Ratings Icons and Their Meanings

Hannah’s Rating System

Hi there. You may have noticed recently that we have done away with the star rating system. I find it utterly pointless after so long because my ratings now do not, in fact, fit in as well with my ratings from the beginning. I’m much more likely to give a book a 3 star rating these days, and opinions on the meaning of a 3 star rating differ from person to person anyway. It all started to become very confusing and I just had to do away with it. I also find a star rating takes away from a review. While having these at the top, often people will check the rating and decide not to bother with the review. Now, you might argue that my new idea isn’t much better with this in mind, however, I disagree. Now with the rating system being located at the bottom, it becomes more of a conclusion than a part of a review and I like to hope that this post will explain what each of my ratings actually mean. There can be no interpreting them wrong because they are my own ratings.

I have wanted to use this system for a while now and when I found these gorgeous chrome images I knew it was time to make the switch. Sadly, myself and Naithin didn’t entirely see eye to eye on the change and we each had our own pretty solid idea of what we wanted to do, whilst agreeing that a change was needed. So we’re using both. This is a personal blog with two different people contributing so we really see no reason why we can’t use our own methods. I like a blog to be about personality and this is just another way we have tried to incorporate that into this little space on the web.

Following I shall list my new rating system with the descriptions that match up to them the best. (Hopefully soon I’ll get around to adding one for “It’s okay”)

Hannah’s Rating Examples

Too freaking awesome for words. New favourite.

Loved it. Definitely want my copies in good condition as books with these ratings would be in pride of place and I would re-read and force on others as well.

Really liked it. May read again, definitely recommend to others, but still had a few flaws.

Liked it. May not read it again, but an enjoyable read.

Nothing more, nothing less. Not an awful read, but not gripping enough for me.

Meh. While the book had good points and I can see others liking it, it just didn't grab me.

Couldn't finish the book I enjoyed it that little. Chances are you won't see this icon but it's there incase it's ever needed.


Naithin’s Rating System

When Hannah suggested we do away with the star rating system, I agreed and thought that was a brilliant idea for many of the same reasons she did.

A 3-star rating to one person might mean that the book was liked, another might see that as merely being ‘OK’ and some few might even count it a terrible rating!

Our agreement on the matter seemed to terminate at that point. Luckily, it found a rejoin point at, ‘Let’s agree to do our own and give our reviews a touch of personal flavour!’, so there we have it, I now have a flavour. Yesss!

Anyhow, what I’ve done is heavily inspired by Gamespot’s Review system. If you take a look here for example, you can see over on the right-hand side a series of buttons which are kind of like achievements. For the game. But like… Achievements the game itself has earned.

Frankly I think this is a brilliant idea, and I think I’ve even seen it crop up on a few book blogs as well to either supplement or replace more standard rating systems. I’ve gone with the latter option and removed star ratings from reviews I post here on the blog.1

I have actually posted: [Review] Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson using this new system already.

At the top of the review, where the star rating used to sit, you’ll see an Emblems line, immediately below which you may see an array of little… well, emblems, that denote some of the best characteristics of the book.

Naithin’s Rating Examples

Here are some of the Emblems a book may be awarded:

(Mouse Over for Details)

I want to point out that these emblems are not merely awarded for possessing the relevant attribute. They’re awarded for excellence in that attribute.

For example, it is not sufficient to merely have a sad (or joyful) moment to earn the ‘Shed a Tear‘ emblem. It has to make my eyes leak! At least a little! Mistborn didn’t make this happen for me, but Sanderson’s much later written The Way of Kings did and so if I were to review that again under this system, it would be awarded this emblem.

Similarly, being funny isn’t enough to win the ‘Laughed out Loud‘ emblem. The emblem name makes its criteria fairly well known though. Or with the, ‘Oh, Snap’ emblem it doesn’t count if the twist or reveal makes no sense or had nothing at all to foreshadow it. Likewise it loses the whole ‘Oh, Snap‘ element if it is foreshadowed so heavily they may as well have just come out and told you much earlier.



  1. I suppose if you really wanted to know what I would give something in a star rating, then you can cheat and look on either Goodreads or Amazon. If you do, just bear in mind what they say their stars are worth! 

Rift: First Week & Rare Map

So tomorrow, Rift will have been live for a week. I’m including the headstart as live, because it is. Everything you do in the headstart is still there after March 1st/4th (depending on which part of the world you’re in), and therefore, it’s live enough for me.

We got the guild together on the second day (thanks to Ln and Gazimoff for helping with the gold for the charter) and that has been fantastic so far. We called it <Night Watch> and there’s a few of us from twitter and our friends. It’s quite chatty and we’re getting guild quests done which up our guild experience, which gives us access to guild perks. It’s fun, and the more the merrier. We don’t have any plans to raid or anything, we’re all just enjoying the game at the moment. If you haven’t tried Rift yet in the EU and you want to, you’re more than welcome to roll on Argent, Defiant side, and join us.

I went with an Eth (Defiant Human) Stormcaller/Elementalist/Chloromancer Mage, which is possibly my ideal class. I’ve been in love with AoE casters that use lightning spells since Age of Conan, and the addition of a tanking pet, knockbacks, slows, and some form of healing (though I haven’t specced into Chloro at all yet, so I don’t have much there) is damn fun. What’s more, the casting animations are fantastic. When you use a staff, your character directs the spell through the staff, aiming it at the enemy. And when you use a main hand/off hand, the caster draws the power from her sword and through the book. I shoot lightning from my book, people. How cool is that?! *cough*

The game itself is gorgeous. I do have some performance problems during Rifts and in the city during peak time, but I am only just meeting the minimum specs so that’s really to be expected from my end and it’s nothing I didn’t have issue with back in WoW in a busy city, or a 25 man raid (AoE in raids knocked me down to 1fps at times *shudder*). Even on low settings, the game looks fantastic and it’s really an ideally pretty fantasy world. There’s so much to discover, explore, complete, that so far, even though I’ve played quite a bit, I’m still just level 22 because I’ve wanted to explore the zone and complete achievements and such before I moved on. I don’t really care that it’s slowing me down a lot because it’s so fun.

There are achievements to kill rare spawns, one to kill all of them which made me (2 characters with both Bloody Rare and Frostbitten completed in WoW) shake in my boots a little bit. So as I go along, I’m watching out for rare spawns, and checking up on various wikis, and putting together maps. So far I’ve only done Freemarch, and I have included Reed Bellows on this map, though he isn’t counted as a rare spawn as such, he is quite difficult to find and kill, so he definitely deserves a mention, if you’re after the Merchant of Death achievement.

Clicky to embiggen

How have you enjoyed Rift so far?