Spend enough time on indie author Facebook pages and you're bound to see a graphic like the one above. Authors live and die by reviews, they are a way to allow customers to judge whether or not the quality contained within is worth a gander. The system is subject to personal beliefs on ratings but it's the best system out there and so written reviews are an excellent way to explain why the work received its particular score. Reviews are also a way for good authors to improve in their work, to understand their flaws and correct them.
That said, it seems or really is, that the review system is a heavily abused program. A blogger I follow recently went on a rant about how they had started to read one story, disliked it for a number of reasons, and put it down. They came back to that story months later to find fifty or so five-star ratings with glowing reviews so they thought perhaps they'd made a mistake and went to read the story again, much to their regret. The story was as bad as they remembered, yet not a single review was below a 4. What gives? Well when I went to find the above image, I pulled up dozens of ads from companies offering author reviews. Some places are legit, but many more are willing to provide pleasant services for the right price.
Honest reviews are great, I like just about all of them unless you want to blame me for Amazon screwing up. I'm sorry, I just can't help you with something out of my control. Even bad reviews are helpful, they let me know what you didn't like in the work. Did I really screw something up? Please, let me know. It will make me a better writer. I really do spend the time reviewing the work and understanding where my reviewers are coming from. It's a throwback to when I spent most of my time writing on Literotica.
Authors, you can help the cause by understanding that bad reviews can be helpful. Yeah, I know, they sting the ego. Sometimes they are downright nasty. But listen to them, they are the people that took the time to read your work. You won't please everyone, that's impossible, but there are those who will take their time to let you know what you need to do better next time. In many ways that can be worth more than the latest 5 star gushing over your story while missing the major grammar mistakes.
For me, any review I write will be legitimate and I hope that any review I receive is legitimate in return.