The problem with trying to apply “objective standards” (which of course change over time because they’re more like “agreed-upon subjective standards”, so um aren’t really all that “objective” but whatever) is that it becomes really easy to justify one’s own taste. That is to say, there’s a fine line between “I like this because it’s good” and “Because I like this, it’s good.”
Oh, I definitely agree. It’s kind of one of the bigger problems I see in the growing review culture where a lot of reviewers kinda forget that just because they don’t like this flavor of fiction doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its merits.
It’s really really important for people to say; “I don’t like this sort of thing, but some of you might, and here are good things that I can say about it.”