For the people how have fallen in love with the Oracle of Delphi series, Solar, Defeated is a must read. Who can deny the amazing allure of Strafford Law and all of the bothersome secrets cause a guy that amazing to be ostracized on a daily basis? Story of my life right here.
Initially, the novella began with Strafford reminiscing his past with melancholy and regret strewn everywhere throughout the pages, setting the bar of the novella relatively low. However, immediately the reader is sent on a flashback journey that introduces the Strafford that everyone once loved and his family that was once closely bonded. Diantha has done a splendid job of revealing the pain within Strafford that has been hidden from readers previously. The flashbacks are not pathetically depressing, but are in fact extremely cute and fun to read.
Despite all of the adorable flashbacks that were so enjoyable, they also left me tearing once I finished. After seeing a happy Strafford with his joyful family, it was shocking and tragic to see the family all broken up after the death of Isolde, Strafford's twin sister. It was unimaginable that her death, even though it was already known, could destroy the familial bond between Strafford, his siblings, and his parents.
If I could describe this book it would have to be like an Annie or Les Miserables mash-up. Yes, both of these are musicals, but since Strafford and his siblings are the children of Apollo, it's not like they're avoiding music. In fact at one point, one of the cutest scenes was when the family formed a band. In other words, the desolate beginning soon branches into a fluffy, cheerful middle, and ends with a somewhat deflated climax. Although there are so many questions answered in Solar, Defeated, there are also so many more questions that came up as well, especially with the vague, open ending.
For the most part, it is hard for me to decide whether this novella was a read I loved or a so-so read. There was so much that had me smiling and eagerly rereading, but the inevitable depressing parts of the novella were quite burdensome. There were points that felt a bit disjointed because of the vacillation between the bright and the dark. It is definitely not Diantha's fault or the novella's problem; it's my own personal tastes that playing a factor in it. This is definitely a novella that all Oracle of the Delphis series lovers will enjoy, so go and give this series a try because it is so worth it.