Solid (Solid, #1)

First Lines: As per his nighttime routine, he checked the security panel to ensure that the system would alert him of any intrusions on the perimeter he’d set around the lab.  The doctor was putting in a late night, also consistent with his normal regime, successfully employing the strategy of hiding in plain sight.

If you’re like me and not very scientifically minded, you may not know what exactly that is on the cover.  It’s a chromosome (or at least, I’m like, 98% sure it is.  Again, I’m not scientifically minded).  When the author contacted me about reading and reviewing this, I knew it was something I would probably like.  Which is odd, because I’m not really a sci-fi girl.

If it hadn’t been for news of the experiment, Clio Kaid would have remained the same unassuming teenager she had been.  But Clio, it turns out, was part of a prenatal experiment that changed the chromosomes of growing children.  Once the government found out about the experiment that had been so well hidden from them, they assembled all affected teenagers in a camp in New Jersey.  They all have “powers” thanks to the change in their chromosomes, but what powers, exactly, do they have?  Clio and her new friends try to figure out what’s happening to them and why this was hidden for so long.  But questions like these can bring dangerous consequences…

For those of you familiar with Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers series, you may see a few similarities between this and that series.  That’s what initially made me believe I’d like it.  And they are pretty similar in some respects, not so much in others.

The characters, I felt, were pretty relatable.  Clio is kind of shy, quiet, and a bit awkward.  She does something and then realizes how/why it wasn’t a great idea.  I know that happens to me, especially little things like when Clio wears a white shirt and then gets spaghetti for dinner.  That would be me.  I quickly became a fan of Jack, the clever, empathetic, easy-going guy in the group.  He knew how to release the tension in the group and I really appreciated that.

The whole set-up for the story is just a smidgen in the “unbelievable” side of things.  And yes, I realize how ironic that sounds coming from the girl whose last review was about vampires.  I’m not referring to the experiment part of the plot, but more the “hey, let’s escort 100 kids to New Jersey where we have hi-tech, tricked out equipment and buildings designed just for them…though we really have no idea what they’ll be able to do.”  If you can overlook that fact that this turns into a summer camp for the kids, then you’re pretty well golden.

At just over 200 pages, I did think it was probably a little too short to fully attack this story the way it needed to be done.  The climax involved a number of key points that I had next to no knowledge of going into the last 20% of the story.  Like the importance of a name that was only mentioned once or twice before that.  It threw me off my game because I had to stop reading and go, “Ok…um…that was [X], right?…oh, nope…uh…now I’ve got it.”  And admittedly, my attention might not have always been there given that I was kind of reading during every commercial break of the Olympics.  So…yeah.  I’ll give that one a freebie pass.

Overall, it is good.  A few characters play up set high school stereotypes, but mostly it was an entertaining and very fast read.

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