5. Solace and Grief – Foz Meadows
Before I start, I must confess that I know Foz. She is part of my writers group and I’ve read many of her short stories, most of which are, interestingly, not young adult (YA). But we are talking about Solace and Grief here, which is a YA novel –and we were all very excited to see it launched a couple of months ago.
Solace and Grief is being sold as a vampire story, but for me the vampire part was quite peripheral to the main theme of the story which is the relationships between all the teen characters. Foz is not afraid to go into some darker territory here with drinking, drugs, sex and even death all getting a mention, even if only implied. It is not the fluffy YA that I remember reading in my youth, but there is also quite a good sense of humour about the book, with some very light and amusing moments.
As I said, do not expect the usual vampire fare, and by no means are we limited just to vampires. There is a whole collection of characters, each with their own ‘gift’ or power, and they work together with Solace to get to the bottom of the mystery that Solace has unwittingly dragged them into.
There are some interesting new vampire rules (let’s face it, we all add to the rule book when we write about vampires) and some promises of good twists yet to come. This would be a good book for the more intelligent young reader who wants to be challenged as well as entertained.