[OBC] Solaris Seethes by Janet McNulty
I received a free e-copy via Online Book Club in exchange for an honest review
I think I’ve had this book in my possession for more than a month, bordering on two, and I just could not finish it. But not to worry because Audible came to the rescue! When I saw this on there for $2, I knew I had to buy it. And a bit of a random thought: for the whole two months I was calling this book Solaris Seeth-is and it wasn’t until I finished reading this that I realized it was Seethes, like when you get mad. Facepalm, I know.
Anyways, this book is about Rynah from planet Lanyr who is betrayed by her fiance when he decides to steal the crystal that keeps their planet in tact (I believe they said it helped keep the gravitational force balanced). Once taken, Lanyr crumbles because of extreme natural disasters and is destroyed. Left for dead, Rynah must find an alternate way to escape Lanyr before she really does die, and by some miracle she finds Solaris, an old ship her grandfather infused with an AI.
Using it to escape, Rynah must now sort out what happened, and according to Solaris, save the world by believing and following the tales she grew up with as a child. Tales that branded her father a madman and isolated her from him
I ended up receiving this e-book from the onlinebookclub but later had to purchase the audiobook because it was taking me too long to finish reading this. I think I started it three different times and fell asleep at least twice. I know, not starting off with a good note, am I?
In terms of characters, I was really excited about Rynah at the beginning. I found her to be a strong female lead because she was respected by her peers, had a good life with a fiance, and she could hold her own in a fight. After she’s betrayed and need to get off Lanyr, she helps her citizens and didn’t give up when they left her behind. She seemed like a pretty cool girl. Of course, this image of her was quickly discarded when Solaris informs her that they need to follow the tales she grew up on and get help
The help they need ends up coming in the form of 4 humans from the Terra sector (Earth). They are Tom (the inventor), Brie (the lover), Alfric (the warrior), and Solon (the philosopher). I really had no issues with Tom, Alfric, and Solon. They were all interesting in their own ways and were ready to help out whenever it was necessary. Alfric did seem a bit convenient since he was super strong and could pretty much defeat all their foes, but aside from that they didn’t really stick out
It was actually Brie I took issues with, and considering she’s the only other female character, I was disappointed. I didn’t like Brie because she was such an easy target for bullying. In her world she was just your normal teenager who had low self esteem, was probably afraid of her own shadow, she was bullied at school, and she never fought back. Zap her into space and she’s no different. She always needs to be saved, she doesn’t try to help, she whines, she regrets how useless she is but doesn’t change, and overall she’s just annoying
Add to this the fact that Rynah always belittled her and we have terrible female characters in this story. The only upside is that Brie does end up changing but only until the last few chapters in the book. Rynah has some moments where she does try to change but in the last few chapters she regresses and that really made me angry
Our antagonist is Klaynor but aside from him being Rynah’s ex-fiance, we don’t really know too much about him
The story seems pretty interesting. The book starts off rather action packed as Lanyr is destroyed in the first chapter. Once all the characters are brought to space and the situation explained (if they don’t team up the whole world will be destroyed), things start to pick up. All things considered, the pacing is slower than some books I’ve read, but it doesn’t feel like it. Nothing feels rushed and the fact that they haven’t tried collecting all 6 crystals in less than 300 pages is believable, especially when they run into some pirate trouble
The only scene I can think of that felt off was the one where Brie finds one of the crystals and she’s revered as a goddess. Considering her character before and after that incident, it just felt too convenient and I wondered if maybe it could have been saved for when she’d developed a bit
I haven’t listened to too many audiobooks but I can safely say this wasn’t one of the good ones out there. It was good enough to get me through the book but there wasn’t anything noteworthy about it. I really liked how they did Solaris since it clearly sounded like a machine. They seemed to try doing other voices for the other characters but couldn’t keep them all consistent throughout the book. Sometimes I thought Brie was talking but it turned out to be Rynah. For the most part, Alfric’s voice seemed to be the most consistent, since it was booming and authoritative, but even that started to go down near the end
It wasn’t unpleasant. Average rating
Overall, this book was alright. Yes I had huge issues with how Rynah and Brie acted, especially since they were our only female characters (and Rynah our Main), but taking the rest into account, it wasn’t bad. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I’m curious to see how that ends up being explained or used in the next books
I ended up giving this book a 3/5 on Goodreads and have yet to decide if I’ll continue the series right away or if I’ll just leave it for later