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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  640 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Ren "Jackal" Segura is a Hope -- a special child, a powerful symbol of a new world government destined for greatness. But two months before she is to assume the role she has been preparing for her entire life, Jackal discovers that everything she believes, everything she is, is a lie. Convicted of a terrible crime, she agrees to participate in a "rehabilitation" experiment ...more
Paperback, 353 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Eos (first published September 1st 2002)
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsDivergent by Veronica RothThe Host by Stephenie MeyerUglies by Scott WesterfeldThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Best Science Fiction With a Female Protagonist
102nd out of 611 books — 1,656 voters
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le GuinGrass by Sheri S. TepperParable of the Sower by Octavia E. ButlerThe Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry HarrisonThe Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
Most Under-rated Science Fiction
129th out of 1,034 books — 1,076 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,734)
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David "proud member of Branwen's adventuring party"
At times, Solitaire is a fascinating read! Sadly, at other times, reading this book is about as exciting as...well...playing a game of solitaire!

In the not-too-distant future, world peace has finally been achieved. As a symbol of this new era, all children born on the first second of the first attempt to unify the world have been designated "Hopes". Now the Hopes are entering adulthood, ready to take their place as figureheads for the global administration. The Hope of the world's only recognize
Elaine Burnes
I like when a book leaves me altered and this one did. Wonderful. It was not without flaws. I thought the whole elevator bit was contrived, but in the end, I loved the characters so much, cared so much, worried so much for Jackel and Snow, that I forgive it any sins. I even started over again, with the intention of trying to better grasp the world, but didn't really care if all those pieces fit together neatly or not. I love stores that mess with the mind and time, and this does both very well. ...more
Aug 16, 2007 eva rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sff, fiction
i think i made this book way more interesting for myself by skipping the synopsis on the back cover, which like most SF books totally gives the "what-if?" hook away. i had no idea what was going to happen in act II, and when it arrived i was shocked and impressed. so i guess if you haven't read the synopsis yet...don't!

i liked it for being a pretty unique coming-of-age story and character study. it was nice, in a SF book, to see a female protagonist in this role - especially one who isn't a hack
This sat on my shelf for awhile, and I'm so glad I got to it. Eskridge writes about identity and place in a near-future society and ties in the movement of governments and companies on a larger stage without resorting to the usual conspiracy theories and post-Matrix references. The book has a strong sense of compassion that got under my skin and made me think about what I was reading. In fact, I've since realized that I have, once again, fallen into the rut of reading mostly male authors. Since ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I guard my sleep time determinedly. I understand I need 7-8 hours each night in order to function well and maintain my health. While I always read in bed for a couple of minutes before I turn out the light, I usually have a strict time limit for doing so. With "Solitaire" I threw my personal reading rules out the window. I read at stoplights, during work breaks, at my desk during lunch and LONG past my "lights out" deadline in bed.

Ren/Jackal was innocent, convicted, sentenced (to hell I might ad
This seems almost like a young adult novel. I wanted some more time with Jackal's solitary confinement, since it's the crux of the book, but it lasts only 30 pages. As much as I don't care for the sequel, this almost should have one, if only to explore the world Jackal is in when she's released from prison; all the other "solos" and how they've been affected by their sentences.
sci-fi. i read this sometime last summer and it took me this long to recall title/author. dark-ish but i really am curious about her further adventures. i'm a sucker for the look and feel of future civilizations.
Stories generally chart the progress of a character through some form of change. What prevents or causes this change is what drives the action in a story, but what keeps people reading is curiosity about change. Solitaire is a book in which the main character starts off as a woman who has everything given to her (though, to her credit, she works very hard to live up to what she has) and ends the book a woman who has everything, quite conveniently, given to her.

The first portion of the book, Jac
The book was fascinating and prescient of the influence of technology on our daily lives while painting a not-too-fantastical vision of future society, including the first corporation nation and the worlds attempt at global governance via celebrity babies (sounds weird but it's a great aspect of the novel). But the focus isn't the science fiction components but the character's relationships and humanity, which I love. The only disappointing piece was the ending. It just tied up a little too simp ...more
Seminole County Public Library
(Submitted in the 2014 Summer Reading Grand Prize Drawing)

First novel by a sci-fi writer friend of Nicola Griffith. Future dystopian story of Jackal Segura, who is the Hope of her society, her downfall and imprisonment – in this future, imprisonment is in your mind – and her life after she gets out of prison disgraced.
Interesting read but leaves you kind of flat at the end. No real message or stance. But I would read another book by this author because maybe she’ll get there.

- Submitted by Sue
It pains me a bit to be less than excited about a book with such glowing blurbs from Octavia E. Butler and Ursula K. Le Guin, but thus I find myself.

The premise is an odd take on the Chosen One trope in fantasy; children born at a very specific time corresponding to the official establishment of an Earth-wide government are earmarked and groomed to take up places in that government in what is openly acknowledged to be an exercise in public relations. Jackal is like a princess who is learning man
Althea Ann
I picked up this book in a bargain bin because it looked interesting. Beginning to read it, I thought, "wow, stylistically, this book reminds me A LOT of Nicola Griffith" (an author I particularly like). Next time I picked it up, I noticed the dedication: "to Nicola, my sunshine." I looked it up and yep, Kelley Eskridge is Nicola Griffith's partner; they met at a Clarion workshop. Whether or not proximity has influence on style, this is an amazing book.
Ren Segura, a young woman who calls herself
I won this book from First Reads and am so glad I was chosen to receive this book.

A science fiction novel in an undetermined future, this book tells the story of Jackal who at the beginning of the story lives a life of privilege that she just discovers is based on a lie. While she is still dealing with this, she finds her life turned upside down by a tragedy that also makes her a criminal in everyone's eyes. She is put into an experimental program where she will spend 8 years in a virtual solita
This excellent science fiction novel is set in the near future and centers around a young woman named Jackal Segura. In order to escape a 40-year prison sentence, Jackal agrees to undergo an experimental punishment: she will be subjected to "Virtual Confinement," a virtual reality trip to solitary confinement. A matter of months will pass in the real world, but inside the cell in her head, Jackal will feel as though she has been in solitary for eight years. The technology has yet to be refined, ...more
Product Description from Amazon

“Ren "Jackal" Segura is a Hope -- a special child, a powerful symbol of a new world government destined for greatness. But two months before she is to assume the role she has been preparing for her entire life, Jackal discovers that everything she believes, everything she is, is a lie. Convicted of a terrible crime, she agrees to participate in a "rehabilitation" experiment: While her body lies comatose for eight months, a computer will convince her mind that she i
Daniel Roy
What happens when you isolate a human being from any contact with others for a number of years? What kind of deep scars will this leave on his or her psyche? How can she or he hope to ever live a normal life again?

These are some of the questions posed by the touching novel Solitaire, but don't think it's a grim, depressing story. At its heart is an emotional, uplifting story of inner strength and, dare I say it, love. It's cerebral SF of a breed rarely seen nowadays, and it's an amazing debut by
Darusha Wehm
Feb 08, 2011 Darusha Wehm rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Darusha by: Dave
I had this book recommended to me and all I knew was that it was SF and great. Coming in to it with no preconceptions was perfect, as this story twists and turns like a bad wiring job.

The main character, Jackal Segura, has grown up in a corporation-state knowing she has a special position in the company and in the world. When we meet her, she is young, talented and given more help than anyone else. She's sympathetic, even though the reader sees that her path to success has been more or less pave
3.5; I liked this quite a bit but I don't think it did as much as it could have, in order to get a 4. This kinda reminds me of the Santa Olivia books by Jacqueline Carey. They're definitely not the same but they have some of the same elements (speculative sci-fi starring queer ladies/a lesbian couple, Jackal doesn't have literal superpowers but she's kinda viewed that way still, a major traumatic event that they have to work through and the girlfriend perseveres with them through). It's a nice r ...more
I'm starting to think that SciFi might be my new favorite genre. I got this book for $1 on the clearance table at Borders but the description on the back of the book seemed interesting so I risked the dollar and bought it.

The books main character is Ren "Jackal" Segura. She's what is called a Hope, which are the babies born in the first second of the first day of a new world government called EarthGov. She is the Hope of Ko, which is a huge corporation and she's groomed from birth to be a leader
the golden witch.
(crossposted to librarything)

The premises of a unified Earth government, along with corporations-as-individual-nations, have both been brought up quite a few times in the scifi genre as of late. The betrayal of the corporation with its sacrificial lamb. The horror of losing one's very self. But very few books with these premises actually delve into what it feels like to feel the self dissolving, along with what happens afterward.

I don't know how Eskridge did it, but she did it. I was racing to c
Given my background in psychology, I found this book to be fascinating as it explores a virtual reality program being tested by the world's corporation. Anyone interested in systems and program management would find interesting lessons in this book, and it also gives a glimpse into what might happen if we were forced to live in our own minds. I found myself drawn into the main character even when I didn't understand the context of what she was going through. The only negative was that I found th ...more
I won Solitaire from goodreads' First Reads, and honestly it's a great example of why I love entering First Reads drawings.

The premise of the story is pretty much as unique as it gets. The characters are well drawn and believable, and I stayed interested all the way to the end. While it does take more than that to make a book really stellar, hitting all these marks makes one very good in my book. Taken as a whole, I cannot dislike this book.

On the other hand, I did have a few issues. The synopsi
Her whole life, Ren "Jackal" Segura has been trained by Ko, the world's first corporate nation state, to be part of an elite group which will take on powerful positions with the world government. But when she is embroiled in legal trouble, the corporation abandons her to an eight-year sentence in virtual reality solitary confinement. The book's futuristic settings are realistic, the characters are intelligent and vibrant, and Eskridge writes an engrossing story. Unfortunately, the book falters w ...more
Kelly Eskridge’s Solitaire is mind-bending, fun, emotionally charged read, owing to its multifaceted story, dynamic characters and exotic settings.

I recently read this lovely 2002 piece of science fiction and lesbian literature with a fervor. The plot actually consists of three very disparate lives that the protagonist, Jackal Segura, traverses. In the first third, Jackal is coming into her own as a representative to the world government in early 20s (known as a “Hope”) and solidifying her perso
Melody Udell
I enjoyed Solitaire, especially because I'm such a huge Margaret Atwood fan. Kelley Eskridge is a solid writer, although the book's editing could've been improved. (Small Beer Press was the publisher.)

Solitaire tells the story of Ren Segura, a young twenty-something raised knowingly as an optimistic symbol of an emerging corporate-based world government. As she prepares to take on the mantle of representing her country, Ko, Ren is charged of an unintended crime and sent into virtual solitary co
You will most likely find this book either on the science fiction or the lesbian fiction shelves, but neither label adequately categorizes this book. Yes, it is set in a high-tech, not-so-distant future, and yes, there are two women who are lovers, but this story is not a dismal 1984-type vision of the future if current events don't change, nor is it a lesbian romance novel. It has elements of both, along with a dash of psychological thriller; the middle portion is one of the most intense probes ...more
James Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
All other things aside, it is a giant relief to get to read a novel about a queer character where NO ONE EVER MAKES A BIG DEAL ABOUT IT. It's not played as edgy, it doesn't exist to titillate the reader, it's just part of the character's identity.

That said, no matter what the main character's orientation, I would've enjoyed Solitaire immensely anyways. I truly enjoy Sci/Fi that isn't space battles and angry demon aliens and warp cores. Solitaire is really more of a novel set in a science fiction
Celia Powell
I realised when I was about a third of the way through this book and it was seeming very familiar that yes, I had read it before. I have no idea when, but a couple of years ago I would think.

Ren (or Jackal, her "web name") is a Hope, one of the children born on the first second of the new year in a corporate city state, Ko. She is a celebrity, given an accelerated education, and is used to constantly being the focus of public attention. But then a terrible accident happens, and she is sentenced
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Kelley Eskridge is a fiction writer, essayist and screenwriter. She is the author of the New York Times Notable novel Solitaire and the short fiction collection Dangerous Space. Solitaire was a Border Books Original Voices selection and a finalist for the Nebula, Endeavour and Spectrum awards. The short stories in Dangerous Space include an Astraea prize winner and finalists for the Nebula and Tip ...more
More about Kelley Eskridge...
Dangerous Space Solitaire Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction Nebula Awards  31: SFWA's Choices For The Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Of The Year Angel on the Ropes

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