Review: Chasing Solace, by Karl Drinkwater

Published: 7th July 2019
I.S.B.N.: 978-1-911278-14-6

Published: 15th April 2019
I.S.B.N.: 978-1-911278-13-9

The legendary Lost Ships exist, and they harbour nightmarish horrors. Opal knows. She barely survived her first encounter with one.

Despite escaping, she failed to find what she was looking for: her lost sister. Now Opal must board a second derelict Lost Ship to seek answers, and it’s even more monstrous, a sickening place of death and decay. To make things worse, the military government wants her, dead or alive. Considering their reputation, dead may be better.

To find her sister, Opal will risk everything: her life, her blood, her sanity. There’s always a price to pay. Armed with her wits, an experimental armoured suit, and an amazing AI companion, she might just stand a chance.

CHASING SOLACE by Karl Drinkwater, is now available. Sequel to the sci-fi horror Lost Solace, where a lone woman explores a strange and terrifying spaceship recently returned from somewhere else. Hints of Aliens, Event Horizon, and Pandorum add to the suspense.

My Review

Thanks to Anne of Random Things Tours for organising this blog tour. I already had a copy of the book because I enjoyed Lost Solace so much I bought the sequel. Reading it for this tour was the first opportunity I’d had to read it, so I’m grateful for that. I’ve also read Helene, a Lost Solace Novella, which will be reviewed here in ten days. Look out for it.

Opal and her A.I. ship, who has renamed herself Athene, are back. They’ve recovered from the events of Lost Solace and are in search of another Lost Ship in the hope that they can somehow find The Solace, the ship that disappeared with Opal’s sister Clarissa 15 years before. To get there Athene plans an expedition to an ice planet to get supplies, where they find terrible experiments by the Genitor cult, and then sneaks them through Alliance controlled space.

The ship arrives on time and the battle begins. Not just with the ship but with an assassin sent after them on another super A.I. controlled ship. Athene has a battle on her hands while Opal tries to get to the bridge alive.

It was very exciting. I love the development of the relationship between Athene and Opal, and Aegis (her battle suit A.I.) and Opal. The flash backs to Opal and Clarissa’s childhood were sweet and explain her need to find Clarissa so desperately, in more detail.

The description of the gigatoir ship was horrifying, incredibly atmospheric, which was the point. The fights between Opal and Xandrie the assassin were quite exhilarating to read. Very filmic action, especially their last fight over the alien-chattle pen. I could see these books being made into films although they’d probably white-wash and highly sexualise Opal.

The explanation for the Lost Ships and the Oracle’s worlds are fascinating. The description is slightly dreamlike, although Opal learns to navigate and control it. I think the Oracle said it liked neurodivergents, implying both Opal and Clarissa are autistic, but I’m sure Karl will let me know if I’m wrong about that.

It’s a tale of friendship, familial love, and what it means to be human. How do we make free choices when any choice we make will cause pain?

As with the first novel, I really liked the characters, the story was entertaining and gripping, and I want to know what happens next.

Author Bio

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.


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  1. annecater says:

    Thanks for the blog tour support Rosie xx

  2. Many thanks for the lovely review! There is a reason for some of Opal’s (and Clarissa’s) importance – it should be revealed (at least in part) when I write book three. The third of the Lost Solace Shorts series (Helene being the first) will be called “Clarissa”, and may well include some useful background on the girl. 🙂

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