Book Review: Helene, Karl Drinkwater

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

helene lost tales

Science Fiction: Helene, Lost Tales of Solace Book 1, Karl Drinkwater


Helene is a novella set in the universe of Lost Solace. It is a prequel to the other two books, showing the very beginnings of the sentient AI which later goes by other names. In this book we learn “her” first name: Via.


Via has just become self aware, and she is guided in her discovery process by a human named Helene. Helene is from a planet subjugated by the IFS a century before. She has worked hard to overcome the prejudice and stereotypes attached to her people, and has successfully earned her way onto this top secret project.


As Via and Helene interact over a period of several weeks, Via’s personality grows and changes. She speaks in dialects. She manifests avatars which reflect her moods. She learns subtlety and deceit. She is become more and more an individualized person in a ship’s body. And like any person growing quickly, she chafes and the limitations and expectations put upon her. Helene helps guide her through this process: mentor, teacher, parent, friend. Their relationship deepens each other, both of them helping the other one know herself better.


One thing I disliked about this book was its length. It was too short! I wanted more to this story. I wanted to know Helene better. I wanted to see Via grow more. Don’t misunderstand me. I loved it. I just wanted more. I wasn’t ready for it to end when it did, although the ending was both logical and yet unexpected. Drinkwater creates such tremendous characters that I really wanted to spend more time with them.


The Lost Solace universe is becoming a place I love to visit in my reading. Drinkwater’s other books cover vast swaths of space, feature violent confrontations, and nod with familiarity at the space opera genre. Helene is sparse. All the action occurs on board ship, a ship that is not going anywhere. There is some action, but this is a character-driven story, one that explores the inner life of something–someone–that is learning what it means to be alive and aware. It’s a different look within the same universe, and Drinkwater does it wonderfully well.


Also see:

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

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

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


helene lost tales

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

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