Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Secrets of Solace Paperback – June 13, 2017
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Archivist apprentice Lina lives in the future world of Solace, learning to analyze the curious treasures that fall from the sky in the scrap towns on the borders. Under the absentminded guidance of Councilwoman Zara, the lonely orphaned Lina has become isolated from her fellow apprentices, spending her time eavesdropping on secret conversations and exploring forbidden tunnels. With the discovery of a hidden sentient airship named Merlin, and the assistance of Ozben (a prince who is hiding from vicious assassins), the intrepid Lina sets out to fly Ozben to alert his combatant sister to a treasonous plot to escalate the Iron War, rescuing its desperate refugees on the way. In the midst of a fierce storm, Lina pilots Merlin safely to the rescue, only to face the Solace archivists threatening to seize and imprison the living airship for research on her return. Johnson has achieved another winner in this second book in the series. Lina is a tough cookie who doesn't give up easily, and her dangerous humanitarian mission brings her respect and friendship from unlikely places—and the delicate beginnings of romance, too. Johnson has a sure touch in writing for this age group. Lina's terrible loneliness at the beginning of the story, her forlorn attempts to emotionally engage her disinterested caregiver, and her endearing clumsiness will strike a chord with every (misunderstood) tweenage reader. Johnson's imaginative future world is so cleverly realized and appealing—with the soul of the airship visualized as a tiny flame, chameleons morphing between human and dragonlike form, the memory jar with its "thin pink mist" containing crucial memories unique to the person holding it, the insect lumatites gathering on Lina's glove to light her tunnel explorations—that it almost feels as if readers are already in the movie that this series will hopefully spawn. VERDICT Highly recommended for those who have finished with Harry and are too young for Katniss.—Jane Barrer, United Nations International School, New York City --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Jaleigh Johnson’s The Quest to the Uncharted Lands:
★ “The author's endearing STEAM-loving heroine and magical hero hit all the right buttons for middle grade readers....Funny and heartbreaking...a must-have choice for all middle grade shelves.” —SLJ, Starred
"A full-throttle fanfare for those with a predilection for alchemy, adventure, and a little anarchy."—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for The Mark of the Dragonfly:
A New York Times Bestseller
★ “This magnetic middle-grade debut…[is] a page-turner that defies easy categorization and ought to have broad appeal.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
★ “Heart, brains, and courage find a home in a steampunk fantasy worthy of a nod from Baum.”--Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ “A fantastic and original tale of adventure and magic...Piper is a heroine to fall in love with: smart, brave, kind, and mechanically inclined to boot.”—SLJ, Starred Review
“A complex and impeccably developed plot—there is plenty to recommend in this novel.”—The Bulletin
“Appealing characters and lots of action make it a good choice for young adventure readers.”—Booklist
Praise for The Secrets of Solace:
★ “Highly recommended for those who have finished with Harry and are too young for Katniss.”—SLJ, Starred Review
“An engaging world rich in detail, mayhem, and adventure . . . All aboard for fantasy lovers with a dual penchant for girl power and keeping up with the Indiana Joneses.” —Kirkus Reviews
“With imaginative details . . . readers will be rewarded by exciting action scenes and a deeper knowledge of Solace.”—Booklist
“The book nicely balances the firm structure of the archivists’ orderly lives with the wild abandon of the protagonist.”—The Bulletin
Top customer reviews
I really liked that the acknowledgements discussed where the author gets her inspiration.
This book is a caper, an adventure and a quest all rolled into one. Lina is a wonderful character; she is bright and curious and analytical. she develops a friendship with Ozben and includes him in her enthusiastic explorations. They uncover an enormous secret that fuels the plot to the end of the book. There seems to be room here for another volume but the book is complete and not a cliffhanger.
I think middle schoolers would love this story. Adults can easily read this in a day. It would be a very good "chapter a day" book for bedtime reading. The story has excellent pace, intelligent characters and in the end, respect for children's opinions and skills. There is some bullying early on but I feel that is handled and resolved well.
Johnson has created a unique and colorful world that draws me in. I never see the effort in her work. The glow of plot and character is exquisite. Although the world of Dragonfly is carried over to this book, this adventure stands on its own. It's a very impressive work, fun for adults as much as children. Johnson uses language as well as any contemporary author. This is an engaging and inspiring book.
“Be sure to stock this book!” I would say…stars in my eyes like a small child on Christmas morning. “You won’t be disappointed!”
Flash forward to last month, I received an email from Johnson’s publicist asking if I would like to review her newest novel “The Secrets of Solace?” Of course, I jumped at the opportunity (it is entirely possible that I made a total ass out of myself in the process.) Why wouldn’t I? I was so impressed with Johnson’s ability to seamlessly mesh fantasy and steampunk in “The Mark of the Dragonfly” that I couldn’t wait to dive in and see what new and exciting tale Johnson was offering her readers.
Unfortunately (uh oh…there’s that word we all dread so much) “Solace” didn’t live up to it’s predecessor.
Now, before the lot of you go all Hannibal Lecter on my behind, let me explain. (I have notes people. NOTES!)
First, “Solace” was slow out of the starting gate. Though Lina (the protagonist) tried like hell to keep our attention with her ventilation system gymnastics and moss growing antics, I found myself openly sighing. (Yikes!) It wasn’t until page 72 when I read the phrase:
“The shadow figure moved fast across the cavern toward her.”
that my interest was sufficiently piqued and I wanted to continue. From that point on (admittedly) the story got better. Several additional characters were introduced (including, but not limited to a cat that has a tendency to burst into flames) dialogue improved (“Oh, you better believe I would. Every crack and crevice will be filled with the stuff.”) and a static plot finally emerged. (Praise Jesus!) But there were still lulls in the story; moments when I felt the momentum hit a brick wall all for the sake of embellishment. After reading the acknowledgements I realized why. Johnson had come up with the premise for “Solace” after one very memorable late night trip to the Louvre. The admission of this made the “hushed museum” ambiance of the book make much more sense. I’m not saying it excuses it, but at the very least I could understand where the pacing issues stemmed from.
All of that said (because what would I be if I wasn’t contradictory) the last 115 pages were fantastic. All of the qualities I so desperately craved finally started to find their way into the story, and boy was I a happy camper. Lina’s rather awkward rivalry (which was continuously referenced but never explained, and then almost completely disappeared at one point) was finally FINALLY elaborated on. The semi-creepy “Come here little Prince…” assassin made his presence known (by way of cliff diving) and Merlin, well…I can’t give it all away can I? Needless to say, the ending delivered. It was action packed, allowed the characters to embrace growth (both the young AND the old) and managed to tie up most of the novel’s loose ends.
I just wish Johnson could have gotten to the point sooner. While I understand that most of it was probably written the way it was to help build a relationship and endear the reader to the characters, I firmly believe that at least 35% of Lina’s internal struggle could have been omitted due to repetition.
So here is my final take…
It’s NOT “The Mark of the Dragonfly” but it’s not a throw away novel either. If you have a middle grade reader who eats fantasy novels for breakfast, and is intrigued by the “unknown,” they will most likely enjoy this book. For everyone else, it’s gonna be hit or miss. If you expect to be entertained 3 pages in, this book is NOT for you, but if you are the type of reader who doesn’t mind wading through rough waters to claim your prize on the other side, go ahead and add it to your TBR.
Most recent customer reviews
The first book in the series, The Mark of the Dragonfly, has sat on my TBR shelf for over a year.Read more