Thursday, July 14, 2011

A YA Novel with Trendy, Modern Superheroes!

Solid by Shelley Workinger

This novel is a fast-paced, modern sci-fi novel with a quick-witted, sassy heroine.  It is definitely a fun read, especially for middle grade and young adult readers. 

Clio (Calliope) Kaid has just arrived at a summer camp for 17-year-olds who were found to have been part of a mad scientist’s government experiment.  The government has discovered that one of its scientists was experimenting on pregnant women by giving them what they thought were prenatal vitamins, but was really a drug to alter the baby’s DNA.  Clio is one of those babies, all grown up, and the camp is created to uncover the results of the scientist’s work.  And believe me, it’s pretty cool.  Think “comic book hero.”

Thanks to the drugs administered to their mothers as they were developing, these teenagers possess certain superhuman abilities.  Upon arrival, they are quickly divided into ability groups.  Everything from extraordinary athletic ability to invisibility. 

Clio is placed into one of these groups (and I won’t give away which one) where she creates friendships with some of the other campers and, of course, develops a crush on a cute fellow camper. 

While she has finally found a place where she fits in, Clio begins to notice that something is not right.  Someone in the camp is not as interested in helping the teenagers as they are in harnessing their power.  With the help of her new superhuman friends, Clio investigates and faces potential danger.

As a character, Clio is clever.  She’s a bit of a smart aleck, at least her thoughts are sharp and witty (as this novel is presented in first person narrative), and she keeps the book moving with her humor and reflections.  I only wish that she would say more of her incredibly funny insights out loud to her friends.  It almost seems as if this part of her personality is kept from her friends, because she is supposedly shy and somewhat clumsy and reserved – yet her thoughts are anything but. 

Besides this slight contradiction, the characters are enjoyable and each very unique.   I’m reminded of some of my favorite comic book heroes.  Clio and her group are the newest, trendiest group of superheroes. 

This novel is a fun mix of reality and science fiction.  It is presented in a way that makes the situation seem plausible, which is essential for good sci-fi, and the characters will appeal to every young person.  They are funny and relatable.  This book is a great way to introduce someone to science fiction.  It is light and enjoyable and not overly complex.  It also has drama, action, and a bit of romance. 

Solid is the first book in the series.  Settling has just been released at the beginning of this month on  They are running a promotion for the month of July.  If you buy Settling, you can get the ebook of Solid for free!  Both books are available in print AND ebook version.   

Read and enjoy!

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