Author: Shelley Workinger
Series: Solid Series
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publish Date: July 9th, 2010
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Clio Kaid may be 17 and just beginning the last summer before her senior year, but her life is anything but typical.
She’s just discovered she was genetically altered before birth and is now headed to a top-secret Army campus to explore the surprising results of the experiment.
Follow Clio and the other teens as they develop fantastic super-abilities, forge new friendships, and find love as they search for answers.
I’m the first to admit that I can be very touchy when it comes to science fiction books – I either love them or absolutely detest them, and there seems to be no middle ground. To compound matters further, plots revolving around genetically altered characters seem to be on the rise recently, so I was understandably apprehensive from the onset. Surprisingly, Solid refuted many of the stereotypes that I generally associate with young adult sci-fi books, and it consequently immediately caught my attention.
The premise was creative and comprehensive, with a wide array of intertwining backstories that are gradually revealed throughout the book. Furthermore, the highly sophisticated (and seemingly accurate) scientific references suggested a great deal of research prior to completion, and the specifics of the genetic manipulation were extremely original, quickly piquing my curiosity. Even after reading the conclusion of the novel, many of the events preceding it remain shrouded in mystery, so I’m interested to learn more about the past, as well as the future, in later installments.
With the exception of Bliss, very few of the characters exhibited emotion – there were no evident feelings of anger or confusion regarding their chromosomal alterations, let alone homesickness after moving into the government operated camp. As a result, both the parents and their children were portrayed as naive to a fault, agreeing to partake in several weeks worth of experimentation despite receiving seemingly no information regarding the reasons or rationale behind this.
Working successfully portrayed a wide range of characters with highly varied personalities and quirks. Clio was particularly well-developed and lacked many of the obnoxious traits and stereotypes that seem to characterize young adult protagonists. Furthermore, she undergoes significant personal growth and readily learns from her mistakes. The remaining characters provided an array of comic relief, intelligence, and world experience, resulting in engaging, often humorous dialogue.
Romance was, in no way, the primary focal point of the work. It was subtle and often took a backseat, but it complimented the remainder of the book well. Most importantly, Workinger didn’t stray down the path of complete overkill with respect to the number and intensity of romantic relationships that were forming – an extremely challenging feat, particularly in a camp of high schoolers with seemingly few rules regarding housing.
While the initial pacing bordered on tediously slow, Solid was a short, fast read that stood out considerably from its contemporaries due to its originality. There were quite a few twists and turns, and the ending was extremely unpredictable, upholding the ongoing element of suspense. Although the novel didn’t conclude in a cliffhanger per se, I’m intrigued to see where the story is headed and will likely be picking up the next installment.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
|Plot & Premise|