2 out of 4 stars
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Escape by Mark Kingston Levin is an electrifying adult sci-fi novel that follows Captain Jennifer Heros and her team of “Naturals” on a mission to travel back in time. Their mission is to infect the humans called Syndos with a virus that will prevent their genetic tendency towards sociopathy in order to stop them from eliminating the rest of humanity in the future. From the thirtieth century, Jennifer and her team had to travel back in the twenty-first century to prevent the rise of these Syndos and save her people, the “Naturals”. Unfortunately for the rest of the team, Jennifer has other plans aside from their main mission. Jennifer abandoned her team in order to go back in time to mourn her lost love.
After sending her team on their mission and leaving on her own, Jennifer found herself stranded in an island for several months until she was rescued. Eventually, Marty and his research team discovered Jennifer in the island. It is through him that Jennifer found the spark that propelled her to start a new life for herself in this new timeline. With a borrowed identity from someone that is eerily similar to herself, Jennifer built up her new life and explored her passion in sciences and the environment.
What I like about the novel is that the plot is promising. A sci-fi fantasy that focuses on time traveling and the need to save humanity is a good plot in itself. However, the author did not utilize that plot really well and instead of having an all-out sci-fi story, the author just gave us a really dry and boring fantasy romance. I do get that the title is Escape, however, I felt like the genre it was placed in under was wrong since most of the story is just smut. I like the science bits of the book since they are really facts if you search it up. The science bits also add up to the very little sci-fi part of the book.
I also understand that because Jennifer is from the future, she would have a harder time speaking in the same way as the twentieth-century people do, but often times I find the dialogue to be dry and sometimes awkward. The dialogue lacks emotion to reel in the readers as it is too formal and it feels forced. No matter how many exclamations the author put in the dialogues, it doesn’t feel exciting. The novel is very descriptive but the novel did not capture human emotions well. It's just that the characters’ lines lack empathy. I know I’m being a little bit critical but I have to point out some of the accompanying visuals in the book as well. I understand the author’s need to establish the story with the use of visual imagery, especially for the maps, but some of the visuals were not necessary and if the author does insist so, it needs improvement. Aside from that, the author used way too many French dialogues without accompanying English translation for me to understand. Readers cannot always get the gist of what they’re saying especially if the characters have an all-out French conversation.
But the part that I hated the most in the book is the erotica part. Somehow along the story, it became a full-blown erotica novel, with even full chapters dedicated only for that. It took up most of the novel, so much that it felt like the book I was reading was romance and not sci-fi. It doesn’t add anything to the story, especially for a supposed sci-fi fantasy novel. The book could have done well without the erotic scenes.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars because as much as I like the concept of the book about time-travel, the author did not utilize that concept well. I was expecting a good sci-fi fantasy but instead, I felt like I got an erotica novel. I recommend this book for people who would love a detailed explanation of scientific facts about dark energy, although I warn you in advance that this comes on the latter part of the book, and maybe for those who would like to read erotica. I would not recommend this book for younger readers because there are way too much detailed erotic scenes on this book.
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