It’s my turn on the BlogTour Ruabon: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater.
About the Author
Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.
Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.
When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order. Click here to subscribe to his newsletter
About the book
Welcome to Tecant. Nothing ever happens here. Until today.
Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.
Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower. He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity. Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero. And if he fails, he’ll be dead.
This is the fourth book in the Lost Tales of Solace series. The books can all be read as standalone novels and yet they all connect on different levels. The same universe and systems viewed through the lens of individual characters and their experiences.
Interesting how the two parallels of the series, the technical and the human side, sort of come together in the character of Ruabon. He finds it difficult to connect to his colleagues and human counterparts. Instead he finds comfort in his drones, and creates a pseudo barrier of social interaction and connection between himself and the inanimate objects by injecting them with their own personalities. He is very much the reluctant protagonist of this story.
This story links into the Big Brotheresque nature of the surveillance noted throughout the series. In fact the planet itself, Tecant, is the link in the network of The Cordon. It’s what makes the planet so important.
The speculative nature of this genre bending and mixing series is intriguing, the creativity and vision is extraordinary. Interestingly the books have a variation when it comes to their centre of gravity, which swings between human element and inanimate object element. This time I took a moment to wonder about the greater picture, which possibly either goes undiscovered in the vast creativity of the plot or only exists in the perception of my own frame of reference.
Are there correlations to be drawn between the our reliance on and the advancement of AI, the egotistical assumption that we are the only life, the surveillance we allow to dominate and control our lives – on a more base note the relationships that bind, support and keep us going. Solace – the gift that keeps on giving.