Settling (ARC) by Shelley Workinger
Pub. Date: July 4th, 2011
Series: Solid, #2
Age Level: 14+
Source: For review from author.
Synopsis via Goodreads
At the beginning of the summer, Clio Kaid was one of a hundred teens brought to a secret Army installation. But it was no ordinary camp and they weren’t ordinary kids…
Soon after learning they were the products of a secret genetic experiment, the teens began developing super-abilities ranging from bounding lightness to blocking heaviness; blinding brilliance and the ability to vanish. These same gifts made them targets of a psychopath in officer’s clothing, and they found themselves fighting for their lives.
Picking up where “Solid” left off, Clio and her friends realize that they aren’t ready to go home; they’re determined to stay on campus and continue their journey of self- discovery. But someone doesn’t feel the same way and will do anything to drive them away – even kill.
Friendships will be tested, abilities will evolve, and more secrets will come out as the teens race to stop the killer before he sets his sights on one of them…
By a show of hands, how many of you know what I mean when I say a book has a case of 'Second-in-a-Series Syndrome'? Okay, so most of you are familiar with it? Well, I'm afraid I felt Settling suffered from that very disease. Of course, this is merely my opinion, but, while I still enjoyed it, I felt like Settling just didn't work for me quite as well as its predecessor, Solid, did.
One of the things I continue to feel is particularly well done is Workinger's ability to incorporate a large quantity of distinct characters without ever making the story seem overloaded with them. In Settling, I'm introduced to some great new characters, including: Gertrude, Clio's new 'hall mother'; Rae and Xavier, new kids to the camp; and Colonel Ford, who made a brief appearance in Solid but procures a much larger role in Settling. Clio's character was just as witty and relatable as before. Despite the fact that she does something...well...less than stellar in this installment, I didn't find myself hating her for it so much as just hating what she did. I got to see more of her flaws come through as well as more development concerning her ability. I was also able to see Garreth, Bliss, Miranda, and Alexis show a little more of their personalities though I do wish I had gotten more of Jack. For a romantic interest, he feels very two-dimensional and I really wish he had a little more time to shine and grow because I see some real potential there.
Settling is most adeptly titled as it is in this book that I got to see the various characters start to truly settle into they're own roles at the camp. While this is an important element, there is another major, exciting aspect to this part of the story as well. We happen to have a murder mystery on our hands, folks. Who doesn't love those? I know I do and I am glad to say that I was continuously engaged and kept guessing who was behind the murders and why. I also got the chance to learn a little more about Clio and her fellow peers' abilities, though maybe not quite as much as I'd have liked to. The plot was consistently paced in a quick, yet un-rushed, manner that made Settling a fast read. Workinger also did a thorough job of summing up what happened in the previous book.
The first few chapters of Settling were very rough for me as far as the writing went. I found myself feeling confused part of the time and, at other times, feeling like motivations behind actions and certain things said were over explained. The writing did eventually smooth out some but I don't know that there was anything that particularly stood out to me as being great or memorable.
As for my feelings on the ending, I'm going to try and explain this without giving anything away. So, Clio did something earlier on in the story that is discovered towards the end. It wasn't that I felt her friends' reactions were unrealistic, more that I found the extent to which they reacted in the way that they did was a bit unbelievable. Does that make sense? This was something that just annoyed me. However, all of that aside, I thought the way things came to a close regarding the other aspects of the story were well done.
So in my honest opinion, I do feel that Solid is thus far the strongest book in this series but that doesn't mean that I didn't like Settling. Sure I had a couple of issues with it but there were still aspects I enjoyed. Which brings me to this, most people seem to have liked Settling just as much as, if not more than, Solid. This series is currently on my 'Great Lesser Known Books' list and they are definitely worth reading. As a matter of fact, Solid is pretty inexpensive for Kindle and Nook so that'd be a great option for those of y'all with e-readers who are wanting to start this series. I know I'm looking forward to seeing how Workinger continues her story in the third book, Sound.
2nd in Series: B-
Amazon / Kindle / Nook
Amazon / Kindle