Lost Solace is a semi-finalist in SPSFC and was assigned to FanFiAddict in the semi-finals.
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.
This review is my thoughts and does not reflect the views of my team mates.
When I read that this was lost ships in space that are rumoured to return and full of horrors I was fully on board. Then when I saw it was only 273 pages I knew I was in for quite the ride.
Lost Solace starts in the middle of the action, at some point in the past Opal has stolen a ship and hacked the AI so it is helping her. The backstory to this gets revealed slowly over the course of the book and it’s so well woven into the narrative. We quickly find a lost ship and the story really goes from here.
The majority of the dialogue in the book is between Opal and the (very intelligent) AI, and it just works. We get the direct view of the lost ship through Opal and the AI helps to fill in the gaps about what is happening outside in space as well as giving a deeper glimpse into the lost ship itself. It helps build tension as you wonder why Opal is so interesting in the ship in the first place, and what the ship may be harbouring.
It’s clear that Drinkwater is a great horror writer, there are moments of tension, moments of heart-pounding adrenaline and other moments where I felt such sadness for Opal. It’s really a rollercoaster of emotions in what, for SFF, is quite a short book. Drinkwater really uses the short length to his advantage and there is never a dull moment.
One of the worst parts about SPSFC is that I can’t immediately continue series. If I could I would have immediately picked up Chasing Solace as I need to know more.