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Soleri Paperback – December 16, 2011
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About the Author
G. R. Holton is a disabled veteran who lives with his wife, mother, and the family dog, Pugston, in eastern Tennessee. This is his debut book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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When I read Soleri's plotline, I am instantly intrigued; the story's concept is very well thought out! I also really like the morals and life-lessons Holton ingrains into Soleri. For example, Macy checks through the peephole before she opens the door when her parents aren't home. This is something all kids should do; one just doesn't open the door when the bell rings without checking it first! I also like how Holton establishes that the teens have not been raised to hurt others. They are very hesitant to use weapons, even in self-defense. I really admire Holton's ability to create a brand new world with different rules and guidelines. It takes a lot of skill to be able to come up with that kind of detail.
However, I do have a few problems with Soleri. The first real issue I have is that this book is clearly NOT a YA book (which is how it was presented to me.) I don't classify anything about this book as YA/ teen, and if that's the audience it is geared towards (ages 15-19), Soleri does not hit the mark. This book has a very simple story line and, though I am intrigued at certain points, I find most of the plot to be fairly predictable. Another issue is that, though Soleri is only 178 pages long, it has an in-depth forward/summary that reveals huge plot details. This drastically takes away from the story. Knowing so many details up front (in such a short story) makes it hard to be surprised or feel suspense while reading the book.
Macy, Ashley, and Wesley are the three main characters, yet I still don't know what color hair they have, how tall they are, if they are athletic or obese. Nothing. This lack of detail extends beyond their mere physical appearances, leaving characters that aren't really fleshed out and feel pretty stereotypical; the homemaker mom, the working dad, the flirty teen girl, and the pesky younger brother. I know little about them, and they in turn change little (if at all) throughout the book. Of these characters, I feel I know the dad the best. He is hard working and passionate about his job. Another thing that sidetracks me while reading is that the teens just don't talk like normal kids - their dialog feels unnatural. I don't see an 11 or 16 year old speaking with such refined English. No way, especially not in the situations they're in! That makes it very hard for me to accurately picture them, or relate to them, when they are talking (which is a large portion of the book.)
I will say that Soleri has huge amounts of detail pertaining to the transducer: how it works, what it takes to fix, etc. That part is very well written and thought out-- I just wish the rest of the book had been that detailed. In all fairness, this book would be a GREAT read for middle schoolers or juvenile fiction, as those age-appropriate stories tend to be more streamlined and less complex. I would definitely recommend Soleri to a younger crowd!
I really like this cover. When I look at the planets on the front, I feel like I am in outer space. The cover has a distinct sci-fi feel that I really like! It is very colorful and fun to look at. I definitely think this cover is a good choice for the book!
*Assigning a rating to this book is difficult. For a YA book I would give Soleri a 2 star rating, but for a middle grade book I would give it a 4 star rating. So, my final rating here will be 3 stars because I think this story is simply being targeted at the wrong audience.
I give Soleri 3 out of 5 stars: Worth Reading
Author: G.R. Holton
Wesley, the son of an electronic engineer, builds a robot. When he uses Dad's new transducer chip, he, together with his sister Macy, her best friend Ashley, and their dog Poston are accidentally teleported to an alien planet. This planet called Soleri, and the Solerians are slaves of their cruel neighbours the Tojinians, who force them to grow food. The Solerian leader informs the teen about an imminent attack from the Tojinians and he needs to activate his defense shield. However the shield controller, which will also needed to help the teens return to earth, is deep within the catacombs of Soleri and is under the control of the Tojinian guards.
Einstein once said that if you can't explain it simply, then you don't understand it enough. G.R. Holton clearly shows a fantastic imagination in creating a brand-new planet and its inhabitants, and he knows how to explain it simply with just the right amount of fascinating details as the story flows.
Soleri is a steampunk science fiction peopled with likeable characters and filled with lively dialogues and suspenseful obstacles. Highly entertaining and moving, this is a book for readers of all ages.