I guess I should have been more specific. The reviews have helped where I have missed references or wordplay due to my lack of knowledge - mostly just to appreciate the story better. My voting has always been based on my own read throughs and impressions.I think the reviews are a very loaded subject. I appreciate victoria’s vanilla reviews because they give a flavour rather than trying to explain a narrative.
I’m afraid with the other folks who have chosen to review in the past, I’ve found them somewhat ‘prescriptive’ (inasmuch as ‘this story means this) when it comes to understanding the story and often plain wrong; it’s quite clear when a reviewer doesn’t ‘get’ the story.
That’s fine for the author - as a learning tool - but when other readers use the record to give them insight, I think it’s inappropriate.
If you don’t understand the story, without the review you shouldn’t worry about it. I know my offerings are often oblique or obscure but I’d far rather they were voted or not-voted for on their own merits.
Personally I think the review should be opt-in. I’d far rather not have my stories reviewed.
Thank you for weighing in on this. Being a relatively new contributor, I look forward to any feedback I get. As you said, for me it is a learning tool.