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Solomon the Peacemaker by Hunter Welles

Solomon the Peacemaker

by Hunter Welles

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An unsettling but none the less good book. I say unsettling because it isn't really that far-fetched of an idea that we as humans would attach a computer to a human to keep the peace. I can see as a race doing just such a thing. And yet despite the society's advancements the human failings are still in place. Drug use, prejudice, crime and manipulation. Definitely a book that made me think. ( )
  deemelody | Mar 19, 2015 |
This is a fantastic tale of a not so distant dystopian future. The plot line of the story is not particularly original. Computers take over. Everyone is monitored. Limited freedoms etc. However, the format of the book is truly original. It is presented as the redacted transcript of a law enforcement interrogation of the main character. He proceeds through his story in the first person and describes his life and the world around him. The ending was fabulous. All in all the book was truly gripping (I read it in a day) in spite of its relatively unoriginal plotline. ( )
  jcervone | Nov 7, 2014 |
Welles's prose is clear and fluid rendering what could have been a complicated morass of a mystery into a seamless narrative about the role of memory and our relationship to technology
read more: http://likeiamfeasting.blogspot.gr/2014/04/solomon-peacemaker-hunter-welles.html ( )
  mongoosenamedt | Apr 25, 2014 |
Spoiler-free Summary:
At the end of the 22nd century we find Vincent, held by some strange captor(s?) for a reason we do not yet know, explaining in sessions, his slow decline into the cultish underbelly of future-Boston. As he tells his story, it quickly becomes clear that the future is a complex place. It is internationally tranquil thanks to the supercomputer Peacemaker that maintains world peace through interacting with a human Host. Despite this A.I.-established world peace, tensions are unfurling on the interpersonal level; there are those who despise the Peacemaker and the autonomy it represents and others who worship the Peacemaker and the human Host it feeds on. Preacher, the charismatic and flawed cult leader who despises the Peacemaker completely, takes Vincent and his girlfriend Yael under his wing, forcing them to reconsider what it means to be peaceful – what is the price of peace? Yael, unable to reconcile her place in this new paradoxical world takes her own life, and it is around her that Vincent centers his tale. Both beautiful and horrifying, Solomon the Peacemaker is an unforgettable tale of a dystopian love.


Solomon and the Peacemaker is the debut novel from Hunter Welles. It also happens to be the first novel published by Cowcatcher Press (please note the funky website – I like it). So, upon picking up this novel, I felt as if I was heading into some great unknown, and, interestingly enough, that’s how I remained to feel after reading the first few “Sessions” (this novel is parsed into Sessions with our main character Vincent rather than Chapters).

Being thrown headfirst into this future world filled with its own lingo, mannerisms, and political ideology was disorienting. On top of being introduced to this new future, we are further confused by not knowing why the hell we are in a “session” with Vincent and who is Vincent and why is Vincent here and – okay, calm down. Not even a quarter way through the novel I began to feel confident in my understanding of Vincent’s world. Welles does an excellent job of detangling the tale. So, if you are initially put off by the confusion, stick with it. I promise it gets better and you will appreciate the confusion later – it makes it scarier.

This novel is ambitious. We are talking about world policies here, religion, technology as a whole. Welles doesn’t back down. Despite these giant, soaring topics, Welles is able to reel us in – to show us the small details amidst the bigger ones. Within the revelations on religion and politics, we find breathtaking descriptions of a couple in love – of a couple in turmoil – of the nuances and mannerisms of individuals. This is a novel about the future of the world, but it predominantly felt like the story of a tragic romance, which worked wonderfully.

Solomon the Peacemaker was one of the most devastating, beautiful things I’ve read all year. It is a masterful debut novel. I absolutely loved it.

Buy this book January 14, 2014 from Cowcatcher Press.

http://bookpuke.blogspot.com/ ( )
  stephaniesanders | Mar 21, 2014 |
Full review here:The Steadfast Reader - Solomon the Peacemaker

I read this book in three sittings. I probably would have read it in less except for y'know... life.

This is going to be one of the best debut novels in years. Solomon the Peacemaker is speculative fiction at it's best. Welles does his world building and narrative almost as well as... dare I say it... Margaret Atwood. The structure of the book as an interrogation with the questions by the police being redacted is brilliant. It pulls you in and forces the reader to sit down and think about what questions the interrogator might be asking, this forces you to actively reflect on what you're reading as you read it.

I disagree with other reviewers that felt like they were being thrown into the deep end of a pool upon the opening of this novel. The world is neatly parsed out and not so different from our own that the few acronyms and unusual vocabulary words are so quickly resolved as not even being an issue. It's true that Solomon the Peacekeeper is not told in a conventional narrative style, but I had no problem with it at all. If anything the non-traditional narration enhances the writing and helps to accelerate the plot.

This book is phenomenal. I want it to blow up and everyone to read it.

Look for a more in-depth review on the blog in the coming weeks.

I received a free copy of this ebook to review from NetGalley, on behalf of the publisher. It will be released 1 January 2014. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0989762807, Paperback)

Like all great science fiction, Solomon the Peacemaker is a grand thought experiment. Fast-paced and mysterious, it takes the reader to the twenty-second century, where cultural norms have changed the way people interact with technology. Humanoid robots, though ubiquitous, are confined inside private homes, giving the impression that all is well with the world. And this may be the case. But in the basement of the Church of Incarnations, one man believes that human beings may already be in the thrall of these robots and The Peacemaker, the incredible computer built as a storehouse for human memory. Told through the words of a prisoner, the novel will keep readers questioning the morality of this future world even after they read the last sentence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:09 -0400)

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