Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater is an exciting sci-fi thriller, following Opal in her search for the Lost Ships.

Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater is an exciting sci-fi thriller, following Opal in her search for the Lost Ships.

Thank you so much to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for sending me a free copy of Lost Solace in return for an honest review.

Lost Solace begins with Opal Imbiana setting a course for a Lost Ship. These are spaceships that have mysteriously disappeared in the depths of space, but have re-appeared years later. The ship is strangely altered, made from unknown material and with new modifications. Opal is determined to board the ship and discover its secrets, with the assistance of her ship’s AI, Clarissa.

You can buy Lost Solace in paperback, audiobook and eBook formats on Amazon, Karl Drinkwater’s Shopify and Books2Read. It currently has an average rating of 4.03 from 343 ratings on Goodreads.

My review

This was a fantastic read. Opal’s journey around the Lost Ship is incredibly tense. There were lots of horror-esque moments that left me really anxious for Opal and what was going to happen next. The atmosphere is eerie and unsettling throughout.

The only two characters we really see are Opal and Clarissa. Opal is a great character — intelligent, bold, vulnerable at times, but also flawed. Through her relationship with Clarissa, we slowly learn more about her past and her motivations. While Clarissa is an AI, she still has a really distinct personality. Their relationship grows stronger as the story progresses – even making jokes together (which were genuinely amusing — something that can be difficult to get right in books). There are a few sections written from Clarissa’s point of view, and these really gave an extra element to the story and fit really well.

While the story itself is a fairly simple premise, this lack of complexity works really well. There’s no complicated science or long list of characters to remember — just a woman seeking answers in an unknown environment. I hope that this world-building will be developed further as the series progresses. The story is really well-written and this is absolutely a series I want to continue. I think this would really appeal to those wanting to delve into sci-fi, as it’s a great balance of sci-fi and thriller.

About Lost Solace

Genre: Space opera / Sci-fi

Publication Date: Originally 2017, new edition 2024

Estimated Page Count: 258

Series: Standalone first novel in the “Lost Tale of Solace” series

They’re called the Lost Ships … but sometimes they come back.

And when they do the crews are missing, while the ships have been strangely altered, rumoured to be full of horrors.

Opal Imbiana has been seeking something her whole life. It’s a secret so precious she’s willing to risk her life recovering it from a recently discovered Lost Ship, in a lonely nebula far from colonised space.

She’s just one woman, entering an alien and lethal environment. But with the aid of an amazing AI companion and experimental armoured suit, Opal might just stand a chance.

This blast of a book kickstarted the much-loved Lost Solace series, about an unlikely friendship between two women who keep hope alive in the darkest of times.

Karl DrinkwaterAbout the author, Karl Drinkwater

Karl Drinkwater is an author with a silly name and a thousand-mile stare. He writes dystopian space opera, dark suspense and diverse social fiction. If you want compelling stories and characters worth caring about, then you’re in the right place. Welcome!

Karl lives in Scotland and owns two kilts. He has degrees in librarianship, literature and classics, but also studied astronomy and philosophy. Dolly the cat helps him finish books by sleeping on his lap so he can’t leave the desk. When he isn’t writing he loves music, nature, games and vegan cake.

Go to karldrinkwater.uk to view all his books grouped by genre.

As well as crafting his own fictional worlds, Karl has supported other writers for years with his creative writing workshops, editorial services, articles on writing and publishing, and mentoring of new authors. He’s also judged writing competitions such as the international Bram Stoker Awards, which act as a snapshot of quality contemporary fiction.


Enter your email at karldrinkwater.substack.com to be notified about his new books. Fans mean a lot to him, and replies to the newsletter go straight to his inbox, where every email is read. There is also an option for paid subscribers to support his work: in exchange you receive additional posts and complimentary books.

You can find Lost Solace in paperback, audiobook and eBook formats on Amazon, Karl’s Shopify and Books2Read, or read more reviews on Goodreads.

Blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources

I reviewed Lost Solace as part of a book tour organised by Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources. Check out the other bloggers taking part in this book tour for more reviews, extracts and guest posts.