Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review # 196: The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

     It is the summer of 1914 and newly-wedded Grace is on a luxury ocean-liner with her husband Henry, celebrating their nuptials. But when the ship suffers a fatal explosion, Grace is placed on a lifeboat as Henry and other crewmen/passengers sink into the ocean with the doomed vessel. Now widowed, Grace must fight for survival on an overcrowded lifeboat where rations and hope are dwindling. Who will stay afloat when there is no choice but sacrifice? Who will answer for the decisions made?


     I was really excited when I first received this book, but it wasn't what I expected, especially the lead character Grace. I disliked her personality, it was ingenuine and irritating, and I did not see where her character improved/ visibly changed throughout the novel. Her narration was unreliable and monotonous, often leading to predictable plot-lines and a general lack of interest on the readers part. I usually love survival stories, especially those that take place in open water or in unfamiliar and dangerous territory, but The Lifeboat failed to peak my interest - ship explodes, some live and some die, crowded lifeboat floats on, passengers bicker, meager supplies, death, repercussions, and atonement - typical. I was ready for shocks, plot-twists, and (admittedly) cannibalism. Who doesn't love a plot readers can chew on? Unfortunately, my continued reading was only rewarded with more disappointing narration and dialogue. As for the aspects I did enjoy, the character development was pretty good and there were definitely distinct personalities present. The details were welcome additions as well, often transporting me to the very lifeboat where the characters were stranded, or to the isolating walls of the courtroom. I really appreciated Charlotte Rogan's poetic writing style, using some beautifully crafted depictions to describe the moods of the lost, but the story as a whole fell flat. Good for a first-time author, but still not up to par with other books in the survival genre. My favorite part was taking in the cover art.

Rating: Bounty's Out (3/5)

*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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