Sort of Review: Solaris Seethes

A while back I briefly joined a site called Online Book Club where I wrote all of one review before I realized that it wasn’t really for me. Part of that realization were the books that I would be able to review, and having read one of them, I wasn’t looking forward to continuing.

The book that I reviewed for Online Book Club was Solaris Seethes by Janet McNulty. I had a lot more thoughts on this book than usual because I was taking notes as I read it. I preserved those notes in all their misspelled, outraged, and sometimes amusing glory.

In my opinion the way to fully appreciate the spoiler-tastic list of my thoughts as I read the book, you would do well to first read my review (you can find it here) to get a feel for what the book was actually about. What follows are some additional uncensored thoughts on the book.

 

Solaris Seethes

  • the prologue reveals that the ship is sentient, perhaps it would have been better to save that reveal for later?
  • Redundant narrative points ex: General Delmar, her former commander… “He is my former commanding officer.”
  • Emerald hair: nice
  • Annoying parantheticals (that pop up all the time)
  • Why would they just assume they were being attacked? They’re underground in the geolab, I just assumed an earthquake or something
  • Rynah asked herself
  • Why would her current commanding officer call her by her first name?
  • The attack feels like it’s weirdly placed and timed in the narrative
  • All the words and phrases that people say are straight out of action movies but have no logic behind them on this world
  • Why would you assume the attackers were thieves?
  • Why does an underground lab need so much security personnel present?
  • Invader this, invader that: lack of vocabulary diversity
  • Why would she assume that Klanor was behind the whole invasion? Him saying ‘I told you not to come in today’ means nothing to us now since we didn’t hear it earlier in the book
  • She literally just came in to work, so she would have seen him less that ‘hours before’
  • Mustache-twirling villain is twirling his mustache
  • Klanor can’t be all evil and unfeeling one second and then be struggling to kill her the next
  • Her engagement ring accidentally slipped off her finger? I don’t believe it
  • It took her not nearly enough time to take the convenient escape tunnel to get back to the surface when to get to the lab she had to take an elevator down and she got impatient with the elevator
  • Rynah, as a security officer, decided her best course of action is to steal a transport, and that’s how she looks at it. She doesn’t decide to help people
  • Hotwiring a hover craft
  • Oh by the way, that happened a little while ago, which I only mention now
  • Oh so now she cares about helping people
  • So whatever happened to those technicians she was supposed to take care of?
  • Wow how convenient that the building owned by her grandfather had a ship and was at the same shipyard closest to her work place
  • How nice that her grandfather also took her to the ship before
  • Lava is pouring out of the ground in guisers and she ‘momentarily forgot her plight’? Bullshit
  • we just had to know how light a shade of lavender her skin is
  • focusing on her own appearance when her home planet just blew up, nice
  • her grandfather was committed to a mental institution for trying to steal the crystal from the geo-lab and yet she somehow managed to get a clearance to work in the same lab with the same crystal?
  • really would have been nice to see the scene where Rynah finds out that Solaris is an AI and not just a ship, seems like an important thing to show and not tell
  • prophesy within the ancient texts? in a sci-fi novel? this is out of left field
  • oh my god, the 13th Sector of the Known Universe is the Terran Sector that has Earth and is considered too primitive? Jesus Christ
  • The crystals apparently help to control the magnetic fields and prevent the sun from destroying the planet. Not sure how the misplacement of such would cause lava to come pouring out of the ground immediately
  • The prophesy requires a bunch of people from different periods of history? And Solaris can just calculate that shit and bring them all on board with the help of a collapsing wormhole no problem?
  • If Solon is supposed to be from ancient Rome, they did not use quills as writing instruments then, I’m pretty sure they used reeds
  • The time traveling allows the author to ram down every cliche about every time period ever down our throats, including their views on modern-day poverty and the welfare system
  • gee, I hope all these people disappearing from their times doesn’t do irreparable damage to the timeline all for the sake of Rynah’s revenge quest
  • yes, let’s put all the people out of time in one place immediately after they were transported and speak English (I guess?) at them until they are totally cool with the situation
  • yeah I’ll just inject you with experimental nanobots by accident, no big deal
  • a girl from 2014 would not need to compare a space ship to an apartment complex in wonder, she would already be familiar with the concept
  • and these “heroes” should care about this mission because…?
  • the motivation of “help us because if you don’t, the bad guy will come for your planet” would hold more water if we weren’t told mere pages ago that the bad guy doesn’t know this planet exists and thus making the Earth “heroes” a complete surprise
  • there are other populated planets in Rynah’s civilization, yes? So isn’t there some sort of authority she could go to instead of assembling this dumb squad?
  • they all accepted this quest way too easily
  • wow the ship can stabilize the magnetic field of a whole planet? what can’t it do? nothing I’m sure, as the plot will require it to do a lot
  • the characters don’t so much have characterization, as they are the embodiment of cliches
  • wait, wasn’t the grass described as “emerald” before? why is it all of a sudden purple?
  • mistake: “from the tiny flames the still burned around it…” (Page 93 of 459, Loc 751 of 3872)
  • Rynah was the one that pulled these people out of their times and lives without their consent. She doesn’t get to be mad that some of them don’t know how to use a flashlight.
  • why would a geothermal laboratory also house unspecified “ancient texts”?
  • they were working in the lab with one of these crystals and yet they all refuse to believe that these crystals exist?
  • oh the grass is actually “a rich emerald with a fade purple tint to it”
  • the author clearly has no concept of what anyone is doing at any particular moment and so it’s always different whenever the action focuses on any charactesr
  • The ai is not AI enough, not distinguished enough from the organic characters
  • Details are constantly retconned
  • Words that don’t fit the level of vocabulary sprinkled throughout are forced
  • Instantaneous character development!
  • I like Alfric and how nice he is to Brie
  • Noble savages much?
  • The writing is a Frankenstein job jacked together from established phrases
  • Isn’t taking the crystal supposed to destroy the planet?
  • They are going after the crystals and this is never made clear
  • Now pirates? Too much
  • Repetitive descriptions: her muscles this, her muscles that
  • Lanyr might as well be earth because it is literally the same
  • Threat of rape and sexual slavery, yay!
  • Brown face
  • Slut shaming
  • slapping
  • bad pacing
  • have no sense of urgency because while we saw Lanyr get destroyed, we haven’t felt a connection to the planet so we don’t really care whether or not the protagonists win; furthermore, you’d think taking the crystals from those other planets would have destroyed them but it didn’t?
  • for such a short book all this pirate bullshit is just cluttering the story
  • why would a space ship need a flamethrower?
  • why the hell would Brie consider Solaris her home? she has been there for all of two seconds and she still barely knows the people on the ship
  • fake emotional tension and resolution
  • where is the climax?
  • the book just sort of ends

Vera

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