Cover Image: Lost Solace

Lost Solace

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Though I haven't read anything from author Karl Drinkwater before, I'm intrigued by their other works after this book. I was a little confused at first, but once I was into the book, I really was into it. You know I love a good sci-fi space adventure, and this just adds another story to my list of ones I really enjoyed. A really nice cover, a very unique story, unlike anything I've read before, and an action packed plot, I couldn't put it down.

Following a girl named Opal, it shows her life as she flies through space in a stolen military ship with an insanely upgraded artificial intelligence, who she's named Clarissa. It begins with her in chryo, and Clarissa waking her up and making her food. Though they haven't known each other for very long, they're very familiar, and are headed to a lost ship, something they're not even sure is anything more than a myth. Opal is hoping to not only get rich off of what she finds on it, but to find information to her past on it also. All that, without being caught by the military. What a dream that was.

What she finds on the ship, however, is beyond anything she could have imagined. A kind of alien species, or something like that, that has bonded into a ship, and created something grotesque and horrifying and really interesting and insane all in one go. Flesh cakes the interior, creating turrets that seem to grow out of the wall at key points for attacks, and horrifying monsters spawn again out of the wall to track not only Opal, but the military that tracks her down to kill her. 

This book was very interesting and unique, and even though it's not my new favourite, I'm glad I got the chance to check it out. If you're looking for a very different and action packed sci-fi adventure, this is the book for you.

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An entertaining space opera with great characters and a super story line.
This was a very easy read and I was sorry when it was finished.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

"Lost Solace," what can I say, " It's just that type of book that grabs your interest and takes you for a long ride." -Writer's Authority-

Lost Solace may have been, just about the best book I have read this year. Seeing that this is the 60th review I have provided to date, I can't stress this enough. 

"Lost Solace is an amazing book." I can not wait for the next installment in this series.
When I first starting reading, it started off kind of boring. 

Then you found out what opal was looking for, what's going on and why she is doing it. It just entraps you, once you have started reading the book.
I would recommend this book for anyone who loves a good Sci.-Di and Mystery & Thriller Book. It is one book you don't want to miss.
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AMAZING!! There were so many things to enjoy about this book, like creepy moments on the lost ship, military chase scenes, an AI developing a personality. I <3 this read!
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"Lost Solace" eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Karl Drinkwater ( Mr. Drinkwater has published 4 novels. A sequel to this novel is due out this year. 

I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the far future. The young woman, Opal, has stolen a spacecraft with advanced AI capabilities. She is searching for a Lost Ship - one that has disappeared in Nullspace and suddenly returned.

She finds what she thinks is a Lost Ship and gears herself up to explore it. She doesn't have much time. The ship is being drawn into the gravity well of a neutron star. She finds something there that she wasn't expecting and which puts her very existence at risk. Her exploration of the ship is further threatened by the arrival of a military force. She and her ship AI, Clarissa, must find a way to survive. 

I thought that the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 274-page science fiction novel were interesting. Because of the eerie setting for the novel, this is almost as much of a horror novel as it is science fiction. While I like the AI Clarissa, I am not as big a fan of Opal herself. The plot was interesting, but not outstanding. The cover art was OK. I give this novel a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at 

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The only real criticism I have about the novel is that I have not, as yet, seen a sequel. Why not? Other than that, I have to say that it was a very fast-paced, action-packed read with a lot of big ideas. The heroine was a strong female character with relatable thoughts and feelings. She may have been a hardened soldier, but she also yearned for a lost loved one. I found myself cheering her on just based on her ingenuity and grace under fire. Please write a sequel to this because I think many who read this will automatically assume that there is more to the story.
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Lost Solace is a good read. It isn't hard science. It has a lot of heart. Opal is a believable character, and the AI is quite fun. There is a great deal of tension and some scary parts. All good and woven well together.

One irritating factor is that we've got a mystery to the reader, but the MC Opal and the MC Clarissa (AI) know the answer. That just doesn't work for me. If the MC knows, then the reader should know. The people after Opal know. Everyone in the story knows what Opal wanted and needed, but the reader is left in the dark about it. That seems more like an underhanded ploy for suspense than good writing.

However, we are taken on a roller coaster ride with lots of action when the "bad" guys show up. Lots of suspense and tension when gravity does what comes natural to it. Plus there is the interaction between Opal and Clarissa that adds some pretty good spice to the stew.

Four of Five stars.
Received this book from NetGalley This is my honest review.

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Fairly unique take on the stange interface between human and AI. There are places where it is difficult to keep track of the story but if you keep reading the story reconnects with itself. This borders on a space opera but has far fewer characters and situations.
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Solace is exciting fluff.  What it lacks in plot, it more than makes up for in action - lots of explosions, gunfights, sneaking past enemies, space combat, etc… By keeping the action going nonstop, readers don’t have much time to notice plot holes or question inconsistencies.  Drinkwater does a better job developing his two central characters - Opal (a former soldier) and Clarissa ( the experimental AI on the ship Opal stole). It would have been nice to have been given more of Opal’s background and how / why she was able to hack into Clarissa.  Too much hand wavy magic ( technology) can do anything.

Simply put, Opal is looking for a lost ship to find something in particular - yup that nebulous.  She finds one in the process of falling into the gravitational well of a neutron star. Of course lots of alien stuff tries to a) stop her from boarding b) kill her.  And then human military comes. Lots of booms.

Solace would have been better shortened to a novella or fleshed out more with additional plot development.  Solace isn’t a great novel, but it does show that Karl Drinkwater has potential as a writer. I would be willing to give the next novel in the series a chance.

3 / 5

I received a copy of Solace from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.

—- Crittermom
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This is a good example of character driven science fiction.  I recommend this to all and will be keeping my eyes on this author.
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Opal, escapes with a state of the art small warship.  She pursues the rumors that have pursued here her whole life, are the Lost Ships real or rumor?  She tracks into an enormous dust cloud out in space.  Then the space military show up.  It's a fast paced book, although a little short for my taste. I enjoyed book.
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Loved it!
Will read more!

I finished it in one read and put the book down with the same excitement that my first read of Ender's Game gave me.

Cannot wait for more from this author!!!
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This is a fast paced sci-fi military, the action taking place in space and featuring two main characters: one female ex-space marine, Opal, and her stolen ship’s AI, which she calls Clarissa. The characters quite well defined, and I especially loved their humor.
As for structure, it’s mainly written from the space-op’s PoV, but it also has a little of the AI’s vision. I liked the idea of countdown chapters, and also the graphics for delimiters.

As a downside, it bothered me that the novel focused mainly on action, neglecting the world building and the circumstances leading to the current situation; it does eventually explain some of the precursor events, but dispersed throughout the novel and not enough for my liking.
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Great sci-fi story. The main character is a underdog and the story follows her adventures as she tries to get ahead in live. The story has twists to keep your interest along with action for entertainment.
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I often say that if you give me a motivated protagonist in a dynamic situation, as long as you don't make any serious craft blunders you'll hook my attention for the duration. Extra points if the protagonist is a competent, capable woman. 

Well, this book ticks all those boxes with a big thick pen. 

It's a thrill ride of a space opera, with a mysterious lost ship full of alien danger, a giant gravity well around a neutron star, and well-equipped ships from a fascist-sounding military, all threatening Opal, the protagonist, and the AI-equipped ship she has stolen. I don't normally read military space opera, but the main reason I don't is that so much of it is the same, and this was a very different take on the possibilities of the genre. 

I appreciated the fact that she tried repeatedly to convince the military that she wouldn't harm them if they let her go peacefully, even though that never worked and she always had to fight. The fights were suspenseful and varied, and, while the backstory became evident from clues long before it was explicitly revealed, it gave her a good reason to do what she was doing. The degree to which she, a former low-level grunt, was able to defeat better-equipped and more experienced military officers through cleverness and the assistance of her unparalleled AI did strain my disbelief a little, but I was willing to play along because it was so well done. 

I do hope her refusal to follow the rules becomes a liability at some point, rather than just a motivation and a character trait, but I will certainly look out for more in this series. 

I received a copy via Netgalley for purposes of review.
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I did a bullet point review on my blog but here I will try to keep it more along the normal lines. So, I loved the premise of the book and it delivered in spades. I absolutely loved that the main character, Opal, was a gutsy and resourceful. There is so much action in this one and that made me want to read it in one sitting. I couldn't, of course but the wish was there. The AI Clarissa made this book really delightful because she sometimes stole the show with her sassy remarks. The sheer bravery/ stubbornness of Opal when confronted with forces much bigger and stronger than hers.was absolutely brilliant to read. 

If I had to pick a few problems with it, it would be why Opal chose to find the Lost Ship comes far too late in the book. Then there's also the fact that I didn't know it was not a stand-alone!  I need the next book now! I think I wanted more social interaction in the novel? As in, Opal mostly converses with the AI or for a while to the military people. I wanted some normal conversations, even flashbacks could have worked. 

But overall, I loved the plot, the pace as well as the characters! 10/10 would recommend to the fans of science fiction, military science fiction.
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It would be fair to preface this review by stating that it mainly reflects the lack of chemistry than any fault of the author per se. I just don’t care for military sci fi, at all. Or military other things for that matter. I was hoping for something like a ghost spaceship and this turned out to be more of an action driven wham bam explosive sort of adventure and while there certainly is the right audience for that out there, I’m not it. Other than that and objectively the author did a very good job. I’ve never heard his name outside of basic hydrating advice, looks like he’s been around for a while and dabbles in a variety of speculative genres, it’s entirely possible that his scarier thrillers might be more up my alley. The writing was good. The plot of a woman and her AI on a quest to find someone while battling space marines and sexybots and so on was absolutely uninteresting to me, and I really tried to get into it, but it was just one prolonged action sequence with very minor and dramatically insufficient respite provided by the fun repartee between the aforementioned woman and her AI. Actually the first 40some% in when I made the effort, that was mostly tech and not quite as tedious as the subsequent action that resulted in abandoning all interest and just finishing the book on an autopilot. In fact the entire book sort of read like a first person player perspective in a video game narrated in great detail. Again…someone out there must be into this sort of thing. So yeah, kudos to the author for creating a strong female protagonist and dedicating the book to strong women everywhere…aww…but barely readable for me, quick as it was, and certainly no interest in the sequel. For me good science fiction is about world building, elaborate plots, awesome flights of imagination. Mind has to be boggled, not merely addled by the constant barrage of action scenes or exhausted by technological descriptions. So more about where the ship is going instead of how it is propelling itself through space. Personal preference. So not this book. Thanks Netgalley.
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"They were called the Lost Ships. And sometimes they came back."

Opal is serving her required military service when she goes AWOL, hacks into an experimental spaceship, steals the ship and takes off, following a rumor she heard in a bar.

When she wakes from cryosleep, she finds herself in a faraway section of outer space and believes she has found a Lost Ship - a ship lost in outer space with all its crew and passengers and then later found - changed.

She also finds that her hacking job has enhanced her AI that she named Clarissa.

This was a fun sci fi adventure story that brought back memories of THE SHIP WHO SANG by Anne McCaffrey. Opal is a strong female protagonist and I loved Clarissa.

I received this book from BooksGoSocial through Net Galley in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review.
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This! Was! Amazing!
I love me a bit of Sci-fi. I wish it was real, I love reading about travelling the stars and being in space and AI's. And Lost Solace has it in spades. 
Opal, a criminal booted out of the military, has stolen a very clever ship, and is on a mission. 
Just one sentence, but it's already exciting! And the whole book lived up to the blurb; it was exciting and pulse pounding all the way through, even though the majority of it was Opal alone, with only her AI to keep her company. 
The prose is tight, well crafted, and has some lovely stream of consciousness interjections, which are very, very hard to insert into this style of book. It can be so easy to misuse them, and just confuse or bore your reader, but I really felt that the second slip was the best, and overall, worked very well. 
I'm invested in Opal and her mission, I'm excited to see the AI development, I want more! 
Super pleased with this book, and will be buying the sequel as soon as it comes out. 
Also really loved the subtle allusions to race and society, Opal being dark skinned. Her description is left up to your imagination for the most part, which is something I love in books (no more telling us what protag looks like in mirror, please!) apart from her skin. Yes! More WoC in sci-fi, please! 
Disappointed that the cover picture shows a very light skinned woman, who could be just tanned rather than a person of colour. But the author didn't draw the cover... So. 
I'm a major sucker for female characters, strong female characters and STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS IN SPACE! and the author delivers. 
Wonderful, also, a female perspective that I completely buy into written by a man, which is a brilliant achievement. Not one description of her boobily breasting anywhere! 
Will read more by this author! Buy this!
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