Book Reviews

I love to read, both for my own personal enjoyment as well as to improve my writing ability. For example, prior to writing Hell Holes: Demons on the Dalton, which is written from the first person point of view of a strong woman, I spent a year reading books with female lead characters written by female authors. In addition to reading, I also post reviews of the books I read.

The Reviews by Genre

My Rating System

Different people will have different opinions of the same book. I use the following 5 star rating system, which is similar to the ones used by Amazon and Goodreads. It represents my own personal opinion:


  • Excellent. I loved it and would strongly recommend it to my family and friends who like the book’s genre.

  • Good. I liked it, and might recommend it to someone who I knew liked similar books.

  • Okay. I neither liked nor disliked it.

  • Bad. I didn’t much like it, but I probably eventually finished because it had a few redeeming qualities and I didn’t want to waste the time I had already invested in reading it. Given the effort it requires to write a book and the courage it takes for an author to publish his or her work, I definitely do not enjoy giving a 2 star rating.

  • Dreadful. I really didn’t like it, and it was so bad that I could not even finish it. It had absolutely no redeeming characteristics, and I am amazed that it was ever published.

Review Requests

I will consider review requests from authors and their agents, publicists, and publishers. I give preference to indie authors and small publishing houses. My favorite genres are modern paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, and popular science. I strongly prefer adult and young adult books, and I will not accept children’s books, pure romance novels, erotica, and religious books (unless they have strong science fiction or fantasy aspects). I primarily read on my Kindle Fire or iPhone, so I prefer Kindle (mobi format) books, though I will accept paperbacks and other ebook formats.

Review requests should be sent via email to donfiresmith ((at)) gmail ((dot)) com. Please provide the title of the book, the name of the author, the genre(s), and a link to the book’s Amazon webpage. Feel free to attach the ebook in Kindle format. I will let you know in a week or two whether or not I will add the book to my queue.

Note that I will try to avoid including plot summaries and other potential spoilers in my reviews. I will tend to concentrate on more general aspects of the plot, characters, dialog, settings, writing style, and editing.

As an indie author, I understand the critical importance of book reviews. In addition to posting reviews on my own website, I also repost the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I will consider trading honest reviews, with the clear understanding that there will be no guarantee of any minimum rating should I decide to review any book. The same goes for anyone who reviews my books; I appreciate all honest reviews, regardless of the rating, though I naturally appreciate learning the rationale for the rating (i.e., what you liked or didn’t like).

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