Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Solace Pill

Werbeloff, J. (2014). The Solace Pill: Giving You the Time You'll Never Have. . . Self-published on Smashwords.

Adult / Dystopian

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars

Giving you the time you'll never have. . . 

**shiver**  In Jason Werbeloff’s The Solace Pill Omnibus Edition, which collectsThe Solace Pill trilogy into one single volume,  readers are taken into a dystopian world where 3D printing has advanced to having the capability of scanning and reprinting humans with whatever modifications they desire. Want to understand quantum physics or have memories of a Caribbean vacation? Reprint yourself. Want to be young and perfectly sculpted? Reprint yourself. Want to be fueled and fully rested without wasting time to eat or sleep? Yep, reprint yourself.  With so much time freed-up and no limits on life expectancy, the world is overpopulated and overworked, and the solutions provided by 3D imprints are beginning to show their imperfections.   Fortunately, there’s a pill for that. The Solace Pill allows users to escape reality for fifteen minutes, but their perception is five hours of relaxation and rejuvenation without the stress of the real world.  But, as is often the case with seemingly perfect worlds, there is a dark side where some people and issues are erased with a push of a button, and other people aren’t who they seem and have hidden motives.  Civilization collapses when tainted pills have disastrous effects of death, destruction, and mayhem. The few who survive without Solace in their system must find a cure for those stuck in the Solace induced worlds, but time and options are running out. 

The premise of The Solace Pill is both fantastic and frighteningly possible.  While many of us can barely wrap our minds about the reality of 3D printing in our world today, certainly there are scientists who are already considering how to take 3D printing to organic levels. Much like today, in the future, people are fascinated by that which they have lost – authentic, real, unadulterated items which they call “tiques.”   I found it very interesting to read and see how the future society, as is typical today, took something good and perverted it: the loopholes were found, the immoral was done to turn a buck, and the humanity was taken out of the human.  And of course, there was economic bias created so that not everyone had equal access to imprinting or the Solace Pills. In this respect, the character of Anders was particularly intriguing as one of the few who worked his way up from nothing, to seemingly having it all, yet craving the old ways. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to know him better, to better understand him and the turning-point of the book.   

Jason Werbeloff didn’t hold back any punches in showing the self-serving, ugliness of people when they are encouraged to be egocentric and the sense of community is lost.  The loathsome Jordan was probably the best written character because he represented the evil of so-called progress, and he was consistently wicked in all three sections.  The character of Sahasra was promising but then got weird and confusing in book two with the introduction without explanation of the elders – I really had no idea what was going on there. For me, there was also confusion with chapters jumping forward and backwards in time and some full scenes being identically repeated – this could be due to the Omnibus edition consolidating three stories, but it was confusing nonetheless.  

Overall, The Solace Pill is a disturbing snapshot of a feasible future, and it was worth the time to read it. Readers be warned, though: it will leave more than a few questions unanswered and situations unexplained, leaving readers feeling foggy. The book includes sexual situations, violence, and profanity.

This book was reviewed for Readers' Favorite, who provided me a free eBook in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give.

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