Solace and Grief by Foz Meadows


Foz Meadows

The Rare: Book 1

Ford Street Publishing (2010)

ISBN: 9781876462895

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely, March 2010

Solace Morgan was born a vampire, but  at 17 years old, she’s only just realising that she is different from  regular humans. Raised in foster care, never really fitting in, strange  happenings help Solace makes the decision on her birthday to run away  from all she’s ever known and begin to explore life. She meets up with  a group of other unusual teens, squatting together and living on the  fringes of normal society. But none of them are quite ordinary runaways,   and Solace and her friends soon discover that none of them are  completely  human. They are connected in ways they never imagined. And they aren’t  the only ones.

Solace and Grief reads exactly  like it is: a first novel. It’s an interesting premise with some  engaging  characters, but I wasn’t one hundred per cent sold on the story-telling style. It’s  sort-of YA, but Solace’s journey didn’t really feel YA to me – there  wasn’t enough power in the events to allow me to connect with her and  enjoy the evolution of her as both a vampire and a person.

It is the first of a series, which  probably explains why there were so many little seeds of plotlines sown  but not explored. Unfortunately, this added to the disconnect I felt  from the book, because often these seeds interfered with the story being   told. There seemed to be a lot of extraneous exposition, which detracted   from the action, and I wished at times for a stronger editing hand on  the story. That said, the overarching tale is one I’m interested in  following, so I won’t hesitate to pick up the second book, with the  hope it will be a more streamlined read than this, while exploring more  YA themes with a stronger hand in the writing.

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