Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Solid is only the third book i have read this year but i can tell it's going to be one of my fast favourites. The story is original, well written, intelligent, romantic, exciting and very moving in parts and i have to thank author Shelley Workinger for sending me a copy to review.
In summary, Solid takes place on a type of army base where a group of 100 teenagers who were all the subject of a genetic experiment are gathered together to help uncover what was done to them. What unravels is well-woven story of science, friendship and love, along with a healthy dose of conspiracy and murder mixed in, all of which make of an engaging and addictive read.
One of the first things i noticed about this book was that it was very character driven, which i really loved. The events that take place, especially near the end, certainly wouldn't have unraveled the way they had if not for the tight knit friendship of Clio, Garrett, Jack, Bliss, Miranda and finally Alexis (who i think is awesome by the way, i love tech nerd). If there was one aspect i loved it was that every person had a role to play, from the quiet, shy and stressful Bliss to the Bossy Miranda who at points certainly got on my last nerve.
Clio was very sarcastic and funny and i found myself laughing out loud on many occasions whilst reading this book despite the seriousness of the novel at times. Garrett was another funny guy, and he really did make me laugh so much.
Jack had his funny moments too but was definitely the thinker of the group and certainly helped to pull plans together when everyone else was struggling with what to do next and his relationship with Clio was just beautiful.
As for Alexis, she really was amazing, and i loved her intelligence and loyalty, not to mention the fact she is a fellow tech nerd! I love tech nerds!
With regards to their abilities that were a result of the genetic experiment were also very cool. I won't go into any detail because i don't want to ruin the surprise when you find out for yourself! Lets just say there is definitely one ability that i would love, and it would be extremely handy in certain situations. There are a lot of reviews that are comparing the super power element to the x-men, but i wouldn't quite go that far, mainly because in Solid, there is a certain lack of knowledge around the abilities, and the teens in the novel are kept in the dark for quite a while. I can see some similarities, but really, Miss Workinger is worthy of her own place in the science-fiction/Fantasy genre, because this really is an original and stand-out novel.
The romance side of it was sweet and not over-bearing. I love a bit of romance in a novel, but i also hate it when it takes over the plot when it clearly isn't meant too. The Jack/Clio relationship was perfectly told throughout and never once did i find it too over the top. And the surprise that Jack has for Clio...awwwwww i want someone to do that for me! Totally brilliant!
As for the ending it was truly fantastic. As a person who dislikes books that have predictable endings, i have to admit i loved that fact that i didn't guess the ending at all. I was left gob-smacked by what had actually taken place and when the full truth was revealed i was honestly surprised. Although not a cliffhanger by definition, it has still left me wanting to read the next book immediately, and i will do as soon as possible. A brilliant example of original science-fiction in a time when it really is hard to find an original novel.