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Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater #BookReview

Sometimes spaceships disappear with everyone on board – the Lost Ships. But sometimes they come back, strangely altered, derelict, and rumoured to be full of horrors.

Opal is on a mission. She’s been seeking something her whole life. Something she is willing to die for. And she thinks it might be on a Lost Ship.

Opal has stolen Clarissa, an experimental AI-controlled spaceship, from the military. Together they have tracked down a Lost Ship, in a lonely nebula far from colonised space.

The Lost Ship is falling into the gravity well of a neutron star, and will soon be truly lost … forever. Legends say the ships harbour death, but there’s no time for indecision.

Opal gears up to board it. She’s just one woman, entering an alien and lethal environment. But perhaps with the aid of Clarissa’s intelligence – and an armoured spacesuit – Opal may stand a chance.

Can she face her demons and survive?

Lost Solace (Lost Solace #1)

Title: Lost Solace | Series: Lost Solace #1 | Author: Karl Drinkwater | Publisher: Organic Apocalypse | Pub. Date: 2017-Oct-15 | Pages: 273 | Language: English | Content Warnings: None | Source: Purchased | Starred Review

Lost Solace Review

They were called the Lost Ships. And sometimes they came back.

Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater

This book was comped to Event Horizon, a move that really takes some balls. Because, hello, Event Horizon – best sci-fi horror movie ever made. A move so bold that it was intriguing in and of itself. An easy one to scoff at, but a hard one to deny when the book is on sale for $0.99.

Right then, one thinks, it’s probably just the barest resemblance, but this author’s proven that he can write in the past, so, why not?

But first you’d have to survive whatever else had hitched a ride on the ship.

Central Park Birdie GIF by Apple TV

Alright. The challenge has been brought, expectations have been raised. If this isn’t as good as it’s promising to be…there will be (well, tears, honestly…)

<some pages later>

And something sprouted from the middle of it, like a gristly stump being pushed through flesh […]

Aw, fuck, the comp was right. The comp was right!!

walter white run GIF by Breaking Bad

Nothing in the corridor, but there was a noise from the room she’d left, a subdued popping sound. Innocuous, non-threatening. She started running.

Oh, thank god. A leaf on the wind, watch how you– actually, bad comparison. Just keep being smart, please!

And from there it’s slice-age and dice-age and fighting things things that mostly can’t be seen, but when they are… well, one rather wishes they hadn’t been. BECAUSE SPACESHIPS SHOULDN’T GROW FLESH PUSTULES, KARL!

Of course, after that, things went a little weird. [After that? YES. AFTER. THAT.]

Seriously, though, Event Horizon is a solid comp for this book, but it would be doing Lost Solace a disfavor if it was left at that, because this story is much more than Strong Female Lead Gets on Spooky Spaceship And Nearly Dies A Lot. Details will be omitted for fear of spoilage, but it was impossible to not root for Opal as she was consistently backed into “Oh shit, I’m dead” situations and came out alive purely by cleverness, a helpful AI, and sheer determination.

As the story unfolds and we learn more about Opal and Clarissa, it takes some unexpected twists and turns. There was one chapter in particular that will probably throw a few readers off, but if they trust that author knows what he’s doing, it’ll all make sense in the end.

All in all, this was a fun read. It was creepy, filled with action, had great characters and had a perfect mix of just enough science to keep it entertaining without going Tau Zero (which is a good book once you get past the ‘terrifying math’) on readers.

Lost Solace is a solid entry into the sci-fi horror subgenre, and while it shifts gear into straight sci-fi in the last half, it’s definitely worth the read.

Space Star GIF by NASA

You may be able to purchase a copy of this book via your normal retailer, but please consider purchasing it from a local indie bookshop instead. It can be found here at Indiebound or at Please note the Bookshop link is an affiliate link and each purchase you make through it helps to support Sci-Fi & Scary and keep the site running.

Published inHorror Book ReviewsScience Fiction Book ReviewsStarred Reviews

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