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Solitaire

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  936 Ratings  ·  138 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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(showing 1-30)
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David "proud Gleeman in 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
...more
Lex Kent
Nov 15, 2016 Lex Kent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-f, ya-or-na, futuristic
I ended up liking this more than I thought I would. As a fan of futuristic/sci-fi type books, and always looking for something different to read, this book caught my attention. Also, as a big fan of Nicola Griffith, reading a book written by her wife, also appealed to me.

I would say this book really has 3 parts. Part one, is of Jackal as the "Hope" of the newer world government. A role she has been training for her whole life. Part two, is after she becomes a "murderer" and is sentenced to a vir
...more
Katherine
Jun 27, 2016 Katherine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genre-sf, read-2016
This book follows Jackal, a young woman has grown up living a privileged life. She is a Hope, one of a group of children born at a particular time, which has led to them being singled out for high status and great things, a sort of celebrity groomed to inspire and lead others. She works for a large business organisation. She's being specially trained to be a project manager, leading other people. She is given the lead role on a project to develop a Virtual Reality machine. People can spend time ...more
SR
It's going to be really difficult to explain how much I love this and why but I do. It's incredible.
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
eva
Jul 21, 2007 eva rated it really liked it
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
...more
Daniel
May 08, 2008 Daniel rated it really liked it
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
Sana
Jan 11, 2011 Sana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firstreads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa
Jan 06, 2010 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: ladies-writin
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.
Kevin Smythe
Jul 27, 2015 Kevin Smythe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story of self-discovery. Light, near-future, believable sci-fi. Meaningful, important issues addressed without being heavy-handed. Definitely a page-turner - I gave up some sleep to keep going in this one.
Jamie
Apr 07, 2011 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Karen Witzler
Oct 27, 2013 Karen Witzler rated it liked it
Interesting world -- but it felt like YA fiction to me. The corporate aspects felt nauseatingly real.
Veta
Feb 07, 2017 Veta rated it liked it
[3.5]
Carly Kirk
Jan 18, 2017 Carly Kirk rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read and while I found the main character Jackal whiny, young, spoiled and naive at some points I also liked her well enough most of the time to continue on reading to see how she turned out. And that was the good thing about the book for me, she did grow and learn and strive to be better. The future aspects of the book were well done as well, an interesting take on where our world/society might end up. All in all, a well told story.
Jocilyn
Feb 05, 2012 Jocilyn rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Dorene
Apr 20, 2014 Dorene rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Paula
Sep 24, 2011 Paula rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melinda
I love it and I hated it. The best part of the book is the main character's time in solitaire because she is forced to face her demons and comes out stronger for it. I wish that we all could face our demons, but definitely not the way she is forced to. The story is well written, fast paced and full of great quotes.

What I didn't like (view spoiler)
...more
Daniel Roy
May 03, 2011 Daniel Roy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
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
...more
Juushika
Feb 18, 2010 Juushika rated it really liked it
Shelves: status-borrowed
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
Zachary
Jan 02, 2014 Zachary rated it it was ok
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
...more
Cab
Mar 08, 2012 Cab rated it liked it
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
...more
usagi ☆ミ
(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
...more
Brendan Diamond
Wow. This book was... something. I'm not even entirely certain how to describe it. Part love story, part coming-of-age story, part prison story, part dystopian futurism... It's all over the place with its ideas, and yet, somehow, the whole thing works brilliantly. The opening and ending of the book are a bit slow and tidy, which really makes for some churning and occasionally trying reading. But things really take off in the middle section (which, as you can guess, is where the name Solitaire co ...more
Rebecca
This was a good book if a little disappointing in the end.

Firstly, I thought it was written really well. It didn't annoy me, which is good because I will drop a book if the text pisses me off.

Next, the characters were interesting and three-dimensional. Their personalities and emotions seemed very real-to-life and authentic, which I know is difficult to craft.

Also, I thought the plot was pretty good. It was kind of confusing in the first third though. Stuff seemed out of order to me. And there w
...more
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 Althea Ann rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Lacey
Jan 28, 2011 Lacey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads-wins
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
...more
Amanda
Jun 28, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: nook, favorites
Love it. I feel like I haven't stopped thinking about this book since I read it in college. I would read anything Eskridge wrote. I wish I could read a million books like this one. I want to read one she recommended on Twitter--Magonia. I like a lot of the characters. Probably Neill was my favorite--her advisor who knew how to handle everyone and get them to function as a team. I like Snow a lot. She is so beautiful. I like Jackal's web. Chao, with her womb chair. Crichton with her different con ...more
James Williams
May 31, 2011 James Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meghan
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
...more
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Mostly Lesfic: Solitaire Buddy Read 26 37 May 17, 2014 04:10AM  
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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
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