S.J.A. Turney's Books & More

Reviews, news and inside the world of books.

Book Review Policy

with 4 comments

* Please note that due to personal circumstances that have seriously cut down my reading time, I am not currently accepting review submissions other than those from the publishing houses who already deal with me. *

I read a lot. I read mostly books that I choose to read or like the look of, but I do also read ARCs and proof copies and review, so long as the subject remotely interests me.

Warning: While I’m not a particularly slow reader, I do also have a busy writing schedule and a family with two small children, so I cannot fit in as many books to read as I’d really like to so sometimes I have to turn them down lest I miss a release deadline.

So here’s what I like to read and am most interested in: Historical fiction, Fantasy, the more cerebral and intelligent Sci-Fi. The better end of the occult/religious thrillers boom. Comedy in the same veins.

What I’m not really interested in: Drama/Saga. RomComs. Modern murder mysteries/whodunnits. Zombies. Time Travel.

I will rarely stop reading a book unless it’s appalling. Even a book I find a struggle I will finish. I grade books on 1-5 stars.

1: Super-dreadful. Chilled my blood with its awfulness. Too poor even for compost.

2: Not at all my cup of tea, though I can see there might be things other people appreciate.

3: An average book. Readable and interesting. Not noteworthy and will probably forget in due course.

4: A good book. One worthy of note and enough to commend to others and seek sequels.

5: A real win. A classic or truly intriguing or absorbing tale.

Now, I don’t actually put the star rating on the review on this blog, though I will often copy the review across to Amazon and Goodreads and use the star system there.

A 5 or 4 star book will always get a review here. A 3 star will often do if it hits me hard enough. A 2 or 1 star will not be reviewed unless I find reason to break my rule. The idea behind this is that because I realise that just because I do not like a book does not mean it’s bad. I may loathe a book that is otherwise high in others’ opinion. Therefore I do not consider it fair for me to risk ruining an author’s livelihood just based on my opinions. I will only review books I like.

Unless… a book is so truly abysmal that readers need be warned. And don’t worry about that. I’ve only ever read two that bad.

Written by SJAT

June 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Dear Mr Turney,

    I wonder if you would be interested in reviewing my novel, 1066 What Fates Impose.

    You’ve probably already guessed it’s about the end of Anglo Saxon England. The novel starts with the wedding of Edward the Confessor to Edith, the daughter of Godwin, Earl of Wessex and follows all the twists and turns, papal plots, court intrigues, family feuds and assassinations, up to and including, the Battle of Hastings.

    I’d be very interested to hear what you have to say.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    With Best Wishes

    Glynn Holloway



    August 21, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    • Hi Glynn. Feel free to send me a copy. I’ve about 5 in the immediate pile at the mo, so it won’t be for a few weeks, if that’s ok? Is it a paper or digital ARC?



      August 21, 2015 at 3:39 pm

  2. Hi Simon, my name is Larry Rodness, an author of 2 previously published novels, requesting a review on my newest novel entitled, “October 32nd”.
    Synopsis as follows:
    October 31st. The quaint little town of Elora, Ontario has held its annual Halloween festival for the past 50 years but this year it takes a terrible turn. A young boy nearly drowns while bobbing for apples. Shortly after, a group of children are attacked by a flock of crows. Local eccentric, Missy Claridge, senses a mysterious connection between the two incidents and warns the town officials to postpone the upcoming festivities. Unfortunately her premonition is ignored and later that evening, all the children in the village suddenly disappear. The townsfolk are baffled. Soon, every person becomes a suspect as residents frantically try to discover what happened to the children and how to get them back.
    Please let me know if there is interest and what kind of file you’d prefer.
    Regards, Larry


    Larry Rodness

    January 10, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    • Hi Larry. Emailing you directly now.



      January 11, 2016 at 8:47 pm

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