Here at Youtini, we celebrate all things Star Wars literature. We love the books, the audiobooks, the comics, the short stories, the audiodramas, and everything else under the twin suns of Tatooine. There has simply never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan, because we are experiencing an explosion of creativity that has never been seen over the last four decades of fandom.
However, where there is creativity there is also critique and analysis. For every new Canon release, we publish both a non-spoiler review on launch day and a spoiler-filled, comprehensive review ten days after release. Within these reviews, we attempt to maintain a positive, excited attitude, but we also pride ourselves on our ability to critique fairly and honestly.
In order to help us keep a balanced outlook on each new project, we have developed a simple ratings system to help us stay objective. Within this brief article, I will answer a few questions regarding how we rate and review each new Star Wars book, and hopefully, it will help you as a reader understand where we’re coming from when it comes to our overall recommendations!
Are the reviews at Youtini the views of just one person or the whole staff?
While the initial non-spoiler reviews of each new book are the opinions of only one reviewer, every comprehensive, spoiler-filled review at Youtini is compiled of thoughts given by our entire staff. While our review writers receive early copies of the books in order to expedite their review process, we incorporate thoughts and opinions by a staff of people with wildly different Star Wars backgrounds as well as life backgrounds.
By combining the thoughts of a wide variety of people, we hope to give a reflection of a whole community so we can give you the best consensus opinion we possibly can!
How do you decide a book’s rating between 1-10?
At the bottom of each book review or book profile, you’ll see that a book has a rating between 1-10. We have come up with a series of criteria that allow us to objectively rate a book based on a set of characteristics and give it an overall score as a result.
These criteria include:
Plot: Rate the plot of the book. Consider plot development, story flow, pacing, cameos, and connection to other works.
Characters: Rate the characters in this book. Consider character development, quality, importance to the EU, and decision making.
Originality: Rate the originality of the book. Consider character originality, climatic story points, use of Star Wars technology, use of the Force, locations, factions, language, and similarity to previous works.
Writing: Rate the writing style of the book. Consider writing density, complexity, flow, structure, and overall challenge.
Entertainment: Rate the entertainment value of the book. Did you want to keep reading? Could you put it down? Did it have major implications for the EU?
Once each of these criteria are rated on a 10 point scale by a number of staff members, we average them to find our overall score. The score you see upon first review may also change as more staff members are able to catch up on their reading lists, so be sure to check back on your favorites!
What does each number on the rating scale represent?
9.0-9.4 - Incredible
8.0-8.9 - Very Good
7.0-7.9 - Good
6.0-6.9 - Okay
5.0-5.9 - Mediocre
4.0-4.9 - Bad
3.0-3.9 - Terrible
2.0-2.9 - Painful
1.0-1.9 - Unbearable
0-0.9 - Complete Disaster
How long after a book’s release should I expect a full review?
A full, spoiler-filled review will be released 10 days after each new book’s release (usually a Friday).
What do these reviews have to do with the Round-table discussions on The Living Force?
Eric and Charles generally write the comprehensive book reviews for Youtini, so the opinions that you hear on those podcast episodes are often find within the reviews, themselves. The round table review episodes basically give the hosts a chance to dig even deeper into the novel than the written review allows.
These round table episodes are generally released a month after a book’s release.
How can I add my personal rankings to the Youtini site?
Very easily! Every Star Wars book has its very own book profile page. Simply search for your book, click on the profile, and scroll to the bottom of the page where you will see “Community Reviews.” Here, you can score the book on a 5 star scale and write your very own review to be featured on the site.
At Youtini, we believe that Star Wars is a true community filled with some of the best people that fandom has to offer. With this rating system, we hope to continue bringing you reviews that are comprehensive, objective, and hopefully very enjoyable.
Have a blast on your Star Wars reading journey, keep an eye out here for our reviews of all the upcoming Star Wars novels, and join in the community conversation over at youtini.com/discord!
May the Force be with you.