Solace and Distress - Stephen  Holland I really wanted to like this book, and I've been looking forward to reading it for a while. Unfortunately, this book and I didn't get along very well.

The overall story is alright, but I doubt would appeal to most people. If you're a fan of Xena the Warrior Princess or a macho Wonder Woman, and want to read a book with a main character like that, then you may like it. It seemed very much like a book version of a guys' fantasy dream princess- strong, brave, great with a sword, but still voluptuous and sexually appealing (which was mentioned a LOT) in furs and revealing clothes. So, I suppose perhaps it's better to say: I doubt this book would appeal to many women, and only to a certain group of men, such as warrior-princess fans...

The plot was...alright...mid-level fantasy adventure, with some action, and some graphic erotic scenes. I didn't find the plot thin necessarily, just perhaps a little random or slightly shallow. It seemed like a deep story, that we got a somewhat glazed overview of. The secondary characters were ok, although it got somewhat frustrating with people being thrown in, made to seem important, and then having them taken out of the story abruptly. The culture and characters reminded me of a mix between Vikings/Norsemen and Native Americans. The story had some twists, although all completely predictable- I don't enjoy books where I'm able to figure out the ending in the first ΒΌ of the book, and this was one such story.

The biggest thing I had a problem with, and I'll say this as respectfully as I can- this seems very much like a book written by someone who isn't especially gifted in writing, and failed to have this book properly edited. It seemed like the author made his own version of English, mixed it with a lot of Old English/Shakespearean words and phrases, and then attempted to write a book. Basic sentence structure was completely missing, there were entire paragraphs of run-on sentences, words were often times misused, and there were many spelling and grammar issues. Reading an ebook copy added frustration as well, because it wasn't formatted correctly.

What made it even more confusing to read, was the fact that quotation marks around dialogue weren't used properly (when used at all), and most of the time, a character's line was simply thrown in at random, with no obvious way of telling someone said something, leaving the reader to guess what was going on. In many cases, there would be a paragraph of conversation between multiple people, minimal indication as to who was talking when, making it was difficult to figure out what was going on.

If this book were to be really edited and worked with, it could be ok. As it stands, I'm surprised this is published, and has multiple editions. I mean no disrespect to the author, in any way, with any of my comments and observations, but I feel they are necessary for my review. I did not enjoy the actual reading of this book itself, but the story was ok, and I must be honest to explain my point. That being said, the writing is bad enough to where I think it only deserves 1 rose. However, this story is one that I think some people would like, and if it were ever properly edited, I would rate it 3 stars. It balances out to 2 stars in my opinion.

I'm not sure if I'd give a recommendation for this book or not. At the moment, it feels like I just read a rough draft manuscript that needs a lot of work to be finalized for the public. While the story itself isn't something I think people should stay away from, the writing actually caused me pain with a bad migraine (twice), and I don't think I could recommend any one else reading this book until it's properly edited.