Review by Letora -- The Engine Woman's Light

This forum is for volunteer reviews by members of our review team. These reviews are done voluntarily by the reviewers and are published in this forum, separate from the official professional reviews. These reviews are kept separate primarily because the same book may be reviewed by many different reviewers.
User avatar
Letora
Posts: 511
Joined: 06 Oct 2016, 09:58
2019 Reading Goal: 90
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 48
Favorite Book: The Turn
Currently Reading: No Rest for the Wicked
Bookshelf Size: 134
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-letora.html
Latest Review: Cynthia and Dan by Dorothy May Mercer

Review by Letora -- The Engine Woman's Light

Post by Letora » 14 Jun 2019, 07:12

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Engine Woman's Light" by Laurel Anne Hill.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Abandoned at birth, Juanita was destined for the South California asylum, a place where all unwanted people go. Saved from a life of horror, Juanita is rescued from the train destined for the asylum by her great grandmother. She begins a new life in the village Promise, as their mystic traveler. A person who is able to commune with their ancestors beyond the grave and ask for their help in the living world. One day, Juanita is given a vision by Moses. A man will begin killing patients in the asylum if the people of Promise do not stop the trains. But everyone in the village must help her, or else Promise will cease to exist. As Juanita sets out to save the future of not only her village but those in the asylum, she will have to overcome many challenges. Juanita will learn that nothing comes without a price, and she must be willing to pay it.

Set in the 1890s, The Engine Woman's Light reads like a western sci-fi, filled with train heists, saloons, and gun battles. You will travel on horseback from rough towns that are reminiscent of the wild west, to sprawling estates of crime families. However, while the setting of each area is well detailed and rich in culture, it is hard to tell how close to reality these places actually are. For someone growing up in the 1890s it would be easy to tell fact from fiction, but those of a younger generation need more details. It was hard to grasp the politics of the world and understand why there were different nationalities claiming territory in California. The south and north are clearly divided for this novel, even going so far as to name Northern California as the Yankee North, but why?

Certain details were also missing from characters. The Mendoza family is labeled as ruthless. A family that the characters are better off not interacting with. However, there is little told to the reader about their history. Later on in the story, when Antonio Mendoza is introduced, I wasn't sure what to expect of him. What would be his evil? There should have been a better set up to allow the reader to understand him more as a character. As it was his brutality seemed overboard and only for shock value.

Laurel Anne Hill has written a novel with a well planned out and developed plot. There is no skipping around, and Juanita goes through a great amount of character development. Unfortunately, if you are a reader that enjoys faster-paced novels, this will not be the book for you. Majority of the novel is slow, taking time to build up to the crucial moments toward the end. But once the action starts, it doesn't stop. The last section of the book flew by as Juanita and her group hopped trains and battled against their enemies. Fans of westerns will surely enjoy this novel.

All together I rate The Engine Women's Light 3 out of 4 stars. It is a well edited and well-written novel. I found no errors. It was lacking some details to better understand the world and its characters, but the story was well developed and kept my interest.

******
The Engine Woman's Light
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Letora's review? Post a comment saying so!
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

User avatar
mmm17
Posts: 306
Joined: 23 Dec 2018, 09:24
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 58
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-mmm17.html
Latest Review: Cooperative Lives by Patrick Finegan

Post by mmm17 » 15 Jun 2019, 09:08

I enjoyed reading this review. I am also put off by the lack of details in character development. Thank you for a thorough review!

User avatar
BuzzingQuill
Posts: 258
Joined: 10 Mar 2019, 13:51
2019 Reading Goal: 75
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 25
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-buzzingquill.html
Latest Review: Getting Used to Success by H.J. Shalev

Post by BuzzingQuill » 15 Jun 2019, 09:22

Great review! The book sounds so fun and unique , I don't think I have read a western-sci-fi book. And I love the idea of a family like the Mendoza's , a somewhat ambigous type of presence being in the story.

User avatar
Letora
Posts: 511
Joined: 06 Oct 2016, 09:58
2019 Reading Goal: 90
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 48
Favorite Book: The Turn
Currently Reading: No Rest for the Wicked
Bookshelf Size: 134
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-letora.html
Latest Review: Cynthia and Dan by Dorothy May Mercer

Post by Letora » 15 Jun 2019, 09:32

mmm17 wrote:
15 Jun 2019, 09:08
I enjoyed reading this review. I am also put off by the lack of details in character development. Thank you for a thorough review!
Thank you for stopping by to read my review!
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

User avatar
Letora
Posts: 511
Joined: 06 Oct 2016, 09:58
2019 Reading Goal: 90
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 48
Favorite Book: The Turn
Currently Reading: No Rest for the Wicked
Bookshelf Size: 134
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-letora.html
Latest Review: Cynthia and Dan by Dorothy May Mercer

Post by Letora » 15 Jun 2019, 09:36

BuzzingQuill wrote:
15 Jun 2019, 09:22
Great review! The book sounds so fun and unique , I don't think I have read a western-sci-fi book. And I love the idea of a family like the Mendoza's , a somewhat ambigous type of presence being in the story.
The Mendoza's were definitely a large part of the story once Antonio was introduced. And despite the two genres being so different they really worked well together. Thank you for stopping by and reading my review!
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

Bluebird03
Posts: 1092
Joined: 29 Dec 2018, 20:13
2019 Reading Goal: 65
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 169
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 118
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bluebird03.html
Latest Review: A Walk On The Dark Side by A von Gerhardt

Post by Bluebird03 » 15 Jun 2019, 13:33

It does sound as though this novel fell just slightly short of being a really good read. That often happens when the characters are not developed fully. Thank you for a great review!

User avatar
Letora
Posts: 511
Joined: 06 Oct 2016, 09:58
2019 Reading Goal: 90
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 48
Favorite Book: The Turn
Currently Reading: No Rest for the Wicked
Bookshelf Size: 134
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-letora.html
Latest Review: Cynthia and Dan by Dorothy May Mercer

Post by Letora » 15 Jun 2019, 15:05

Bluebird03 wrote:
15 Jun 2019, 13:33
It does sound as though this novel fell just slightly short of being a really good read. That often happens when the characters are not developed fully. Thank you for a great review!
It was a close one! Just a bit more development and I think it would have hit the mark. Thank you for stopping by to read my review :)
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

User avatar
juliusotieno02
Posts: 332
Joined: 16 Apr 2019, 06:06
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 130
Favorite Book: Mythic Worlds and the One You Can Believe In
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 198
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-juliusotieno02.html
Latest Review: The Dark Web Murders by Brian O'Hare

Post by juliusotieno02 » 16 Jun 2019, 07:08

This really sounds like a nice book. Communicating with the dead and predicting future events! That's a great read. I love your summary of the book. Thanks for the great review.
Bury your dictionaries

The words you need
are in your heart
and the eyes
of the people
you love.

User avatar
BuzzingQuill
Posts: 258
Joined: 10 Mar 2019, 13:51
2019 Reading Goal: 75
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 25
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-buzzingquill.html
Latest Review: Getting Used to Success by H.J. Shalev

Post by BuzzingQuill » 16 Jun 2019, 08:28

Letora wrote:
15 Jun 2019, 09:36
BuzzingQuill wrote:
15 Jun 2019, 09:22
Great review! The book sounds so fun and unique , I don't think I have read a western-sci-fi book. And I love the idea of a family like the Mendoza's , a somewhat ambigous type of presence being in the story.
The Mendoza's were definitely a large part of the story once Antonio was introduced. And despite the two genres being so different they really worked well together. Thank you for stopping by and reading my review!
Aww no problem, glad to know the two genres work well and this fusion reminds me of the cyber-punk sub-genre

User avatar
Letora
Posts: 511
Joined: 06 Oct 2016, 09:58
2019 Reading Goal: 90
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 48
Favorite Book: The Turn
Currently Reading: No Rest for the Wicked
Bookshelf Size: 134
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-letora.html
Latest Review: Cynthia and Dan by Dorothy May Mercer

Post by Letora » 16 Jun 2019, 09:28

juliusotieno02 wrote:
16 Jun 2019, 07:08
This really sounds like a nice book. Communicating with the dead and predicting future events! That's a great read. I love your summary of the book. Thanks for the great review.
Thank you for stopping by to read my review! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

User avatar
Kelyn
Posts: 797
Joined: 09 May 2018, 07:34
2019 Reading Goal: 35
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 160
Currently Reading: Advent of Darkness
Bookshelf Size: 172
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kelyn.html
Latest Review: The Chauvinist's Guide to Modern Romance by Morris Rollins
Reading Device: B018QAYM7C

Post by Kelyn » 16 Jun 2019, 10:30

I read this book for review as well. I most loved the mystical elements. I agree that development was lacking in some characters. Mendoza was a truly horrid man who turned out to have redeeming qualities after all. I liked this 'message' of hope for redemption. I thought it had too many violent scenes (of different types) for younger readers though and definitely not for those who like their books fast-paced, as you said. Thanks for the in-depth review!
It's not hoarding if its books! :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Letora
Posts: 511
Joined: 06 Oct 2016, 09:58
2019 Reading Goal: 90
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 48
Favorite Book: The Turn
Currently Reading: No Rest for the Wicked
Bookshelf Size: 134
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-letora.html
Latest Review: Cynthia and Dan by Dorothy May Mercer

Post by Letora » 16 Jun 2019, 12:16

Kelyn wrote:
16 Jun 2019, 10:30
I read this book for review as well. I most loved the mystical elements. I agree that development was lacking in some characters. Mendoza was a truly horrid man who turned out to have redeeming qualities after all. I liked this 'message' of hope for redemption. I thought it had too many violent scenes (of different types) for younger readers though and definitely not for those who like their books fast-paced, as you said. Thanks for the in-depth review!
I agree it is not a book for younger readers. Though I did find it a bit odd how some of the more graphic scenes were censored. The poker game in particular kinda made me a bit upset with the dialogue. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

kdstrack
Posts: 3153
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 65
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: Timewise
Bookshelf Size: 248
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: Daredevils by Anne Greene

Post by kdstrack » 16 Jun 2019, 18:33

Thanks for this wonderful review! I am reading this book now and agree with your opinions so far. I appreciate your comments about the author's writing style. Now I am anxious to get to the end. Great review!

User avatar
sarahmarlowe
Posts: 767
Joined: 02 Jun 2018, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 70
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 62
2018 Reading Goal: 70
Favorite Book: One Second After
Currently Reading: Stand Against Injustice
Bookshelf Size: 148
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarahmarlowe.html
Latest Review: The Light In The Woods by Cherie Miller
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by sarahmarlowe » 17 Jun 2019, 11:30

I have also reviewed this book, and I think you did a great job covering all the details. I really enjoyed Juanita's character, and I would have loved to have seen her develop her "magic" more in the book. Again, nice job!
sarahmarlowe
You can spend your time however you want, but you can spend it only once. :eusa-think:

User avatar
Letora
Posts: 511
Joined: 06 Oct 2016, 09:58
2019 Reading Goal: 90
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 48
Favorite Book: The Turn
Currently Reading: No Rest for the Wicked
Bookshelf Size: 134
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-letora.html
Latest Review: Cynthia and Dan by Dorothy May Mercer

Post by Letora » 19 Jun 2019, 11:59

sarahmarlowe wrote:
17 Jun 2019, 11:30
I have also reviewed this book, and I think you did a great job covering all the details. I really enjoyed Juanita's character, and I would have loved to have seen her develop her "magic" more in the book. Again, nice job!
Thank you for the comment! I was really excepting more magic and agree, I would have loved to see more of it.
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

Post Reply

Return to “Volunteer Reviews”