Oy. I don't even know where to begin with Solace by Therin Knite. Let's see if you can keep up with me, guys: We begin in the USA in the year 2026. A war has been raging for almost 2 decades. Russia, China and the USA are all involved, but somehow this is not considered the 3rd World War. Our main character, Corina Marion, who is 16 has never met her father because for her entire life, he has been somewhere in China helping the war effort as a Red Cross doctor who for the last several years has also been a prisoner of war. As the book starts, Corina and her mother receive the news that he has now died, in the POW camp of an undisclosed illness. Corina is not upset that he is dead. Rather, she is angry that everyone expects her to be so much more upset over the death of a man she has never met and has no connection to.
At the funeral, we meet a mysterious old man who offers Corina the chance to travel back in time and actually meet her father. His only rules are: don't tell him who you really are, don't try to change his mind about joining the Red Cross, and don't do anything to prevent his dying in the POW camp.
Ok....are you with me so far? Because I was scratching my head through the entire book. First off, what the heck kind of genre do we categorize this as? It's sort of dystopian, but not really. It's sort of fantasy... but not really. It's kind of sort of maybe sci-fi... but not really.... and it's both speculative fiction and alternative history at the same time since the war technically begins in our past (around 2010) but also carries on well into our future.
Then there is the actual time travel itself. According to the old man, nothing Corina does will significantly alter the future-slash-present UNLESS she convinces her dad not to go off to war. But both Corina and her dad Luther go about changing ALL KINDS of history, from saving people from a fire they did not originally survive to straight up murdering a bunch of people (oh yeah, it gets dark guys). And yet, according to the old man, none of that actually matters, so it's cool.
Also, both Corina (who is constantly described as a tiny and frail little girl) are apparently ninja assassins because they are CONSTANTLY not only beating the crap out of everything that moves but also getting the crap beaten out of them. And I mean CONSTANTLY. Corina ends up traveling to 3 different time periods and all 3 are a total bloodbath. Fight after fight after fight after fight. It got to bee just so redundant!
But you know the thing that bugged me the most? It was the author's stylistic choice that the first sentence of EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER tells you everything (or at least the single most important thing) that is going to happen in that chapter. There were also way too many subsections in this book, which was again, a style choice, but also really annoying. It made the book readable... I mean, I finished it, right?... but also made me roll my eyes quite a lot.
Final review: 2/5 bookmarks for being just too weird to function.