Review by SPasciuti -- Solaris Seethes (Solaris Saga boo...

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SPasciuti
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Review by SPasciuti -- Solaris Seethes (Solaris Saga boo...

Post by SPasciuti »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Solaris Seethes (Solaris Saga book 1)" by Janet McNulty.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Enter a universe featuring space, adventure, and a terrifying threat to the galaxy. Solaris Seethes by Janet McNulty is filled with action from the very first page. Beginning on the planet Lanyr, the world of a young security guard named Rynah shatters when the magical crystal with the power to keep it in one piece is stolen. In the ensuing chaos of the planet erupting, Rynah escapes on Solaris, a spaceship left to her by her grandfather, and embarks on a journey to seek both revenge and save her home.

For me, Solaris Seethes is a tale of wasted potential.

The book gets off to a rocky start with writing that is immature in quality. As characters appear, it becomes quickly apparent that the dialogue feels forced and robotic. In several instances I was introduced to a seemingly important character whom I never saw again. I felt rushed through the entire book, almost as though the author didn't have the desire to fill in all the necessary world and character building.

Within the first few pages, it became immediately clear to me that McNulty's biggest mistake came from her inability to properly introduce characters, creatures, and the world itself. Readers are thrown directly into the scene as Rynah arrives at work, newly engaged, with no prior information about her or the man she is to marry. It is for this reason that his later introduction to the story lacks the emotional punch McNulty appears to be aiming for. Almost directly as a result I found myself feeling nothing for the vast majority of her characters. If a book misses the mark on making me care about two pivotal characters at the start, it's quite difficult for the writer to snap back later in the story.

But perhaps the most disappointing factor of the novel exists in the opportunities for character development and world building that McNulty threw away entirely for the sake of rushing her plot. She gives her readers very short asides to explain the world and characters, sacrificing a great deal of potential in favor of quickly and conveniently getting to her main point. This ultimately leaves the story feeling somewhat unbelievable.

The characters are annoying, underdeveloped, and unrealistic. Not only did some regularly act in ways that seemed out of character from the way they had originally been presented, but several characters adhered to a rather wishy-washy persona, switching back and forth between two often vastly different characterizations. It felt as though the author couldn't make up her mind on who they were meant to be. I did not get to know the characters, but was instead told what they were like and why they were that way. Character development was minimal, and for some it was non-existent.

The surroundings and creatures of the world were described abruptly. It almost seemed as though McNulty wanted to get them out of the way and include small, unrelated ideas simply because she liked them. Much of the information she gave later went forgotten or unused. From the creative concepts for characters and creatures to the plot itself, Solaris Seethes misses every possible chance for improvement.

Finally, I was quite bothered by the scene in which one of the white characters is described as using "black sludge" to disguise his skin tone. It may seem like such a small thing, but considering the level of racism this world has faced and the damaging aspects that black face has had in our history, I don't think it's as small as some might believe. If I could only change one thing in this book, it would be this moment.

McNulty did an excellent job of writing action packed battles, however, the benefits of those scenes are few and easily lost when the action begins to get repetitive about halfway through the book. I really adored the premise for Solaris Seethes and truly wish I liked it more than I do. The plot was promising and while I certainly have a number of problems with the writing, I was excited to learn what was going to happen next. McNulty had a brilliant idea, she just had trouble executing it.

Overall, I'm rating this book 2 out of 4 stars. I definitely still believe that there is a lot of potential here and I'm sure others will enjoy it more than I have. At the end of the day, I think Solaris Seethes is a prime candidate for a rewrite.

******
Solaris Seethes (Solaris Saga book 1)
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CommMayo
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Post by CommMayo »

I'm sorry this book was such a waste of effort for you. My first books on this site were similar, as were my reviews of them...snark was my go to mechanism for dealing with writing a review about total crap. I just finished writing a review for the first book worth reading on this site (still just a three star book). Stick with it and you will start qualifying for books that rate more than one or two stars.

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Post by SPasciuti »

CommMayo wrote:
13 Jan 2018, 01:58
I'm sorry this book was such a waste of effort for you. My first books on this site were similar, as were my reviews of them...snark was my go to mechanism for dealing with writing a review about total crap. I just finished writing a review for the first book worth reading on this site (still just a three star book). Stick with it and you will start qualifying for books that rate more than one or two stars.
Oh gosh, yeah. I mean, I have no intention of not continuing in my reviews. It's definitely not the first time that I've come across a book that had potential but failed so horribly on the execution. In fact, I've read much worse. I hope I wasn't too harsh in my criticisms. My deepest wish for this book--though admittedly, considering there are already sequels and such, is unlikely--would be for the author to rewrite it and actually live up to the potential some day.

And it makes sense that the books that haven't quite lived up to the potential are the ones available for review at lower levels, so I'm excited to keep going and see what else is available on this site. And I'll say this much, I don't regret reading the book and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to review it. If it were my book, I'd certainly want to know the good and the bad about it so I could improve later. I've sort of favored the term of wasted potential when I like a premise or some aspect of a book and had held some sort of high hope that I'd enjoy it more.

Thanks for commenting! It definitely felt really good to read what you had to say. :) I wish you luck in selecting a book you like enough to give four stars too!

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Post by uyky »

Thank you for saving me a lot of time :) Since I'm a new member the book choice is not as vast as I would like. But now I know not to start on this one. I can somehow deal with plot holes (not gladly and in very special cases), but I can't stand badly written characters :/ I'll try something else to pass my time :)

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Post by SPasciuti »

uyky wrote:
13 Jan 2018, 19:41
Thank you for saving me a lot of time :) Since I'm a new member the book choice is not as vast as I would like. But now I know not to start on this one. I can somehow deal with plot holes (not gladly and in very special cases), but I can't stand badly written characters :/ I'll try something else to pass my time :)
Yeah. Fortunately it doesn't take long to have the choices open up a bit, but at first it's a little hard to choose. I did really want to like this book, but yeah. Unfortunately it just needed a lot more time and editing. I wish you luck in finding a book you enjoy! Thanks for commenting. :)

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Post by Joy2thenations »

I just submitted my review of this book. Though I did enjoy the characters and felt like I got a feel for who they were, I completely agree with you that the book could use some major editing. Thanks for sharing your review. Nicely done!

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Post by SPasciuti »

Joy2thenations wrote:
14 Jan 2018, 04:06
I just submitted my review of this book. Though I did enjoy the characters and felt like I got a feel for who they were, I completely agree with you that the book could use some major editing. Thanks for sharing your review. Nicely done!
That's exciting! I'll have to check it out. I guess my issue with the characters was how cookie cutter they were, in a way, and the fact that she didn't spent as much time on them as I felt she should have. We were told a lot, rather than shown their development which has always been something I find quite irksome. Thanks so much for commenting!

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Post by pinklover »

nice review, I wonder about this book, I will try this one as well. thanks for sharing your thoughts in here. Do check mine as well, Thanks.
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Post by SPasciuti »

pinklover wrote:
14 Jan 2018, 21:07
nice review, I wonder about this book, I will try this one as well. thanks for sharing your thoughts in here. Do check mine as well, Thanks.

I hope you enjoy reading it. I'll definitely check out your review. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by mandalee519 »

You have a very well written review. It is extremely insightful for potential readers. I love that you take the time to actually express what it is about the book that is disappointing as opposed to just stating that you did not like it.
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Post by SPasciuti »

mandalee519 wrote:
16 Jan 2018, 16:43
You have a very well written review. It is extremely insightful for potential readers. I love that you take the time to actually express what it is about the book that is disappointing as opposed to just stating that you did not like it.
I'm glad that's how you feel. I wouldn't want to write a review that wasn't helpful. Thanks so much for commenting!

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Post by Ellerien »

I just finished reading this book a couple days ago, and I completely agree with your statement about it being a prime candidate for a rewrite. I think the author has great imagination, but the actual mechanics of the writing were pretty severe at times. I could never get over the parentheses thing.

The black mud/blackface thing jarred me as well, I'm glad you brought that up in your review because it had seemed in poor taste when I read.

It was interesting enough that I want to see where the series goes, but the thought of getting through that sloppy writing is pretty dissuading.

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Post by SPasciuti »

Ellerien wrote:
31 Jan 2018, 15:52
I just finished reading this book a couple days ago, and I completely agree with your statement about it being a prime candidate for a rewrite. I think the author has great imagination, but the actual mechanics of the writing were pretty severe at times. I could never get over the parentheses thing.

The black mud/blackface thing jarred me as well, I'm glad you brought that up in your review because it had seemed in poor taste when I read.

It was interesting enough that I want to see where the series goes, but the thought of getting through that sloppy writing is pretty dissuading.
Yeah. I completely agree with you on all points. I mean, honestly, if McNulty were to ever rewrite this I'd definitely read it since I think she had a great idea, just poor execution. There's really no excuse for the blackface, though. It was messed up and unacceptable when it started, it's messed up and unacceptable now. There are a ton of ways an author can have a character disguise themselves without getting into questionable and harmful territories.

Thanks for commenting!

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Post by NL Hartje »

SPasciuti wrote:
10 Jan 2018, 02:05
She gives her readers very short asides to explain the world and characters, sacrificing a great deal of potential in favor of quickly and conveniently getting to her main point.
Yes to all of this! I would say the number of asides and parenthetical remarks almost outweighed the normal prose. She would have done her book a justice to slow down and allow for proper descriptions.
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
-Dr. Seuss

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Post by SPasciuti »

NL Hartje wrote:
13 Feb 2018, 15:28
SPasciuti wrote:
10 Jan 2018, 02:05
She gives her readers very short asides to explain the world and characters, sacrificing a great deal of potential in favor of quickly and conveniently getting to her main point.
Yes to all of this! I would say the number of asides and parenthetical remarks almost outweighed the normal prose. She would have done her book a justice to slow down and allow for proper descriptions.
Yeah. I feel like every time she wrote an aside she should have taken it and gone back into her story and added it somewhere before so that she didn't have to just randomly pop in to let her readers know something she forgot or just decided not to spend some time on in earlier chapters.

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