Science Fiction | Review Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater

Last May I reviewed Karl Drinkwater’s short story Harvest Festival (which made it onto my 5 Halloween reads to make you shiver.  I just noticed it has a cover redesign which looks fab).  I loved the fear and pace so was delighted when a copy of Lost Solace was offered.  Did it live up to my expectations?

Lost Solace Karl Drinkwater

Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 696.0 KB

Print Length: 202 pages

Publisher: Organic Apocalypse (31 Oct. 2017)

Language: English

ASIN: B0787HLF4X

Sometimes spaceships disappear with everyone on board – the Lost Ships. But sometimes they come back, strangely altered, derelict, and rumoured to be full of horrors.

Opal is on a mission. She’s been seeking something her whole life. Something she is willing to die for. And she thinks it might be on a Lost Ship.

Opal has stolen Clarissa, an experimental AI-controlled spaceship, from the military. Together they have tracked down a Lost Ship, in a lonely nebula far from colonised space.

The Lost Ship is falling into the gravity well of a neutron star, and will soon be truly lost … forever. Legends say the ships harbour death, but there’s no time for indecision.

Opal gears up to board it. She’s just one woman, entering an alien and lethal environment. But perhaps with the aid of Clarissa’s intelligence – and an armoured spacesuit – Opal may stand a chance.

Review

I love how, with the help of a writer’s words, our imagination can take us anywhere at all.  For a couple of days I’ve been in deep space, confronting all sorts of challenges that have taken me to the edge of life and back, all done with the assistance of a 6th gen AI who is closer to me than anyone else in my life.

Magic?  Oh yes.

I loved the fact we have two (I’m counting Clarissa, the AI in this) strong female leads who make split second decisions from very limited options, showing true grit and resilience.  Who are not adverse to breaking the rules to get what’s needed and pushing through to the end and yet are loyal and steadfast.  An appearance from a senior member of the military only serves to highlight issues of freedom and morality.  Do you follow what you know to be true or do you bend your knee to the hierarchy?  It’s not until later on that we find out for sure what drives Opal’s behaviour.  For once it didn’t matter to me.  She had my vote from the beginning.  All readers will be able to able to identify with the psychology that underpins the story as well as feel a connection to Opal.

I was interested in the technological side of the story.  Not that I know much about hardware and software or military programmes so it could all be a load of hokum but I did find it fascinating!  I often forgot that Clarissa was an AI …

The challenges and action keep moving at a fabulous pace.  And what a setting!  Within the space ship, so many nooks and rooms as well as open walkways for anything to happen.  I was quite happy to be ‘blind’, with no expectations of what might come next, to let Karl Drinkwater lead me on through this alien territory. I knew whatever was coming would up my adrenalin and get me sitting on the edge of my seat.  Plenty of those moments throughout Lost Solace.

I’m hoping there will be a sequel!  What are the consequences? What happens about the stowaway? What happens when they get to the coordinates?  I don’t have an issue when a story ends and I have questions because it can lead your imagination to all sorts of places.  However, I would love more from Opal and Clarissa 🙂  I think Lost Solace would make an awesome console game.

This has been a fast paced read for me and a story I have no hesitation in recommending.

Lost Solace is available to purchase in Kindle and paperback formats.

Connect with Karl

Website

Twitter @karldrinkwater

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Married with two sons in their early 20’s, I love my day job as an Inclusion Lead. I am passionate about early help, expressed not only in my setting but also as a member of Bournemouth’s Early Help Operational Board. It’s an honour to be working alongside others to instigate change and growth.

I’m also passionate about my love of reading, being out in nature and creating with crochet.

I’ve been blogging for seven years at Jera’s Jamboree.

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2 Comments

  1. March 23, 2018 / 8:11 am

    That sounds intriguing – rather like Ann Leckie’s Ancillary series, which I absolutely love.

    • March 23, 2018 / 9:18 am

      You may have noticed I’ve removed Disqus Kathleen (and as a consequence lost all comments – until I figure out how to import the xml file …). I found out there is a trilogy (yay!) and that the author broke a writing rule (thought you might like to hear that 🙂 ) in that we don’t find out about the protagonists motives until the last chapter. It really did work for me!

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