That being said, here's my criteria for book reviews: Books must first of all be professional in every way. That means no crappy Photoshop hack covers to start with. The purpose of indie publishing is to compete in the market with traditionally published books in every way. If you can't get a proper cover done then it's obvious that you're not ready to compete. 'Nuff said.
Secondly, no glaring number of errors and poor formatting. I'm guilty of missing out on a few misspelled words and mistakes, but there's a difference in editing your manuscript numerous times and publishing as soon as you do a spell check. Professional quality is what I, and pretty much every reader is looking for. I won't drop a book for a few errors, but if it's rampant I'll refuse to go further. The way I see it is that if an author doesn't take painstaking care to carefully edit his/her work then they aren't taking their work seriously. So why should the reader?
Third, make sure your opening is strong enough to convince me to read on. I want to be hooked, to want to keep reading. I want that hold on to your hat, can't put it down kind of writing. I don't have the time to slog through a long boring set up of plot and characters. If I'm not into the story by the third page or so, I'm outta there.
Now to the types of books I want to read. Fantasy: I'm looking for originality. If I see dragons, dwarves, elves, orcs, wizards, sorcerers, magic swords or amulets or any type of halflings then I'm probably not interested. That's played, unless you can incorporate that into a story and present it in a way that hasn't been done to death. The type of fantasy I've enjoyed of late is Greg RR Martin, Brandon Sanderson, and Patrick Rothfuss. That should tell you what I'm looking for.
Suspense/thriller/crime/mystery is fine, but if your story is largely dependent on scenes of rape, mutilation, torture and ultra-violence then I'll pass. I enjoy authors like Jeffery Deaver and Walter Mosley among others, so if you're in a similar vein then by all means bring your book on in.
Science fiction/dystopian: So long as it's intriguing I'm interested. In dystopia I'm not interested in zombie stories.
YA: If your story can be enjoyed by both teens and adults then I'll check it out. No paranormal teen stuff, please.
Horror/paranormal: I'm very finicky in this genre. It will take something truly original to interest me, and by original I don't mean ghosts, demons, satanism, angels, gods, werewolves, vampires, leprechauns, fairies, zombies, haunted houses or any of the above tied to some romantic angle.
Literary fiction: Must be an intriguing premise, told in a captivating manner. My favorite book in recent months was The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch. That's the kind of writing that I'm talking about.
Action/adventure: I like action with brains. Think Inception, not Transformers.
Not interested in romance or nonfiction
Of course, the above is not set in stone as I will really read anything that holds my attention and captivates me. If you have a story that you feel readers will want to tell their friends about then send it to me. I give honest reviews, and will highlight the good and the bad if there is any. And yes, if you send me a bad novel then I will post a bad review if I waste enough time reading it. Fortunately I don't often waste time reading bad books, so that probably won't happen. If I can't get into your novel from the start, I will let you know why I put it down. That's only fair to the writer who is looking for feedback and trying to improve.
I will automatically cross-post to Amazon and Goodreads. If you'd like the review posted anywhere else, please let me know in advance. Send submission requests to bardofdarkness @ hotmail.com (no spaces). I prefer digital format, so you can attach a mobi (Kindle) file to your email or create a free coupon on Smashwords, or gift me on Amazon. Thanks, and keep writing...