Jan, I'd just like to add that reading the 1, 2, and 3-star reviews can be illuminating. Sometimes readers write negative reviews because they didn't agree with the author's views or whatever. But sometimes the negative reviews contain valuable criticisms regarding the quality of writing, the credibility of the plot, the accuracy of the details (very important for historical fiction), and other aspects.glorybee wrote:The best non-classic books have generally positive reviews—but this comes with a caveat. Reviews on sites like Amazon or GoodReads aren’t necessarily true to the quality of the book. Many writers ask their friends and family to leave positive reviews on those sites, and unfortunately, some writers even pay for positive reviews. In general, the more reviews a book has, the more likely that some of them are from impartial readers. But to be sure, check to see if a book has been reviewed by a major periodical or by well-known writers in that same genre.
For example, I read excerpts on Google Books of The Auschwitz Escape by Joel Rosenberg. Based on the excerpts, I couldn't understand how the book received so many positive reviews. So I checked some of the negative reviews—these readers had spotted the same problems with the book that I had.