Yes, that’s right. Back to books. Amidst all this cooking, eating and baking and alcohol tasting, it’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to write a book review. But I have been reading since the last one. A recent trip to Barnes & Noble restocked my shelves with fresh words and I also got my hands on a copy of a book written by my friend, Ulises Silva.
This is the first time I’ve read a book written by an author I actually know personally and worked with. Until I opened the first pages of this book, I was only familiar with his work as a writer for Being Latino and personal blog.
Overall, Solstice is a great first novel by a writer led by his imagination and the desire to bring to life a world ruled by writers and controlled by editors. It could be said that writers sort of already do, but this book takes it to another level.
Words are murder. Scribes have a gift. Whatever they write comes true. Misfortune. Theft. Even murder. A group of Editors – covert specialists operating beyond the law – watch over them. Among the Editors, Io is the best, and the most ruthless. But on her way to her next assignment, something happens. Her phone rings – along with every other phone on the planet.
What would you do if you knew the world would end next week?
It is an interesting question and one that sends many into a frenzy, especially when it is written on walls and in the sky by an invisible being. Nadie is a scribe like any other and one Io seeks to annihilate. Io is Mexican and Japanese (a reflection of Silva’s heritage and love for Japanese horror films) and the lead character of a primarily strong and multicultural all-female cast. While there are a couple male characters, they’re more like sidekicks and memories than they are prominent people.
I will admit that in the beginning, there were times when I had to re-read some sentences in order to understand exactly what the author was trying to say, but by the third chapter I was completely hooked on the storyline and couldn’t put the book down.
Io’s journey is not just about saving the world, but also about overcoming her own demons created by the violent and traumatic life that she has led. With the help of Jai Lin, a scribe from Laos, she is able to overcome some of her demons and realize that she does need other people; something that some of us can certainly relate to.
Nadie’s desire to end the world is in response to the atrocities that have occurred at earth at the hands of people and she wants them to all pay for these sins. Such an attitude raises the question if present generations should pay for the sins of their ancestors and is a reminder of the responsibility that we carry for our actions, even if we can never know how they will affect the future.
This world, where scribes are able to write what happens, is a reflection of a writer’s dream to actually bring the characters they create to life and the responsibility that comes with that. You cannot just create something without teaching it and accepting responsibility for everything that it does.
As I said, Silva has created a great first novel that he published under his own company, Tragical Mirth Publishing, and is currently working on his next novel. Believe me when I say, that this is a book you will enjoy, especially the ending that you never see coming.