Review: Helene, by Karl Drinkwater


Dr Helene Vermalle is shaping the conscience of a goddess-level AI.

As a leading civilian expert in Emergent AI Socialisation, she has been invited to assist in a secret military project.

Her role? Helping ViraUHX, the most advanced AI in the universe, to pass through four theoretical development stages. But it’s not easy training a mind that surpasses her in raw intellect. And the developing AI is capable of killing her with a single tantrum.

On top of this, she must prove her loyalty to the oppressive government hovering over her shoulder. They want a weapon. She wants to instil an overriding sense of morality.

Can she teach the AI right and wrong without being categorised as disloyal?

Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.

Purchase Link –

My Review

I rather enjoyed this short story, which introduces us to the AI and ship featured in ‘Lost Solace’, the first full length novel in th ‘Solace’ series. This short story focuses on the relationship between the ship AI ViraUHX, who calls herself Via, and Helene, a socialisation counsellor for AIs. The human and AI relationship becomes as two friends until they are caught and dealt with by the authorities.

I enjoyed the development of the relationship between the two characters and was shocked by the ending. It was fun to see the Via personality, as opposed to Clarissa as she is in Lost Solace and Chasing Solace. The exploration of perceptions and reality, and how jokes are built was good. Of Karl’s books that I’ve read, so far they have all had a bit of philosophy in them and this short story is no different.

You don’t need to have read the first two Solace novels for this short story to make sense but it’s a good introduction and if you have read them then you get some of the back story.

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.

Social Media Links –

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s