Military service should have engraved those words on my forehead.
I put myself forward as a first run judge in an award run by a writers' group and was given a number of published books to read in two categories and some broad judging criteria.
I began the first one as soon as they arrived and my discomfort level escalated quite rapidly when I found myself struggling to continue reading the antics of some grotesque caricatures from a comic book. Technically, I could admire the smoke and mirrors expertise of the writer in maintaining the story line, but I had no connection to any of the characters. They had no reality outside the printed page. I ploughed on and completed the book, keeping notes as I went, then gave it a gut reaction mark.
I'll complete all the others and then go back and review my reactions before I submit them, but I'm terribly uncomfortable with the task. I know how much sweat and blood goes into a book and I could see the thought processes behind the writing and admire the technique, but none of the characters were real.
Wish me luck with the rest.