2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Solaris Seethes is the first of four books in the Solaris Saga, written by Janet McNulty. If you enjoy reading Science Fiction or Fantasy books, then Solaris Seethes may just be the book for you.
In the beginning of this book, we meet Rynah, whose world is literally falling apart around her as she discovers that her new fiancé has decided to steal one of six very powerful crystals. Without this crystal, Rynah's home planet of Lanyr cannot survive. Furthermore, when this crystal combines with the other five crystals, a powerful weapon forms.
After failing to keep the crystal from being taken, Rynah seeks out safety from the wreckage of her planet. She soon finds refuge in a decommissioned military vessel that her late grandfather purchased at an auction. Rynah soon finds out this is no ordinary ship. This ship, whose name is Solaris, has an artificial intelligence which allows her to communicate freely with Rynah, and anyone else on the ship. Solaris made a promise to Rynah's grandfather before he died, that she would care for and guide his granddaughter, and that is just what she intends to do.
While Rynah only wants to seek revenge on the man, Klanor, who broke her heart and was responsible for the fate of their planet, Solaris convinces her to instead follow an old legend that will help her to find, and hopefully to retrieve, the remaining crystals. This old legend, which Rynah finds very hard to stand behind, calls for Rynah to team up with four people who meet a particular criteria. These people will all come from the planet Earth, each from a different time in our past, present, and future. Solaris is in charge of locating those that meet the necessary requirements, and of ultimately kidnapping each of them.
Our four heroes are the warrior, the philosopher, the inventor, and the lover. Alfric (the warrior), is a Viking King from 1163, and he is somewhere in his 40s. Solon (the philosopher) is a scribe from 751 B.C. He's a 17-year-old who often daydreams, and who is constantly running behind schedule. Tom (the inventor) is a 20-year-old from the year 2099. His most recent invention, which took him several tries to finally get working, is an engine that runs on the magnets' polarity. Brie (the lover) is a 16-year-old from the year 2014. Her father died six years earlier in Afghanistan. He was in the Army. Brie is often the victim of bullying, and hates conflict, thus never really defending herself.
The group must put aside any differences to come together to try to find and retrieve the powerful crystals. Otherwise, Klanor can move forward in his plan to destroy solar systems and create his own empire.
I have very mixed feelings about this book, and it wasn't easy to commit to a rating. The tone of the book itself, is very conversational. The words and pages flow easily, making it a fast-paced and comfortable read. There is plenty of action, and the descriptions are vivid and colorful. It's not hard to picture in your head, what is happening at any given moment in the story.
My problem is with the characters, particularly the female characters. Alfric, Tom, and Solon are strong, funny, and smart. However, Brie and Rynah are lacking.
Rynah shows no true leadership. Right after these four people get ripped from all that they are familiar with, however good or bad, Rynah calls them vermin. She's cold and condescending. She's bossy and constantly angry, especially with Brie. I get that she became jaded and distrustful because of what happened with Klanor, but her attitude is pretty ridiculous throughout the book. There's ample opportunity for her to show growth, and she just doesn't.
Brie lacks courage to an extreme degree. There were several times when she just curled into a ball while those around her seriously needed her help. Her homesickness is completely understandable. I'm not sure why nobody else had a bigger reaction to being kidnapped. But, it's the constant need of being rescued that gets to me. She steps it up towards the end, but I'm not convinced she didn't just step up out of default.
Brie and Rynah are just very stagnant characters. Growth and development are extremely important to any story, especially one in which you are something of a hero. I give Solaris Seethes 2 out of 4 stars. The story itself really is good, and if you enjoy action and adventure or science fiction, it really is worth the read. However, if character development within a story is important to you, you may not enjoy this particular book.
Solaris Seethes (Solaris Saga book 1)
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes | on Smashwords
Like cafoster's review? Post a comment saying so!