Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Solid Core of Alpha” as Want to Read:
A Solid Core of Alpha
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Solid Core of Alpha

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,652 ratings  ·  266 reviews
In an act of heroism and self-sacrifice, Anderson Rawn's sister saved him from the destruction of their tiny mining colony, but her actions condemned the thirteen-year-old to ten years of crushing loneliness on the hyperspace journey to a new home. Using electronics and desperation, Anderson creates a family to keep him company, but family isn't always a blessing.

When Ande
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 8th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,652 ratings  ·  266 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Solid Core of Alpha
Julio Genao
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Science fiction matters.

This one's a nice twist on the castaway trope.

Lovely character-work with the holograms. When was the last time you fell for a non-biological—after R2D2, obviously—never mind a bit of code in an escape pod?

It takes a big heart to feel empathy for characters who aren't even alive.

It takes an ever bigger heart to write them—and well.

Good stuff.
That blurb? It, in no way, serves this book justice.

So, I’m gonna redo the blurb while I tell you about all my feels.

Anderson has just witnessed his entire planet being destroyed. He’s watching from the spaceship his sister shoved him on in order to save him from the same fate. The spaceship is en route to a planet that is ten years away. Anderson is just as young boy at this time and is completely and utterly alone. He uses the ships technology to create holograms of a school, friends, teachers
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of these books that makes you want to write a review so worthy that you find yourself deleting everything you start to write because you just can't get the emotion it made you feel down on the page. So I'm going to try and get it over as best I can. I've had this waiting to read for a while and Im kicking myself I didn't start sooner!!

The story opens with an event so heartbreaking you wonder how in gods name this is ever going to have a happy ending, then you watch helplessly whilst
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Heartwarming and very unique. I liked the whole idea of holograms and the mm romance was a bonus. Loved both Anderson and his ingeniousness and CJ and his kind personality. A good book that makes you feel good.

Kaje Harper
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was a fascinating exposition of what lies inside the human mind. It's a wonderful take on survival and the psychology of isolation. Anderson is stranded onboard a shuttle in space for ten years, from the time he's twelve. Everyone and everything he knew has been destroyed. To keep from going really crazy, he figures out how to give the holographic characters, that the computer can generate, real personalities and autonomy. He ends up with four good friends and a lover, who are synthesi ...more
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Amy Lane fans

Amy Lane, once again I worship at your feet ..... a huge from me, a total keeper and 5 pom pom girls

For me, this was a really special story which was heartbreaking from the start. Like 'Chase in Shadow' which I also liked but was a completely different sort of book, this book deals with mental illness, loneliness and dreadful physical abuse.

Anderson Rawn was a happy 13 year old boy living with his family on a tiny mining colony outside of the Crab Nebula until a meteor shower destroyed the colo
3.5 stars

My conclusion after finishing this book: Amy Lane needs to write more scifi!

I listened to 'A Solid Core of Alpha' in audiobook format, and it was a solid narration. Paul Morey did a good job of differentiating voices of different characters, while choosing voices that "fit" characters' personalities. The pacing was a tad slow, but that was easily fixed by adjusting the playback speed.

I really liked the different route Amy Lane went with this book. Quite often, MM science fiction revolve
And what a Pity Fest it was!
I am adding a pity-fest shelf just for this book.

There was NO BDSM, at least not that I've noticed, skimming through the last chapters.

For those who have shelves for it, there was Artificial Intelligence for the majority of the book.


Nothing made sense to me - why people did things or did not.

(view spoiler)
Lisa Henry
Holy crap. This book!


And I will write a review tomorrow when it is not 1.30 in the morning and I stayed up late to finish THIS BOOK. Because I mentioned it's awesome, right?

Okay, so I've had a day to regroup and reevaluate a bit. I still love this book but I'm dropping down a star because I didn't really feel the ending. Anderson's breakdown and recovery felt kind of rote. It's probably an awful thing to say but I really would have liked a more violent reaction from
Damon Suede
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Astonishing. Brutal. Breathtaking. Heartbreaking. Brilliant. Rich.

A subtle, scorching meditation on projection and fidelity in all their forms and modes. Full review coming shortly.

Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: m/m, m/m romance, gay romance, readers
Recommended to Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog by: Jen Mathews

This book was released in 2011 and has been reviewed and rated heavily. It was, in part, due to the high rating that I decided to give it a try. Also, I love sci-fi and when it has a M/M romance element, then all the better. It's going to be very hard to put into words how much I enjoyed every moment of this read. Suffice it to say that I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading much more from Amy Lane.


…and C.J. was plunged into a hell so exquisite there wasn’t a
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gotta-have-it, keeper
It's too bad that goodreads doesn't have a 5+ button for when you want to gush about a book. This story starts out so sad and I was so worried about Anderson because he's lost everything and what is that going to do to him? How damaged is he going to be? And he is hurt; he is broken, but not irreparably because he has that solid core of alpha in him. Everyone has a light side and a dark side but in Anderson, they are not only manifested mentally, but physically as well in the abusive relationshi ...more
Heather C
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather C by: Lauraadriana
I really loved this book. It was so different from anything I have ever read before, and I especially think it was something different for an Amy Lane book. I really can't go into all the plot details without giving away a ton of spoilers and I don't think that I could even explain it if I tried. So just understand that it is sci-fi with space ships and holograms, but it still has the beautiful, emotional love story that everyone loves about Amy's books.

She did an amazing job with the world bui
Ever want to know what a wet limp noodle feels like? Read this story and you’ll find out. That’s the only way I can describe how I’m feeling right now. How the author was able to write this story without giving herself a mental break down is amazing.

When I started this story I wasn’t convinced I’d finish it. I had no idea what I was in the mood for so I decided to go for something totally unusual for me, and to be honest, I figured I’d give up fairly quickly. As you can tell I never gave up, or
Valentina Heart
This review was originally written for Hearts on Fire Reviews and can also be found there.

The shove you get when you first start reading this story is powerful and overwhelming, as it pushes you into a world of tragedy, heart-wrenching sadness and hope. It’s impossible to imagine the loneliness after the ultimate loss and the courage as well as determination to keep going. But all of it was implemented into this book; the emotional punches, shocking twists, cruelty as well as love.

Anderson wa
Christina Marie
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who wants to add to Amy Lane’s collection of tears.
This book. I can’t deal with anything right now.


This was amazing. So close to perfection. Probably my favorite book of the year. Just wow. WOW.

I could not put it down.

Amy Lane just stabbed me in the heart with her knitting needles and wiggled them around for a while. For some reason this made my love for her grow.

A Solid Core of Alpha is one of those books where I can’t believe I waited so long to read it, and at the same time I wish I waited longer. Only because I want to experience the whol
Sep 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Yvonne by: Mika
Amy Lane books seem to share certain characteristics. Her characters often react in highly dramatic fashion, weeping copiously, hand wringing, throwing up etc. & are inclined towards self-induced suffering. It's like an old joke: Doctor, it hurts when I do this. Doctor: Then don't do that. This advice is ignored in your typical Lane book & the characters instead veer towards taking a bad situation & making it worse. I've noticed this especially in Lane's fantasy works & specifically in The core ...more
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

The two things I remembered about this book were that the psychological aspect of this book was super intriguing, and that the romance was underdeveloped. And those are my exact points now that I’ve re-read it.

I loved that this was a sci-fi story without everything revolving around earth. Earth is mentioned, but I think only once.

I absolutely loved the Anderson storyline. How he was the only survivor of his planet when his sister shoved him in a shuttle before the entire planet was des
♥Laddie♥ (Lee Lee)
The Review Where I Just Can't Figure Out A Rating

When I finished A Solid Core of Alpha last night I wasn't sure how I was going to review it and I had no idea how many stars I wanted to give it. I still don't know how many stars to give it so I'm going to refrain from rating it at all.

I was told by more than one person that this book is a hard read. For me, it wasn't but I'll come to that in a bit...

When Anderson was 12 the mining colony he grew up on was destroyed by an asteroid shower and ever
I read this a few years ago, but just saw it pop up on my feed and remembered why I gave it a 3 instead of raving about it like one would expect. It started out as an excellent read but my feelings changed drastically once Anderson met his match, C.J. I'll just link to Valentina Heart's review, because she said exactly what I thought in a much nicer (and better!) way:

Sometimes I love Amy Lane's brand of over the top angst and sometimes it makes me cringe
Holy mother-fucking-HELL Amy Lane! How can a person write phenomenal contemporary, and then bust out a phe-fucking-nomenal science fiction book?!? I'll tell you how. Cuz Amy Lane knows people. She knows their deepest darkest secrets and desires, the parts of yourself that you keep hidden for shame or embarrassment or just plain pride. But she also knows their strengths and power. And she rips you open and exposes all of them to the light of day.

I liked this entire book, but the first half. Oh, t
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm, science-fiction
This story, while original and scifi (which me like, usually), just didn't grab me.

Just because everybody in this book spends a lot of time crying, that doesn't mean it is automatically heartbreaking or moving. Maybe I have a heart of stone. But I don't think that is it. Traumatic things happen in this book and the characters respond by bursting into tears (or sometimes puking), but there is something missing in between those two events: the words that translate the emotional impact of the even
I can't tell you how happy I was to put another Amy Lane book in my Favorites bookshelf. It's been a while. That's not due to her writing, it's just her sub-genres of late have not been ones that I'm familiar with.

There really aren't enough stars for this book. The storyline is genius. I have no clue how she came up with this one but it was outstanding. I can't wait to read it again.

Not only were the MCs in this book ones that I immediately became involved with and in love with, but her second
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ann by: Breann
I just finished listening to this one on Audible and the narrator, Paul Morey, did a really good job. Anyone who listens to audiobooks knows the narrator can make or break the story for you.

I definitely need to read the book now though to get a full appreciation for the story. There are a lot of characters going on and when they are all talking at once (a narrator can only do so many distinct voices in one passage) it can get a little confusing. I definitely didn't lose the gist of the story, b
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-scifi
Sweet bejeezus! Intense.

I'm actually surprised how much I loved this because Lane's books generally seem way too melodramatic to me, but I adored this. It hit all the buttons: hierarchies, psychotic breaks, shredded emotions and intensity. CJ and Anderson are hot, sexy, heartbreaking, and smile-inducing. Of course, I adored Anderson. Perfect. The logic created and then disassembled was a breath-taking, yes...I'm freakin' out of my mind--Awesome!

Loved it and will definitely reread it.
M.J. O'Shea
I was amazed by this one. Honestly. It's been a really long time since a book got me so much that I completely forgot I was reading. Even little details thrown in for color had me totally lost in the world she's created. I've been reading sci-fi a lot longer than I've been reading (or writing) M/M and as far as I'm concerned, this is right up there with my all time favorites in both genres.
Tully Vincent
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
3.5 stars rounded up

Excellent writing. Wonderful world building. An unusual premise that's tenaciously and thoroughly explored. Angst filled & chock full of tears, psychological pain and physical abuse. Very believable and well drawn characters and plenty of them. Some scorching hot sex scenes between CJ and Anderson. Anderson goes though so much and comes out strong. CJ also changed/grew tremendously.

The first part of the book was quite amazing and very enjoyable. Then begins the larger part
Jeff Erno
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stars: 4.5/5

Length: 100,000+ words

While I really, thoroughly, enjoyed this novel, it feels like nothing I've read before. While a romance was definitely central to the story, there was so much else going on. The psychological and emotional issues the two main characters need to work through and overcome are the main focus of at least the first three-quarters of the book. While Anderson has spent ten years alone on a ship with only his self-created holograms to interact with, C.J. has issu
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a hard book to sum up. I know I've marked it as a sci-fi, which is tru-ish. I mean it takes place in space in a time, way past our lifetimes... but that's really where the scifi-ness stops. At it's core (excuse the pun) in a dark-ish psychological drama? Maybe. Whatever, I can't give you a pithy short hand genre, but it's about two people that need each other for vastly different reasons.

Anderson is the sole survivor of his planet. As it was being destroyed, Anderson's sister shoved the
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dark Space (Dark Space, #1)
  • Changed: Mated to the Alien Alpha (The Omega Colony, #1)
  • Human Omega: Discovered on the Slave Planet (Pykh, #1)
  • Gravitational Attraction
  • Bone Rider
  • Dantès Unglued (Ward Security, #2)
  • Blind Space
  • Kríe Captivity (The Nira Chronicles, #1)
  • Darker Space (Dark Space, #2)
  • Deadly Dorian (Ward Security, #3)
  • Frat Boy and Toppy (Theta Alpha Gamma, #1)
  • Zercy (The Nira Chronicles, #2)
  • The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings (Black and Blue #1)
  • Ignite (Unbreakable Bonds, #7)
  • All Souls Near & Nigh (Soulbound, #2)
  • Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Big Bad Wolf, #4)
  • An Uncommon Whore (An Uncommon Whore #1)
  • The Hanged Man (The Tarot Sequence, #2)
See similar books…
Amy Lane dodges an EDJ, mothers four children, and writes the occasional book. She, her brood, and her beloved mate, Mack, live in a crumbling mortgage in Citrus Heights, California, which is riddled with spiders, cats, and more than its share of fancy and weirdness. Feel free to visit her at, where she will ride the buzz of receiving your e-mail u ...more

News & Interviews

  Let your voice be heard! We need your help selecting the best books of the year during the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards, our 12th annual...
82 likes · 44 comments
“You love him, man,” was what Jensen did say. “You love him so much, you’re making plans to go to hell for him.” 5 likes
More quotes…