Sunday, January 9, 2011

Solid by Shelley Workinger

Summary (courtesy of GoodReads)Teens who discover they were secretly genetically altered before birth are brought together at a classified site where they forge new friendships, find love, develop "super-abilities," and even unearth a conspiracy.

And here's what I thought:   My first impressions of this book were:  simple style, somewhat odd inner dialogue.  The first character we encounter seems to be a military doctor, whose inner dialogue seemed a little ...strange.  "He then turned from the cocked-headed creature..."  (p. 5).  Um, dude? It's a mouse.    But, he doesn't last long -- he's just a prologue.  The real story begins with Clio, who takes us through the book, and she's much more relatable.

It took me a bit to warm up to the writing style of this book.  Compared to other books I've recently read, it was heavy on dialogue, and the writing was somewhat sparse.  However, as I kept reading, I became more comfortable with the style, and the pace also picked up.   The dialogue was the one thing that I kept stumbling on.   At times, Clio just didn't seem to speak like a teen.  Or, her inner dialogue would trip me up.  Here's an example -- Clio is dancing with Jack, and of course, she's all kinds of happy ... and this is what she says to herself as they kiss: "His kiss was powerful, confident with feelings and want, but without the intent to capture my mouth, to claim it.  All I felt was the pull of him -- a call to my heart to come out and join him at a mutual center ..... a fierce desire surged up through my being - my tide cresting to his moon."  (p. 123).  I feel like I have now left a YA novel and stepped into an adult romance book.   As an adult, my inner dialogue is nothing like this -- as a teen, probably less so (even though I remember some pretty good makeout sessions......).   However, aside from my occasional stumble on the way she speaks, Clio's obviously intelligent, and I liked her sense of humor -- she's a fun character. 

What I did enjoy was the story, itself; the idea that there is a group of teens whose DNA has been fiddled with, with interesting results.  While it seemed a little unbelievable at times, I liked the idea, and I thought this might be the perfect book to introduce a reader to the genre of science fiction.  I think a lot of times, readers might shy away from sci-fi, thinking it's all about robots, or heavy science stuff -- but this book takes the sci-fi idea of genetic manipulation and makes it accessible.  I also thought it was an inventive way to throw a group of kids together, and to see what happened --- and to not use a setting like boarding school to take the parents out of the equation.   By the time I reached the end of the book, I was pretty hooked on the story, and wondering what was going to happen next.   This book did a lot of setup work to introduce Clio, and the other kids, and get the story going.   Clio's friends reminded me of the Scoobies (Buffy the Vampire Slayer's group of friends).   
Garrett definitely made me think of Xander.   If I went through the book thinking of them in a Buffyverse, things started to make a lot more sense, and I didn't snag myself on the dialogue.  They're an engaging group of kids, and a good accompaniment to Clio.   This was a fast read, and I'm looking forward to what the next book in the series brings, especially now that this first book has done all of the set-up work.  

  First sentence:  "As per his nighttime routine, he checked the security panel to ensure that the system would alert him of any intrusions on the perimeter he'd set around the lab." 

Thoughts on the cover:  Every time I glance at it, I keep thinking it's fairy wings (probably because of the shape).  It is eye-catching, especially when you notice the double-helix shape.

I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review (no monetary compensation).


Karen said...

Interesting. I have this book for review so it's nice to have a heads up about the dialogue.

Beverly said...

Thanks for stopping by The Wormhole – have a great weekend – Happy reading.

AubrieAnne said...

this is a great review. It's interesting to hear about the writing style and I think I would be interested by the same things the reviewers was interested in, like the idea of altered genetics and developing certain powers. I love reading things like that. it makes for a very interesting story where so much could happen.

AubrieAnne @

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