Friday, May 22, 2015

The Solace Pill

"That day, slow and warm, a beam of sunlight caught in honey."

Sometimes I fall in love with a book so strongly I just don’t want the reading to end. Ever.

And yet it feels so sweet to thread through the pain of the last page and into the sea of appraising complete work afterwards, arranging opinions, weighing impressions, cataloging new entry in great library of my mind.

I really, really loved The Solace Pill Trilogy (omnibus edition containing Solace Inc, Solace End and Preparation 162) by Jason Werbeloff.

Original book cover taken from Smashwords book page.

I found my way to it through weekly NoiseTrade newsletter and I loved cover illustration so I downloaded the book. I started to read it on my iPhone (I find MegaReader app excellent for some reading on the go) and I instantly got enamored with the story so this mode of reading fast, short hits resisted transition to bigger screen for a long time and only when I entered Preparation 162 I decided to ingest the rest of the book in one final big gulp.

It is truly a wonderful idea, this choice of term solace pill. In a time already battling heightened stress conditions and dawn of #firstworldproblems concept this interplay of identity topics with sociological and psychological issues involved is both fascinating and food for the mind. Since science fiction is my favorite genre it is not that I did not encounter transportation/cloning identity issues before but the elegance with which the author Jason Werbeloff had resolved some of opened questions is absolutely endearing and gives this topic fresh look and feel of originality.

What I liked most?

I loved how the author gives us enough details about characters so we can remember their names and put their stories in context but not enough to make us distort the story so we can empathize.

I loved how relationships between characters are straightforward, showing genuine, visceral feel of human motivation. Not all behavior is rationally explainable when it happens and narratives are often chosen post festum, to justify rather than describe.

I enjoyed George and Kora storyline most, its dirty and unsophisticated veneer and rich and personal multitude of difficult questions beneath the surface. Being that personal relationships are always in center of my attention, both as a player of the game and as a psychologist specifically keen to research personal relationships I enjoyed gritty and down to earth process author decided to use for this particular dyad, making it a perfect small-scale example of every topic of the book; from identity to emotion, autonomy to dependence, from personal to social.

This is one wonderful story and I warmly recommend not only reading it but also reading it mindfully and thinking about happenings inside; inside the book and inside your own mind and inside the society present here and now - society already pregnant with solace pill seed.

* Book Review also on my Goodreads page here

No comments: