Do we need a theoretical basis to learn how to write reviews?
The knowledge necessary to write about books accumulates during reading (as taught by Stephen King, at least six hours a day). The technique is developed in practice.
Does the personal relationship to the author or genre play an important role for the reviewer?
If it is a professional occupation by reviewing, then such a question does not arise. We have to take on all the bright, representing at least some reader / public interest. In this case, engagement (relations with the author, for example) or adherence to some genre must be won, crammed into the farthest corner of consciousness and shut the door. With genres in general, the issue of not being loved is important, and immersion and knowledge in principle – “general”, let’s say, reviewers usually do not know and understand graphic novels or sky-fi and therefore often miss important phenomena in this area. But, in fact, the reviewers are people, not robots, and therefore can’t all know and love the same. And it’s good, because the reader usually quite quickly understands the character and preferences of the reviewer and follows him, considering them. With interest and sympathy or, conversely, with irritation – it does not matter.
Do I need to reread the entire bibliography of the author to write a review of his new book?
The question should be put wider: is it worth to know anything about the author to write a review of his book? Of course, it’s worth it. It is necessary: to understand the text, you need to know the context – where and when the author lived, what books he wrote and so on.
How is the professional review different from the reader’s review?
Professional reviews can be different, but they are all written according to specific technologies, depending on the main message of the book. And an amateur review is an impression of a person about what has been read. Unfortunately, recently many official reviews are more and more like reviews: reviewers began to write about their feelings, and not to encourage reading.