I have read and reviewed lots books, but I always seem to hit a wall of self-doubt when deciding how to rate a novella. I have a couple of novella reviews coming up and I really enjoyed both of them. My first inclination is to rate them both four out of five. A four rating at Fiction Vixen means: Good book, I’ll recommend it. I enjoyed these novellas, I was entertained, but if I compare the novellas to full length novels I’ve rated a 4, there are big differences.
For me, a good novella will be nicely plotted, well paced and the characters should capture my interest so that I look forward to and care about their happily ever after. Most importantly I insist on being entertained. But because of the limited word count I tend give a little if the story lacks slightly in one area as long as it focuses nicely on another. For instance, good characterization but lacking somewhat in setting. Some might say that I lower my standards when it comes to shorter works. Perhaps I do, but if I go in with unreasonable expectations what is the point of reading the story?
What I’d like to know is how do you review and rate novellas? What’s important to you and what’s not?
Do you hold shorter works to the same standard as you would a full length novel?
When rating and reviewing a novella, would you lower the rating because you didn’t get to know the characters inside and out even though the action was great and you gladly read it in one sitting?
Or although you loved the protagonists and totally connected emotionally, there was little time spent on establishing setting or there was no dramatic conflict so you feel you should knock a star off the rating?
Or, do you base your rating and review mostly on your overall enjoyment of the story? Are you more likely to give on one area of the story if another is well developed?
Do you think you are more critical of longer works than you are shorter works?