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The sun exploded on April 18, 2112. It exploded in a Class X solar storm the likes of which humankind had never seen.

They had nineteen minutes.

Nineteen minutes until the geomagnetic wave washed over the Earth, frying every electrical device created by humans, blacking out entire continents, every satellite in their sky.

Nineteen minutes to say goodbye to the world they knew, forever, and to prepare for a new Earth, a new Sun.

Generations after solar storms have destroyed nearly all human technology on Earth and humans have reverted to a middle ages like existence, all knowledge of the remaining technology is kept hidden by a privileged few called the Reticents and books are burned as heresy.

Alana, a disfigured slave girl, and Recks, a traveling minstrel and sometimes-thief, join forces to bring knowledge and books back to the human race. But when Alana is chosen against her will to be the Vessel, the living repository for all human knowledge, she must find the strength to be what the world needs.

221 pages, Paperback

First published May 26, 2015

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Lisa Cresswell

8 books87 followers

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5 stars
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8 (29%)
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2 (7%)
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Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews
Profile Image for Aggie Unsworth.
111 reviews21 followers
December 2, 2015
This book is based in the far future, after the sun has destroyed everything electronic and all machinery. It's as if the world as we know it has been pulled hundreds of years back.

Alana is a slave to her masters, treated in the worse way possible not only by her masters but also by his wife's, who have spilled hot oil over her face. Leaving her scarred and hiding her face at all times. She barely manages to survive, having her own ways to find food when she didn't receive any from her masters.

Recks is a story teller and thief, caught and inprisoned, waiting for his trial and possibly his execution. Alana is being made to feed the prisoner and his companion Kinder once a day. Keep them alive till their trial.

But Alana finds herself going far beyond the task of feeding them once a day. Kinder is not well and dying. She finds ways of bringing them food and other stuff they may need. Slowly bonding with Recks who is kinder to her then anyone has ever been.

They manage to escape with Alanas help. And that is where many adventures start for the two who have been separated from Kinder.

Eventually they get caught by the Reticent, a sort of cult that has been ruling for some time. They discover that not everything they know about the day the sun destroyed everything is true. Far from it. They are being fed information and are being recruited for the Reticent. But what else will they discover?

I can't really say much more about the story or I will give to much away. The book is sci-fi, which is not my first choice. But I have discovered so many new genres since I started blogging I really wanted to give this a try. And it was ok, I enjoyed reading it. Finished it in 48 hours. But it wasn't ground breaking. The idea was amazing and I feel it could have been taken so much further. Can you imagine a world without any technology, electricity and machinery? This alone should fill books. We are so dependent on all of those things. I would have loved to read more about a world without.

The characters are great, I loved both Alana and Recks, their kindness is sadly rather unique. And I would like to think that there is still people who see the good inside a person rather then what's on the outside alone.

What bothered me most was the fact that the horrible things, most of all rape, that happened to Alana, by the hands of her masters were just mentioned by passing. Like it was nothing, like that alone shouldn't make a story. Such serious matter should not be brushed off and made to look like even the victim didn't care much. I believe the story would have been fine without adding this subject to it.

So if you like this genre and you have a chance to read this, go for it. It's a nice, easy flowing and quick read.

However I do wish it's ending was different somehow.
Profile Image for Vesper Vesper.
Author 6 books17 followers
April 29, 2018

Vessel is an intriguing story from the perspective of a disfigured slave in a world that believes the sun to have its own cognitive conscience... almost like a new type of God-figure after the world was flipped upside down, causing machines, technology, and electricity to fail.

A story of this nature is enjoyable and makes you think when written properly. Though this story was an entertaining one, it's just not good enough. As an avid reader, I look for books that can make me feel; books that can make me cry, be angry with another character, or feel completely elated for someone. Unfortunately, though I felt a small amount of pity for... (more via website)
Profile Image for Holly Bryan.
594 reviews137 followers
June 3, 2015
I have had my eye on this book since I first saw the cover reveal from Month9Books many moons ago. I love sci-fi, and VESSEL looked to be right up my alley. So I jumped on the chance to be part of the release week blog tour, and I’m so glad I did!

VESSEL takes place about 200 years after a massive solar storm has wiped out all electronics and most of the world’s population. Generations of people, descended from the relative few who survived, have been taught that Mother Sun was angry at the people of Earth for their slavish devotion to technology (after all, the storm did wipe out all those electronic machines we love so much), and they now worship the sun and live lives free of all technology. Anyone caught spreading “heresy” (eg, the sun is just a thing, having no agency, no ill will toward anyone) is dealt with by the roving priests known as Reticents at their rituals known as Cleansings (basically, burning heretics alive). Sounds fun, no?

At the start of the book we meet Alana, a young slave girl of Asian origin living in post-apocalyptic Italy. Perhaps needless to say, she has had a very rough life as she’s grown up in her master’s home. She is disfigured (a rather hideous story), sexually abused, and basically just existing instead of truly living. On top of being a slave to a master with multiple wives who despise Alana out of jealousy and being disfigured on one side of her face and blind in that eye, she is viewed as “other” by the people of her village because she is the only one with Asian features and pin-straight black hair. She has been taught that she is ugly, even before being disfigured, and made to wear a tent-like covering that literally covers her entire head - no one ever looks upon her face.

The moment I began reading VESSEL, I was immediately captivated and entranced by the story and Alana’s voice. I wanted to know everything about her and her circumstances, which the author would leak slowly like air from a balloon. It is absolute perfection the way she tells Alana’s story, and I felt every single thing Alana felt. When Alana is charged with feeding (and I use the term loosely) two prisoners her master’s friend has captured and is saving for a visit from the Reticents, her life takes a turn she never would have expected on a million years. She meets Recks - the swoon-worthy, big-hearted, intelligent, amazing Recks - who she is astounded to see has eyes and hair similar to hers. Of course she is captivated and intrigued by him, as he is the first person she’s ever met of her own heritage. When the Residents arrive and Alana learns Recks and his traveling companion, Kinder, will be put to death, she is determined to help them escape.

From this point, the story just takes off on a stunning adventure. I have read so much for so many years that I can usually tell where a book is leading, but believe me when I say I did not have that sense with VESSEL! Every twist and turn the story took was a shock or surprise to me - but never in a way that I felt it came out of left field. Ultimately, even though they weren’t directions I had anticipated, every change, surprise, and twist was completely plausible and organic to the story. I never felt like the author cheated or threw in random characters or events simply to move the plot forward. It was simply a well-constructed, superbly thought out, and beautifully-told story. If you are someone who thinks they do not like sci-fi, don’t let that scare you from this book - it is what we’d call “soft” sci-fi and very readable and relatable. I think you will fall in love with Alana and Recks and their story just as I did. I can’t get their story out of my head, either, and I truly hope Ms. Cresswell has a sequel planned! I should warn you, though - you may wish to have some tissues handy. I bawled like an inconsolable baby as the story drew to a close. I was so shocked by what happened and how it ended, and I went from dry eyes to complete waterworks in a flash.

I hope this review has convinced you to give VESSEL a read! I hate for anyone to miss this amazing story.

Thank you to Month9Books and Chapter by Chapter for allowing me to read an ARC of VESSEL and letting me take part in the blog tour. Also, thank you to Lisa Cresswell for writing such a stunning story and sharing her gift with us.
Profile Image for Heather.
573 reviews138 followers
June 6, 2015
I love a dystopian novel, really, really love it. If a disaster is coming to wipe out the planet I am on it like a car bonnet (or hood if you live in North America but that doesn't rhyme). But as I have said before a lot of these books struggle to be fully original, time after time we meet a perfect girl who straight away goes out in to the post-apoc world kicking ass, Vessel is not like that at all.

It is set in the future, a future where a solar storm turned our world from a technological wonderland to the stone age. Alana is a slave, horribly disfigured by the jealous wife of her master, she is used and abused, and because of her appearance she is covered up at all times.

She knows no other life apart from this one but all is about to change when she meets two criminals who have wandered in to her town and tell her about what they have seen.

She helps them escape just before they are about to be judged, they beg for her to come with them but she refuses. However she does eventually escape, when one of them Recks comes back for her and together with they set out to discover the world that is out there.

What they come across is a group who are the keepers of the knowledge of technology and they want her to be a vessel for this knowledge.

This book is a good read, it is definitely something different in this well stocked genre. I haven't read many books where the sun is the main culprit of earth's demise, it is so much more believable than zombies.

Lisa has done a great job of with this book building an interesting world with great characters, making this a great addition to your dystopian shelf.

Thank you to Chapter by Chapter / Month 9 Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Mark Gardner.
Author 21 books51 followers
November 23, 2015
My biggest complaint with Vessel, by Lisa Cresswell, is that the story was disjointed. I understand the appeal of telling a story from different perspectives, but I really didn’t care about Recks. The story is about Alana, and when it diverged to Recks, my interest waned.

There was this Hunger Games/Maze Runner style vibe to it, but what it really reminded me of was the Tales of a Dying Star series, by David Kristof. Overall, Vessel was a good read, and I’d be interested in reading beyond the final chapter.
I’m glad I took a chance on Lisa Cresswell when I saw Vessel on NetGalley.

This book is a 3.5-star, and I’ll up-star it to 4 on Amazon and Goodreads.
Profile Image for Patricia Hamill.
Author 16 books98 followers
August 2, 2015
Vessel is a science fiction/post-apocalyptic/dystopian set a couple hundred years in the future after a mega solar flare sends the world into a new dark age. The inhabitants have become fearful of technology and the knowledge that spawned it, believing that such things caused Mother Sun to destroy their ancestors. Alana, a slave girl, finds herself embroiled in a struggle against the Reticents, a group determined to enforce mass ignorance, after helping two captives who are destined for the flames of a Reticent Cleansing Ritual.

This is truly a well-crafted science fiction story, though at first, it may seem to be more of a post-apocalyptic instead. Let me assure you, it is science fiction. The first glimmer is the event, the solar flare that wiped out modern civilization in the year 2112. For much of the book, I thought that was the reason for the sci fi tag. I was wrong. That’s just the surface of the island, and the way the rest emerges is simply delightful. As soon as I thought I had this one pegged, it surprised me, and then it did it again. There is no way I’d have guessed how it turned out, but it totally followed the story.

I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this story, except to note that it took a while for the sci fi to kick in. Other than that, this story is very well written and edited. Also note that, as a slave girl, Alana is subject to the whims of her master, but it doesn’t go too much into detail beyond giving backstory. Although I think this was intended as YA, I think the story falls under the realm of adult sci fi due to the political undertones and some of the more mature plot points, though that being said, I would have liked this story when I was a teen.

Overall, I loved this book. Vessel is a high quality offering that I believe will delight readers of sci fi, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian books. I think the book is well suited to older teens and adults, particularly those who like science fiction that shows a good understanding of the science brought into the story.

I received the review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This review was written for the blog at PureTextuality.com.
Profile Image for Marni.
323 reviews62 followers
June 13, 2015
I love dystopian and you can't get much more dystopian than this. 50 years prior to the story the world was basically wiped clean of data, electronically held information, etc, by a solar storm. There's some information still out there, but it's held on tightly by a small group. This is the story of Alana, a slave girl, and her life.

I liked Alana right away. I could sense her resentment and anger and could understand her, as a person. As the author tells us the story, she also allows us to get to know Alana in a way that a reader normally doesn't. Instead of filling in the blanks as they come, we are pretty much given Alana's life as it is happening.

Recks...Alana's saving grace. He comes on the scene and the author gives us even more to admire about Alana and the story. Recks becomes more than someone to admire and Alana knows that she needs to know more from and about him.

A fast paced story that hits the action hard and doesn't disappoint the reader. So many twist and turns but not a distraction but a welcome addition, because that just means there's so much more to know and learn. A welcome book to the dystopian genre and mature readers will enjoy this.
Profile Image for Danielle.
372 reviews23 followers
December 12, 2015
Read this review and more on my blog.

I was given a free copy of Vessel for my honest opinion

Well, that was a disappointment.
Vessel is set in the year 2118, the sun has made all of modern technology useless, and essentially humanity has gone back to the dark ages. We follow Alana, a slave who, in opinion, does not do much. Yes, I know that she is an uneducated slave, but generally I am sympathise with most characters, or atlas understand where they are coming from.
I will admit their were a few plot twists that I quite enjoyed, but it was too little to late. The blurb kinda of gives away to main essence of Vessel, which I found disappointing.
In all honesty, I do not have too much to say about Vessel, as I had high expectation for it, which it did not even get close to. I really wanted to love Vessel, but it just was not for me.
Vessel was super quick and easy read that if you are really into dystopian setting in YA, then you may enjoy it.
Profile Image for Tamara.
504 reviews7 followers
June 8, 2015
Vessel for the most part was a good read. The romance is sweet and the action is abundant. The ending however, took a turn I was not expecting - at all. I’m not sure if there is going to be a sequel to this story or not, but the ending just left me, well, for lack of a better word, just bummed. There was no happily- ever- after and really no closure. The writing itself was great. The story line flowed really well up until the end. Ms. Cresswell did a wonderful job with descriptions so much that I could really visualize the story unfolding. If there is a sequel, I will definitely read it as I really need to find out more.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jennifer Mangler.
1,357 reviews13 followers
June 13, 2015
Holy crap, what a disappointment! I picked this one solely for the "join forces to bring knowledge and books back to the human race" part, but that's not really what the book is about. At all. And the whole weird twist at the end? Ugh! There was lots of potential here in the idea of a group hording knowledge to maintain power, but it's totally wasted in this story.
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