How my rating system and structure came about:

I like to compare immersing myself in a book as being like scuba diving. During both, you enter a different world. And in both there are similarities.

With a dive you want ease of entry. In the same way, you want the story and its world to have immediacy. I’m going to term this part of the book: The Descent.

Many things make up a good book – setting, pace, characters. In the same way a dive is affected by the underwater landscape, its currents and the marine critters. I’m going to term the middle: Depth.

And the last thing I’ll talk about is the coming out of the book: The Ascent. Sometimes a reef or wreck doesn’t have much going on, other times the memories of a dive stay with you. Similarly, I either find my interest ebbing in a story or fantasising about living in the book.

1 Star I couldn’t get into it and had to abort.
2 Stars Elements I liked but, in truth, I am relieved to surface.
3 Stars I liked it. There was cool stuff going on but perhaps there were plot, character or pacing issues.
4 Stars I really liked it. I’m still reeling from my immersion and can’t stop enthusing over the characters and story.
5 Stars I wanna live in this book!