Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review of Settling

Settling (Book Two of the Solid Series)
Shelley Workinger


*I receieved a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

"At the beginning of the summer, Clio Kaid was one of a hundred teens brought to a secret Army installation. But it was no ordinary camp and they weren't ordinary kids...
Picking up where "Solid" left off, Clio and her friends realize that they aren't ready to go home; they're determined to stay on campus and continue their journey of self- discovery. But someone doesn't feel the same way and will do anything to drive them away - even kill.

Friendships will be tested, abilities will evolve, and more secrets will come out as the teens race to stop the killer before he sets his sights on one of them...'

I was super excited to read this book. The first novel in the series, Solid, was such a great read, and it left me with so many questions. The most important one: what would happen to Clio and her friends after "the incident?" (Trying not to spoil anything here ;D) I was happy to find that the group had remained on campus, instead of parting ways and heading across the country. Re-immersing myself into Clio's world was easy, and the distinct personalities of her friends were familiar and welcome.

This book was what I call an "informative" style novel. These novels feature a storyline where the reader learns more, often alongside the narrating character, with less focus on action and events. Settling sends the reader back into the wild ride that is Clio's snarky inner thoughts . But as the novel continues, it becomes clear that Clio Kaid is starting to lose it. Her confident sarcasm is replaced by an emotional rollercoaster. That was, in fact, a major part of the story; watching (or, you know, technically reading) Clio experience meltdowns, lash out at and avoid her friends, and make some irrational mistakes. The thing is, she realizes what she's doing is wrong, but she has no clue why she's acting this way. PTSD? Hormones? By the end of the book, however, a very interesting theory is introduced, and Clio pretty much figures out something that once again totally changes her life. (I never would have guessed the twist to the story, but I'm kind of an oblivious reader :D)

The action in this book was like background noise to me. I was more drawn to the chaos happening in Clio's brain than the who-dunnit murder. Even after the unidentified attacker struck multiple people on campus, I still didn't feel caught up in the suspense like I felt while reading Solid. This was definitely an informative read, at least it seemed that way to me.

But here's where I have a complaint: while I did learn about this new super-theory at the end of the book, I did not learn much more about Clio's current ability, nor did I get to learn more about her friends' abilities. I can't even fit all of the questions I still have about some very interesting genetic/DNA stuff in this review. It seemed like all research on C9x and its resulting abilities had come to a complete halt. So, while I did have front-row access to Clio's thoughts and discoveries, which are always a pleasure to read, I did not learn half of what I had hoped to learn from this novel. I felt a little disappointed at the end, because I kept waiting to uncover some new info in each chapter, and I didn't get that "Ohhh, so that's why this happened!" lightbulb-above-my-head feeling.

I have high hopes for Sound, the final book in the series. I think it will finally calm the impatient reader living in my head that keeps yelling "GIMME SOME ANSWERS!" answer the questions I've had since the end of Solid.

Lia's rating: Liked it