Official Review: The Life Engine by Rick Baker

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hsimone
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Official Review: The Life Engine by Rick Baker

Post by hsimone »

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Life Engine" by Rick Baker.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Being an ethnobotanist is not always easy. Some may not agree with your views and being in the public eye makes it that much worse. In Rick Baker’s C/T/M/H debut novel, The Life Engine, the reader learns the struggles that one woman endures in order to stand up for what she believes in.

Ambitious and strong-willed April Gentry takes her late father’s legacy seriously. She believes without taking care of the Earth, it will slowly deteriorate and may no longer exist. Her mission is to save the Amazonian rainforests, which produces the most oxygen, in order to preserve the planet. However, being in the spotlight and not afraid to take risks, she has made some enemies. With the potential of unfavorable information being leaked, this brave young woman is now at point where she needs to lean onto Ian Wolfe, former Olympic decathlete and current CIA agent. He may be her only hope in survival.

When I first picked up this book, the environmental aspect is what sparked my interest. This is a topic I normally don’t read about, and with this being an exciting book, I was happy to jump right in. April and Ian are likable protagonists, and their relationship adds a little lightness to this action-packed read.

However, as much as I would like to say that I really enjoyed The Life Engine, I simply cannot. The book is written in third-person omniscient point of view, which if done correctly can give the reader such an understanding of several characters’ thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately, with this read, there were countless times when I had to reread sections because it was not clear which character was speaking. Especially, since many character’s had similar tone of voice. This became tedious fairly quickly.

The characters and plot also was something I took issue with. There were so many characters that were thrown in throughout the story, that aside from the main ones, I became confused on whom was whom. Along with several characters, their development was lacking and many were one-dimensional. While the plot only dragged a couple of times, the ending was just a whirlwind of craziness that I couldn’t keep track of where one person was supposed to be versus someone else. On top of this, the events that occurred just seemed too unrealistic. Unless the protagonist was meant to be a fictional superhero, I cannot see how he survived so many near-death experiences in such a short amount of time.

Overall, this was not a read for me. Perhaps those who prefer action-packed novels without much character development might enjoy this. However, if you are looking for more, then you might want to pass on this one. Though it does have great potential, I give The Life Engine a 2 out of 4 stars for the reasons listed above.

******
The Life Engine
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Post by bookowlie »

Great review as always! The subject matter certainly seems unique for a mystery. It sounds like the book didn't live up to its potential.
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Post by gali »

The premise sounds intriguing. Too bad it failed to deliver. I am sorry you didn't enjoy it as you thought you would.
Thank you for the great review!
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Post by hsimone »

bookowlie wrote:Great review as always! The subject matter certainly seems unique for a mystery. It sounds like the book didn't live up to its potential.
Thank you, bookowlie! I did like the unique idea this book held, but for me, it does need some tweaking.

-- 02 Nov 2016, 09:14 --
gali wrote:The premise sounds intriguing. Too bad it failed to deliver. I am sorry you didn't enjoy it as you thought you would.
Thank you for the great review!
Thank you, gali! It was definitely an interesting premise. And thank you, maybe the next one I'll enjoy more!
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Post by Kia »

It's too bad about all of the flaws, I was really excited about the book when I read your description. Thank you for such an honest review.
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Post by hsimone »

Thank you, Kia! I'm not a fan of writing about aspects of books that I don't like sometimes. This is mainly because I know how much work an author puts into his/her book. However, I can't lie either. Anyway, thank you for reading and commenting!
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Post by kimmyschemy06 »

The premise sounds promising. Too bad the book is not as enjoyable as it should be. Great job on the review.
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Post by Kdonegan91 »

Great review! I agree that too many characters introduced at one time can be confusing especially when the author doesn't specify which character is speaking.
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Post by hsimone »

kimmyschemy06 wrote:The premise sounds promising. Too bad the book is not as enjoyable as it should be. Great job on the review.
Thank you, kimmyschemy06. It was promising, but for me, it didn't hold up too strongly, which is too bad. Thank you for reading and commenting!

-- 08 Nov 2016, 13:21 --
Kdonegan91 wrote:Great review! I agree that too many characters introduced at one time can be confusing especially when the author doesn't specify which character is speaking.
Thank you, Kdonegan91! Exactly! It is very distracting and can really take away from the story. Thank you for reading and commenting. :)
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Post by kandscreeley »

I really dislike it when authors try to throw in so many different people. It's very hard to keep track of and most of the time, I end up giving up. Thanks for the review. I know I'll be avoiding this one.
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Post by hsimone »

I wholeheartedly agree, kandscreeley! I need to be able to keep track of who I'm reading about and why they are significant to the story. It gets too confusing and therefore loses its enjoyment. Oh well, it might be best if you avoided this one as we seem to have similar taste in books. :)
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