Title: Solid (Solid #1)
Author: Shelley Workinger
Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 222 paperback
My Rating: 3.5-4/5 stars
Source: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review
Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him – except for the living, breathing, human products of his work.
Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed “open-book” military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes, its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. The military kids, who come from across the nation and all walks of life, come into their own as lighter-than-air ‘athletes’; ‘indies’ as solid as stone walls; teens who can make themselves invisible and others who can blind with their brilliance.
While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships and embarking on first love, Clio also stumbles onto information indicating that the military may not have been entirely forthcoming with them and that all may not be as it seems…
I am turning into a nerd; an even big nerd than before because I now find myself reading more and more sci-fi books. And what’s more is I find myself really enjoying said sci-fi books. I can now add Solid to my list of books that I enjoy!
Solid follows a young girl named Calliope Kaid, Clio (my hometown’s name!) for short. Clio assumed she was just your average, teenage girl until an anonymous source claims that her with about 100 other 18-year-olds possess a special deformity on their 9th chromosome. This deformity is due to the drugging of their pregnant mothers by an army doctor many years ago. This defect causes some to shine extra bright, disappear, block people away, or even possess super speed & strength. The kids are all sent to this secret camp where they will be taught how to harness their powers. There, Clio meets an odd mix of friends that soon become her largest support system. Not long after arriving at camp things start to get very strange; even stranger than teenagers being able to disappear. With phone and internet down, no contact from the outside world, and staff keeping secrets from the teens, they all become very suspicious. Clio and her new group of friends embark on a secret mission to discover the truth behind their powers.
There were some things about this book I loved and some parts I just didn’t care for but all in all it was a really enjoyable read!
The storyline was well thought out and interesting. I can imagine that science fiction is a hard genre to write in. Not only do you have to think beyond reason but you have to keep it simple enough for readers. Shelley did a fabulous job on both accounts! Her reasons for these kids “deformities” were interesting and far-fetched but she kept it simple (not stupid!). Science, biology, chemistry, are subjects I can’t wrap my brain around but I found it extremely easy to follow this story. I did not get lost in over-complicated terms or over-the-top scientific ideas.
I loved the characters. Clio is a strong individual. This huge curveball is thrown at her and she hardly even flinches. She just takes what life gives her and deals with it. The new friends she meets at school are all very great characters. Her new best friend, Bliss, is shy, sweet, and considerate. Miranda is not so shy and definitely not so sweet, but she definitely has her moments. Garrett is the total goof-ball. No matter what situation they’re all in, he can find a way to cheer them up. Last but not least there is Jack. Clio is attracted to Jack from the moment they met. He is funny, sweet, smart, cute, pretty much the perfect guy. His only flaw: he is the oddball at school. He seems to contain none of the special powers so I am hoping that is revealed in the next book!
So plus points definitely go to plot and characters. However, the timing and “connections” for characters were a little off for me.
At many points throughout the book, I found myself wanting it to slow down A LOT. While reading the book it seemed to jump from scene to scene rather quickly; one moment Clio was at a dance enjoying herself and next thing I know she is alone, upset in her room. However, Shelley did say that the finished copy of the book has a slight difference with smoother transitions so that could very well be fixed!
As far as connections between characters go, I found it a bit awkward. The fast-paceness of the story plays into the awkwardness of it all. The relationships between Clio and most her friends were flawless. The characters seemed real and the connections between them reflected that. However, when it came to the relationship between Clio and Jack, I was a bit turned off. After two short conversations and a few lusty stares, they were getting ready to kiss. If the timing of the story slowed down a bit (see above paragraph) and showed more of a connection between the two I would have been happy. It just seemed like one moment they were strangers and the next thing I know they were all each other ever wanted. BUT as the book went on I saw that the two worked very well together. I just wish that the start of their relationship was a bit more realistic.
Solid by Shelley Workinger is a science-fiction novel to look out for! It is a fast-paced, interesting novel full of suspense, secret missions, and totally kick-butt characters (literally and figuratively). What more could you ask for!?!