Monday, May 6, 2024

Elixir of Life by Andrew Dulay

This was a  medical thriller dealing with life and death, involving the medical staff in a Saudi Arabian hospital, their patients, the people of the town, a group of men who arrange for the illegal buying and selling of human organs for transplant, as well as those who decide to sell one of their own kidneys.  This book deals with some tough issues, including alcohol addiction, rape, poverty, adultery, accidental death, and murder. For many very obvious reasons, this is not a happy tale, though it ends on a more positive note for some of the characters than it does for others.


I read a review copy of this book, and while I did enjoy parts of the story a great deal, there were other aspects that I had some problems with. It is a complex tale with what feels like four distinct, though often intertwining, plotlines going on. It is also a very, very long book--at the end of the story, my Kindle said I had read about 750 pages.


I also feel that this book could have possibly benefitted with another round of editing and definitely needed a proofreader's expertise as well. While everything was spelled correctly, there were a number of wrong words and incorrect forms of words (example: passed vs past and light casted shadows vs light cast shadows). 


One other item that I felt was a bit problematic for me (though others may feel differently) and that added to my feeling of this book being too long, was that at times it went into great detail on a transplant surgery. While I do understand that some of the plot does revolve around things that happened during surgery, the book often goes into great, specific detail involving the minutiae of the surgery. For me, it was much more detail than I felt like I, as a reader, needed or wanted to know. And in some cases, with me not having a medical background, it meant the involved items were meaningless to me. I felt that much of what I read was unnecessary and that leaving it out would have made the book easier to read and more enjoyable for me overall. 


As I mentioned, there were parts of the story I enjoyed a great deal. The characters were very interesting and their individual stories were often the parts that I truly enjoyed learning about. The author did a good job of interweaving several intertwined, but initially separate plotlines together, and those were some of what I found most enjoyable about the story. But with over 700 pages, I do feel that this book would have overall been better off had it been broken into two or three books, rather than keeping it as one extremely long novel. And as such, I feel that I must rate this one as 2.5 stars, for while I did enjoy parts of it, there was room for improvement, especially when it came to the editing/proofreading.


That being said, I do feel that those who enjoy medical thrillers that clearly contain a great deal of actual medical knowledge and expertise from the author will likely enjoy this book more than I did.


https://amzn.to/3y3V7iZ (link to book on Amazon)


https://books2read.com/u/baERqa  (Books2Read link to other vendors)


Amazon requires me to state that I have an Amazon Associates account that I use to generate the links to the books on their website. Purchasing something after following those links will earn a few pennies for me off the sale, though as of yet I have not earned anything from my Amazon Associate links.

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