There’s an old, old saying – never judge a book by it’s cover – and it is a good one. The cover of Solace & Grief has a bronze key on a black background, and the key is dripping with blood. The cynic in me said, Oh no. Not another Twilight ripoff. The teacher-librarian in me said, Better read it. They’re really big (HUGE!) at the moment. And the professional in me wanted to read in because it is published by Ford Street, and I recognise that so many books are a labour of love, for author and publisher alike.
So…what was it like?
Yes, the main character is a vampire and it is fairly obvious from the very start who that’s going to be. Solace lives in an foster home, her parents having shifted their mortal coil in the prologue. But it is an unusual home, one for misfits and society’s unwanted. All of the children eventually find a place with families and move on from the ‘orphanage’. All except Solace. At first she is happy to stay, but as she gets older she begins to wonder what’s wrong with her, and why no-one wants her. As her 18th birthday approaches Solace’s sense of anticipation at entering the big, wide world grows, and on her birthday she leaves the home forever.
So far, so good. Fairly conventional up to this point, and I’m wondering if I’m going to make it to the end of the book. But…. this is when it starts to get interesting.
Foz Meadows’ take on the world of those who are different, who may have special skills, becomes clearer and much more interesting as Solace meets a group of kids who are all a little bit unusual in their own way. It’s hard to tell you any more of the story without giving away Foz’s secrets. Suffice to say that you will read through right to the end, and be left wishing that Book Two of The Rare was sitting on your bedside table ready to dive straight into.
Recommended for mid-teens and above.
Solace & Grief by Foz Meadows. Ford St, 2010. 9781876462895