“Readers will be rewarded by exciting action scenes and a deeper knowledge of Solace for future installments.” —Booklist
“An engaging world rich in detail, mayhem, and adventure . . . All aboard for fantasy lovers with a dual penchant for girl power and keeping up with the Indiana Joneses.” —Kirkus Reviews
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
From Jaleigh Johnson, the acclaimed author of The Mark of the Dragonfly, comes another thrilling adventure in the magical world of Solace. Lina Winterbock lives in the mountain strongholds of Solace. She’s an apprentice to the archivists, the wise men and women whose lives are dedicated to cataloging, studying, and preserving the objects that mysteriously fall from the sky in the scrap towns. Lina should be spending her days with books, but the Iron War has changed everything. The strongholds are now a refuge, and the people Lina once counted on no longer have time for her, so she spends her days exploring the hidden tunnels and passages of her home. The strongholds are vast and old, with twisting paths, forgotten rooms, and collapsed chambers, some of them containing objects that have been lost and forgotten even by the archivists. And in one of the forgotten chambers, Lina discovers a secret. Hidden deep in a cavern is a half-buried airship like nothing she has ever seen before. She’s determined to dig it out and restore it. But Lina needs help, and she doesn’t know anyone she can trust with her secret. Then she meets Ozben, a mysterious boy who has a secret of his own—a secret that’s so dangerous it could change the course of the Iron War and the world of Solace forever.
JALEIGH JOHNSON is a lifelong reader, gamer, and moviegoer. She loves nothing better than to escape into fictional worlds and take part in fantastic adventures. She lives and writes in the wilds of the Midwest, but you can visit her online at jaleighjohnson.com or on Twitter at @JaleighJohnson.
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
THE SECRETS OF SOLACE is rooted in my love of museums. A few years ago, I visited the Louvre in Paris, and it was one of those nights when the museum was open late, so I got to wander the galleries for hours. I felt like I’d been transported to another world. It didn’t take me long to make the leap from there—what if you had a museum full of objects from other worlds? I started creating the archivists, men and women who preserve objects that fall from other worlds in the meteor storms of Solace. From there I let my mind off the leash and ran with it!
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
I couldn’t choose between Lina and Ozben! Even though they each have their own agendas and secrets, they are best when they’re together. They give each other strength and really have the power to change each other throughout the novel.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel almost always comes first for me. I think the title changed a few times with this one, because everything I came up with turned out to be a spoiler for later events in the novel. Can’t have that!
4. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
There’s a scene later on in the book between Lina and her mentor/teacher that I’m particularly proud of. These are two characters who are both stubborn and don’t always understand each other, but the bond they share is deep, and I wanted it to come through in that scene.
5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
That if you don’t take joy in your own process, nothing else matters. Success or failure involves many things that are beyond my control, but if I love the work I’m doing, that’s enough.
6. What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The color! The blue came out spectacularly, in my opinion, and I also love how the light from the firefly (ahem, sorry, lumatite) moves from the back cover to the front.
7. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2016?
I’ve got my eye on two titles. The last of the Raven Cycle books by Maggie Stiefvater, and Anna-Marie McLemore’s WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS because I absolutely loved her debut, THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS.
8. What was your favorite book in 2015?
That’s a tough one! But I’d have to say it was Felicia Day’s hilarious YOU’RE NEVER WEIRD ON THE INTERNET (ALMOST). I adored that book.
9. What’s up next for you?
Finishing up work on the last book in the Solace series, and then it’s on to something brand new that I can’t speak of yet, but I’m so excited about!
10. Is there anything that you would like to add?
I hope readers enjoy THE SECRETS OF SOLACE—hang on for a wild ride with Lina and Ozben!