Saturday, 24 July 2021

Ruabon (Lost Tales Of Solace Book 4) by Karl Drinkwater

Ruabon (Lost Tales Of Solace Book 4) by Karl Drinkwater
Published by Organic Apocalypse on the 1st July 2021.
Included in my Vegan Bookshop.

How I got this book: Received a review copy via Rachel's Random Resources

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Welcome to Tecant.

Nothing ever happens here.

Until today.

Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.

Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower.

He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity. Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero.

And if he fails, he’ll be dead.

Lost Tales of Solace Kickstarter Campaign

Karl's current Kickstarter campaign has an option for someone to get EVERY Lost Solace book as an e-book; but also to get the new paperbacks that will be designed, if they prefer print.

I love the way in which each the four Lost Tales of Solace novellas (Ruabon is the fourth) allow me to explore minor characters and side events. They add such great depth to Karl Drinkwater's main Lost Solace novels, but without slowing those works' exciting pace. Chronologically, Ruabon takes place during Chasing Solace and gives readers a glimpse onto the colonised world of Tecant. I got a good idea of this rather dreary, industrial-feeling environment.

Indigenous Tecant people are now reduced to very limited career options - minimally skilled roles within the UFS military or working in Tecant's mines - so for Ruabon, this one afternoon's chance to make a name for himself and actually become a known individual, is too good to miss. I could completely empathise with his drive to shine even though, by doing so, he might also reveal too much about a clandestine side project he has underway. These robot personalities are a fun idea. Getting to meet each one through private messaging conversations allowed me to swiftly feel as though I knew them and I could also further understand Ruabon himself through the artificial personality traits he created.

Ruabon, the book, is an exciting story that I comfortably devoured in a single afternoon partly because it is less than a hundred pages anyway, but also because I didn't want to put the book down. I enjoyed seeing how this narrative fitted into the overall Lost Solace series story arc and being now able to fill in detail around unexplained moments in Chasing Solace. I think, however, that new readers could enjoy the novella as a standalone tale without full knowledge of the Lost Solace universe behind them.

Meet the author   

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.
Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”. Karl is an active member of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).
When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

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