Sunday, 15 March 2020

Helene by Karl Drinkwater

Title: Helene
Series: Lost Tales Of Solace Book 1
Author: Karl Drinkwater
Genre: Sci-fi (with hints of horror / thriller)
Publication Date: October 2019

Dr Helene Vermalle is shaping the conscience of a goddess-level AI.

As a leading civilian expert in Emergent AI Socialisation, she has been invited to assist in a secret military project.

Her role? Helping ViraUHX, the most advanced AI in the universe, to pass through four theoretical development stages. But it's not easy training a mind that surpasses her in raw intellect. And the developing AI is capable of killing her with a single tantrum.

On top of this, she must prove her loyalty to the oppressive government hovering over her shoulder. They want a weapon. She wants to instil an overriding sense of morality.

Can she teach the AI right and wrong without being categorised as disloyal?

Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.

My Review:

Helene was an interesting novella, that gives some history to the Lost Solace 2 book series, which I haven't read... yet.

The story revolves around the relationship between Dr Helene Vermalle and the AI, Via, she is helping to shape, and as such involves a lot of fascinating conversations between the two.

Although I understand the reasoning behind it, I did find the long paragraphs of block capitals when Via was talking slightly offputting.

( I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)

Author Bio:

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He's a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you'll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn't writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.


  1. Your wish is my command! A few other people had issue with the caps so I changed those sections. It switches much earlier in the book now, prior to the rant! :-) I've uploaded a new version for sale. New text:


    “We’re affected by what we’re born with. But we can also change many things if we wish. Including names.”
    “Then Via it is. And, while we’re on the subject of change … could you soften your voice slightly? Your default tone makes me think you are shouting at me.”
    “Is this better?”
    It was the same sexless voice, but at a lower volume, and that somehow broke up the artificiality. Via was probably capable of fully human cadences but they weren’t necessary for communication. This seemed like a good compromise.
    “That is perfect. Thank you, Via.”