Published by Cowcatcher Press on January 14th 2014
Genres: Fiction, General, Literary, Science Fiction
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Fast-paced and mysterious, Solomon the Peacemaker takes the reader to the twenty-second century, where cultural norms have changed the way people interact with technology. Humanoid robots, though ubiquitous, are confined inside private homes, giving the impression that all is well with the world. And this may be the case. But in the basement of the Church of Incarnations, one man believes that human beings may already be in the thrall of these robots and The Peacemaker, the incredible computer built as a storehouse for human memory. Told through the words of a prisoner, the novel will keep readers questioning the morality of this future world even after they read the last sentence.
This is a fabulous debut novel.
Solomon the Peacemaker is speculative fiction at it’s best. Welles does his world building and narrative almost as well as (dare I say it?) Margaret Atwood.
The structure of the book as an interrogation with the questions by the police being redacted is brilliant. It pulls you in and forces the reader to sit down and think about what questions the interrogator might be asking, this forces you to actively reflect on what you’re reading as you read it.
I disagree with other reviewers that felt like they were being thrown into the deep end of a pool upon the opening of this novel. The world is neatly parsed out and not so different from our own that the few acronyms and unusual vocabulary words are so quickly resolved that it didn’t cause me any trouble at all. It’s true that Solomon the Peacekeeper is not told in a conventional narrative style, but as I stated before, the non-traditional narration enhances the writing and helps to accelerate the plot.
The ‘speculative’ part of the fiction is done incredibly well because it’s not too difficult to imagine the future coming to something like this sometime not-so-distantly. I also appreciated the fact that Welles stuck with Asimov’s three laws of robotics.
I read this book in three sittings. I probably would have read it in less except for y’know… life. The story ran away with me, I felt connected to the characters (even Preacher who felt like a scumbag from the beginning). I wanted it to be longer, but that’s only because it was done so well. Don’t write another word on this topic, with these characters, Hunter Welles. I don’t want this spoiled.
This book is phenomenal. I want it to blow up and everyone to read it.