One of the toughest things, for me, in being a reviewer is how to deal with books that just don't stack up in some way. Should I only review books I like, and just not publish a review of ones I don't think are very good? How honest/blunt/harsh should I be in any criticism?
Personally, I dislike reviewers who seem to have a thick veneer of ego and pretentiousness in their reviews - where it is more about them, and what type of 'creative' scathing (what they probably consider 'clever') comments they can come up with to smash something - you see this in book reviews, film reviews, restaurant reviews etc. Where it's more about the reviewer, than what's being reviewed.
I do think reviewers play an important part in the overall 'worlds' of any of these things (in my case books, though I do occasionally review other things), in terms of informing the potential audience of what is out there, offering some comparative comment, and bringing to light quality that may otherwise be overlooked. So that's why I sometimes struggle with how to address books I feel fall a little short.
One of my recent reviews was posted by Karen Meek of Eurocrime today - it's a review of Chris Carter's debut THE CRUCIFIX KILLER, and this book provided me with some of those problems and challenges - there were some good things, but plenty that bothered me about the book as well.
Please read the review, and let me know what you think. Was I fair? Have you read the book - what do you think? Should reviewers only bother publishing reviews of the good books, the books they like? How scathing should a reviewer be of (what they see as) flaws?