2 out of 4 stars
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Solaris Seethes follows the adventures of Rynah and her grandfather’s spaceship, Solaris, after her home planet has been destroyed. Solaris-who has a sassy personality of her own- convinces Rynah that the myths in which her grandfather believed and on which he staked his entire career and life are actually true. These myths tell of six crystals that can be brought together to create the ultimate weapon. One of these crystals was keeping the magnetic fields on Lanyr, Rynah’s home planet, from destroying the planet. Rynah’s fiancé-Klanor- steals this crystal, sending the planet into mass destruction, starting Solaris and Rynah’s story.
The myths continue on to tell of four people from an overlooked sector of the universe- Earth- that come together to keep the crystals from being used to destroy the universe. Enter Brie, from present day America, Solon, from ancient Greece, Alfric, from Scandinavia in the age of the Vikings, and Tom, from not so very far in the future America. Solaris scanned the Terra Sector- Earth- and all of its history for signs of people that fit the criteria for the myths. These are the people she finds, and she brings them aboard. The book follows their adventures through the universe, their battles against Klanor, their experiences on different planets, and their conflicts with one another.
What I liked most about Solaris Seethes was its originality. Janet McNulty, the author, is an amazing world-builder. She creates a universe where all of the inhabitants are humanoid but differ depending on their planet. She brings actual humans from Earth into the story in the most unique way, giving perspective from different points in history, different ages, and different climes. Solaris Seethes differs from other novels of the same genre by making the main character one that isn’t human, but still has humans in the story. One usually sees one or the other, but not both. Usually, if a human is in a story, they are the main character. I also liked the fact that McNulty told the story from each of the points of view of the five passengers on Solaris, along with Solaris herself. I have yet to read another book that has the point of view of an artificial intelligence character written in, thoughts and feelings included.
I may have liked that she portrayed the story through the different points of view, but that is also one of the things I liked the least. If she had done a better job with it, it would have been magnificent. Unfortunately, she didn’t put enough of Solaris, Alfric, Brie, Solon, and Tom into the story. She sporadically switched to their points of view and thoughts every now and again but kept most of the story from Rynah’s point of view. I feel if she was going to do the multiple point of view story, she needed to fully commit to it and follow through on showing events from their points of view evenly. Instead, it came across as a convenience factor for when Rynah wasn’t in the situation, and it was done poorly. There is a wealth of knowledge, emotional baggage, and back story from each of these characters, and there are definitely places where she could had used that to make a situation more meaningful.
Solaris Seethes came across as professionally edited with only two or three spelling and grammatical inconsistencies that I noticed, but I did not like her use of parentheses. There are many other ways to insert a side note into a sentence, and this is one of the sloppiest ways you can do it. It made the book come across as less professional, even if it is simply her writing style. Every now and again parentheses are necessary, but several times every chapter is simply not needed.
Because of all these things, I would rate Solaris Seethes 2 out of 4 stars. I would not give this book one star, because it is an intriguing premise and I definitely enjoyed reading it. But I would not give it three stars because her writing style is sloppy, like I already mentioned, and the lack of commitment to her points of view really irked me. I think that to have earned three stars, she would have needed to remedy these problems, but at the same time it was an enjoyable story with which to follow along. I would not out and out recommend this book to a friend, but I would comment on its originality and forewarn them about the problems I had with the book before they started reading it.
Solaris Seethes (Solaris Saga book 1)
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