Foz Meadows

The Rare: Book 1

Ford Street Publishing (2010)

ISBN: 9781876462895

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely, March 2010

Solace Morgan was born a vampire, but at 17 years old, she’s only just realising that she is different from regular humans. Raised in foster care, never really fitting in, strange happenings help Solace makes the decision on her birthday to run away from all she’s ever known and begin to explore life. She meets up with a group of other unusual teens, squatting together and living on the fringes of normal society. But none of them are quite ordinary runaways, and Solace and her friends soon discover that none of them are completely human. They are connected in ways they never imagined. And they aren’t the only ones.

Solace and Grief reads exactly like it is: a first novel. It’s an interesting premise with some engaging characters, but I wasn’t one hundred per cent sold on the story-telling style. It’s sort-of YA, but Solace’s journey didn’t really feel YA to me – there wasn’t enough power in the events to allow me to connect with her and enjoy the evolution of her as both a vampire and a person.

It is the first of a series, which probably explains why there were so many little seeds of plotlines sown but not explored. Unfortunately, this added to the disconnect I felt from the book, because often these seeds interfered with the story being told. There seemed to be a lot of extraneous exposition, which detracted from the action, and I wished at times for a stronger editing hand on the story. That said, the overarching tale is one I’m interested in following, so I won’t hesitate to pick up the second book, with the hope it will be a more streamlined read than this, while exploring more YA themes with a stronger hand in the writing.