Sunday, 31 July 2022

Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater

If you're reading this: HELP! I've been kidnapped.

Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren't bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up.

Now I'm a prisoner on this space ship. The agents won't even say where we're going.

I hate them.

And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us.

My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old.

And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.

Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.

I leapt at the chance to support Karl Drinkwater's newest Lost Solace story on Kickstarter and am delighted to be able to say that I think Clarissa is now my favourite of the three Lost Tales of Solace companion novellas. It's not an easy task for an adult author to convincingly write from a child's point of view, but I felt Drinkwater captured Clarissa's personality perfectly. Having already read the brilliant full length novel Chasing Solace, which takes place later in this world's timeline, I was fascinated to effectively jump back to the beginning of that story here knowing, up to a point, what the outcome of Clarissa's abduction will be.

I can imagine that spending a significant amount of real-world time with Clarissa could be exhausting. She's smart and determined, and an outspoken chatterbox. However, as the protagonist of her own adventure, she's a wonderful character to travel with. I loved drawing conclusions to fill in the gaps around information that her ten-year-old mind doesn't have, and was thoroughly entertained by the way she views each of the adults around her. I really hope I get to meet up with Clarissa again!

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