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Radiant Shadows

Settling: Solid, Book 2

Settling - Shelley Workinger With a slightly darker tone, Settling was a fun and fast read. Though I did miss Clio's witty remarks and constant sarcasm from Solid, I enjoyed the fast paced plot and mystery surrounding the attacks.Shortly after the events in Solid, people on campus are being attacked. As each person tries to deal with their feelings about staying on campus in light of this new threat, Clio becomes more and more withdrawn, distancing herself from her friends and family. I really couldn't connect to this Clio, as I didn't understand most of her actions. But neither did she.I wasn't sure I knew anything at all these days, particularly myself. I felt like I was losing myself - not just my mind, but also my sense, maybe even my heart.She spent a lot of time alone, frustrated over the army's lack of results. As her frustration grew, she became irritable, so even when she was with friends, she was quick to snap at them. While I shouldn't compare Settling to it's predecessor, I did find myself constantly missing the camaraderie found within Solid, which is why I think Settling reads slightly darker.I also had a hard time grasping Settling's timeline. Clio made numerous references to having messed things up with her friends, because she was so withdrawn. She also felt guilt for having abandoned them and for having spent so much time alone. But as far as I could tell, only a few days had passed. I didn't understand how the group had gone from being inseparable to strangers in such a short period.As with Solid I wasn't overly attached to Clio's romantic interest, Jack, but I did really enjoy watching Clio learn that her attraction for him might not be based out of love for him as a person, but for the ideals he represented.Jack was perfect. So perfect that really only the law of opposites could say we belonged together, with me a full one-eighty in the other direction. It almost made me question if I'd fallen for him or the idea of him. Or, more accurately, the ideal of him. My feelings for him had been immediate - striking like lightning in the way we all dream of from the time we watch our first princess movie.But what if that was all wrong? I'd thought my heart had leapt for him, to him, because it'd been meant to be, that we'd been brought here to find each other.It also made the very obvious and very palpable attraction between Clio and Ford something I looked forward to. With his security job keeping him busy, Jack was absent for most of Settling. That left plenty of time for Clio to develop a chemistry with Ford that I never saw between her and Jack.The plot was interesting enough, with the mystery surrounding the attacker creating a good amount of suspense, though I was surprised that Clio took so long to determine a key trait of the attacker. It would have been nice to see Clio uncover some clues before stumbling onto the identity of the attacker, but watching her battle with her raging emotions was a journey on its own! True to Solid's ending, Settling had the culprit laying out their entire devious plan, which of course, gave the proper authorities enough time to sweep in and save the day, causing a slight internal groan. Why don't these antagonists ever learn?While there were things I missed from Solid, Settling was a decent middle book. While I don't feel like it really did much to advance the trilogy, it did showcase how everyone is growing into their abilities and showed a slightly more complex side to Clio, a character who, before, I would have written off as slightly simplistic and shallow. Settling also left enough questions unanswered for me to be interested to see what's going to happen with Clio and Ford - if anything - and to finally learn the truth about C9X.