Blog Tour: Clarissa, Karl Drinkwater

Book Review: ClarissaLost Tales of Solace, Karl Drinkwater


Science Fiction: ClarissaLost Tales of Solace, Karl Drinkwater

Blog Tour July 12, 2021


The human protagonist of the two Solace novels is desperately searching for her lost sister. Clarissa tells the story of how the little girl disappeared.


Opal and Clarissa have been living on their own, as much “off the grid” as they could, ever since their parents died. Opal has been teaching Clarissa using an encyclopedia as her textbook. An extremely bright girl, Clarissa has memorized lengthy passages of the encyclopedia. She also enjoys playing a computer networked game with her AI dog.


Eventually, though, the authorities discover the girls. Opal is conscripted into military service. Clarissa, having somehow attracted the attention of a government agency, is taken from her homeworld.


Readers of the entire series will know that Clarissa never arrives at her destination. Her ship is lost in “null space.” How and why that happened, though, are mysteries explored in this novella.


Drinkwater is very good at imagining what an “other” consciousness might be like. So many sci-fi writers are unwilling to truly let go of human reactions and responses. I love Star Trek, but most of the aliens there not only look human, they act human. It’s fair to respond that we simply cannot know how a different consciousness would respond; we are, after all, only familiar with one species. But Drinkwater does as good a job as anyone trying to let go and consider how an AI might react differently than a human–with the understanding that since an AI was created by humans there would likely be overlap and correspondence.


The alternate consciousness in this book is not AI, which is (so far) unique in this series, but it is no less different. That is one of the delights of Drinkwater’s writing. The other, also unexpected, delight is the voice of the protagonist. Clarissa tells her own story. As a little girl with underdeveloped social skills, sometimes that voice is whiny and preoccupied, sometimes that voice is preternaturally mature and wise, sometimes that voice is pouty and angry. I do not think that Drinkwater has ever been a little girl, nor am I aware of him being a person of color in a very biased society. I could be wrong, and I’m not judging. Assuming I am right, though, he does a very good job finding that voice and telling Clarissa’s story through it.


Clarissa explores themes of “otherness” in a number of ways. A little girl in a world of adults. A person of color in a very “white” society. A prodigy with poor social skills. An orphan without means in a universe dominated by a corporation. An alien species making contact. Drinkwater reminds us that otherness brings both dangers and opportunities.


karl drinkwater author Clarissa, Lost Tales of Solace, Karl Drinkwater

Our thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for our copy of Clarissa, given in exchange for our review. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives, check out the other bloggers on this tour.


Also see:

Book Review: Lost Solace, Lost Solace Book 1, Karl Drinkwater

Book Review: Chasing Solace, Lost Solace Book 2, Karl Drinkwater

Book Review: Helene, Lost Tales of Solace Book 1, Karl Drinkwater

Book Review: Grubane, Lost Tales of Solace Book 2, Karl Drinkwater



Book Review: ClarissaLost Tales of Solace, Karl Drinkwater

One thought on “Blog Tour: Clarissa, Karl Drinkwater

  1. I love this! The way you see through the layers to the themes is so incredibly gratifying. Thank you! 🙂

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