imagine better and whilst I may never fulfil that dream it gave me something to aim for. The next requirement is dealt with in the following article.
Writing may not be as easy as it appears at first glance. This article, the first of three, starts the discussion of what I think are those essential skills, the first of which is a good understanding of the language in which you choose to write. It then goes on to discuss ways in which you can improve your language skills. The next requirement is dealt with in the following article.
In 'River Out Of Eden', Dawkins writes of a universe with no apparent design or purpose and explains more of our evolutionary past. With thorough knowledge and captivating style, Dawkins illuminates how life has achieved what to the uneducated or bigoted appear to be miracles. Science journal 'Nature' says, "It abounds with metaphors that make things brilliantly clear, an excellent introduction to many important evolutionary ideas".
A brilliant idea that ultimately fails in execution. It has been said of Turtledove that he is the master of the alternate history series, on the basis of the first seven books of this series I have little choice but to disagree.
The scientific endeavour, assumed an "unending march of science" by many but, in truth, no one claimed it as such. But why? Why does science, a purely human endeavour, give us real answers whilst religion only pretends to? In discussing some of the most famous feuds in science the author throws light on the true motivations and petty jealousies of scientists throughout history. In cleverly revealing the kind of sarcasm and abuse competing scientists would often throw at each other he puts to rest the idea that science is infallible whilst reflecting on today's media battles between evolutionists and fundamentalists.
A review of "Soldier of the Republic", the debut novel by Ben Slythe. The book might be classed as military science fiction, is well-written and engaging demonstrating the author's excellent grasp of both military organisation and historic battles.
This article briefly introduces me, my work, my background and my web site. It outlines (at time of writing) my progress towards the publishing of my first and second novels in "The Abyssal Void War" series and briefly mentions other things to be found here including reviews and opinion pieces.