Writing a book review requires that you assess the books strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to historiography - it is not a literary review.
You should also tell the reader why you liked or disliked the book.
In order to review a book on history it is essential to have some information on the subject, the region, and the period.
The bibliography in the book should supply you with references to sources with related information.
I also suspected that there was a difference in the objectives between English and History critical book reviews.
My suspicions were confirmed as soon as I read some critical history book reviews.
You might have to read the whole book in some cases to determine what the authors thesis is.
Watch out for transitions or verbs that imply proof. An historical book, paper or essay, such as a critical book review is an argument. Books such as Anthony Westons, A Rulebook for Arguments, or Trudy Goviers, A Practical Study of Argument, are very helpful if you are unsure of what an argument is.
Many of us had never written a critical book review for history, and not all of us were history majors.
A number of students dropped out of the course after writing their first critical book review in history simply because they did not know what was required and did not conduct the research to find out.