Books

The Tinker and The Fold: The Problem with Solaris 3

They have been watching…Because of him, they are coming…Jett Joseph Javelin Junior is enjoying the eighth grade until his scientific tinkering goes dangerously wrong and attracts the attention of The Fold, an extraterrestrial force, tasked with keeping peace in the galaxy. When The Fold comes to collect him, Jett’s life is thrown into disarray. From alien abduction, to life in Tower 100, to becoming a castaway on Lanedaar 3 and savior to the Boonans, to flooding the White House with living alien pom-poms that eat everything in sight, Jett’s adventure to save Earth from The Neutralization Protocol and integrate it into The Fold is fraught with peril and will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

The Tinker and The Fold: The Rise of the Boe

The second installment in The Tinker and The Fold series follows Jett Javelin and his companions as they set out to save his father from The Fold’s rehabilitation base on Solaris 9, but a slight miscalculation takes them off course. Instead Jett’s Quantum Swapper takes him, Nukii, his brother Jack, and his friend Abcde to the far reaches of the galaxy where the murderous Hazbog, the last of the Eelshakians, is bent on evening the score with The Fold. Now Jett must race against Hazbog and his army of Boe warriors to save his friends and himself from the clutches of the mysterious and insatiable Blood Mist. As the sun sets on Alipour 4, who will survive to see the dawn?

The Tinker and The Fold, The Javelin Divide

The Tinker and The Fold: The Javelin Divide

Several years after the events of The Rise of The Boe, Earth is trying desperately to come to terms with the social and economic changes demanded by The Fold. In the absence of Jett Javelin, a new force, known only as The Iron, has, with the help of Hazbog, organized itself in direct opposition to The Fold. The paramilitary group’s villainization of The Fold continues to gain traction and converts as it operates in the shadows. Abcde, compelled by a hallucinogenic vision, kidnaps Jett’s brother Jack and, along with mentalist Maria, enlists his help to save the planet from its biggest existential threat yet: a being whose sole purpose is to undermine The Fold at every turn. In the thrilling conclusion to The Tinker and The Fold trilogy, old friends will reunite to battle ancient foes and uncover hidden truths while asking the question, is The Fold truly good?

 

Reviews

New Review

The Tinker and The Fold Part 2 – The Rise of the Boe

The first mark of an exceptional trilogy lies in the introductory book’s ability to lay the foundation of a compelling story that’s worth carrying forward into a series. Part 1 of ‘The Tinker and the Fold’, The Problem with Solaris 3, performed admirably in this regard, creating a superior work hard to put down; but the meat of a three-volume series lies in its ability to continue an exceptional approach past the first introductory volume and into later books.

The Rise of the Boe performs admirably in this respect, and opens with a foreword that places the story in perspective (for newcomers who have not previously imbibed of Solaris 3) so that all readers enter on an even playing field of prior knowledge. The saga begins where Solaris 3 left off, in a world changed by aliens, Ten Laws, The Fold’s miracles and dictates, and a humanity at odds with their newly managed lives.

After his father’s disappearance, Jett (“The Tinker”) and his family is relocated for his own safety, and Jett is sick at heart for all the changes he’s helped introduce to his life and everyone around him.  Jett decides to rescue his father from The Fold’s rehabilitation base on Solaris 3, but faces new challenges when a miscalculation lands him in the middle of another alien force; this one scheming to bring down The Fold.

The story doesn’t open in this sci-fi scenario, however, but in the rehabilitation center on Pluto where Dweller Jett Senior is being tested in a rehabilitation simulation that places him back in the Iraq War where his life-or-death decisions will reflect whether his destructive impulses have truly been changed.

The efforts and purposes of this brainwashing and retraining session are made startlingly clear (“He was acting in self defense. He was fighting for his country against evil people who committed horrible atrocities. Why was he here? What was the purpose of all of this? What did The Fold hope to accomplish? “We seek to greatly diminish and eventually eliminate your species’ propensity toward violence,” the telepathic voice reassured, “as we know this will ensure a superior outcome for Solaris 3.”), reinforcing the underlying methods and purposes of The Fold’s presence on Earth.

Betrayal, alien monkey-cats, a god powerful and feared by the Boe, and twin brothers on a mission makes for a gripping story that doesn’t limit itself to a single aliens species or galactic setting, but continues to expand the boundaries of worlds introduced in Solaris 3.

As Jett and his brother face a deadly ‘blood mist’ and a force that rivals The Fold, they must make some terrible choices and face their consequences in a story line that is satisfyingly complex and an astounding piece for a middle-grade author, even given a father’s collaborative participation in the process.

It’s the stuff of movies (one can only hope a screenplay will come next); but if these two volumes are any indication, Book 3 will be well worth waiting for – especially since the Boe are not done here, despite Jack and Jett’s best efforts.

— Diane Donovan, Editor

New Review

“. . . [This] book is really good.

Clearly, this book’s creators love their work. It shows in the deep, compelling history of the world (and worlds) in which the story takes place. A lot of that history might not come into play in the story, but it could.

The first book in the series introduced the Quantum Swapper, a very fun sci-fi idea. That’s the jump-off point of the story, and interstellar adventure ensues thereafter.

The story is sci-fi, mixed with some intense family drama. It reminds me a little of the TV series “V,” with the occupying forces who fix everything, but naturally, all is not as it seems. That’s an excellent setting for a heroic story.

Here’s my favorite part of the book. The book’s heroes have the best names for any character in anything I have read in a very long time: JETT AND JACK JAVELIN.

I kept reading the book just so I could keep seeing the names.

Their mom’s name is Evelyn Javelin. Evelyn Javelin, guys. Let that sink in.

Naming characters is hard. But the authors can stop stressing about it now, because Jett Javelin is an amazing accomplishment and sets a new high bar for everyone else.

From here on out, everyone needs to take a closer look at how they name their characters. They might think their names are cool.

But now, everyone should ask, “Is it Jett Javelin Cool?”

— John Crow, Revolution SF

New Review

The Tinker and The Fold Part 2 – The Rise of the Boe

The Rise of the Boe officially releases tomorrow, but we were lucky enough to get our copy early. The second book follows Jett Javelin, his brother Jack, best friend Cyd, and Nukii, as they set out to save Jack and Jet’s father from the The Fold’s rehabilitation center on the base of Solaris 9. The Quantum Swapper takes them way off course, and into the galaxy, where murderous Hazbog is looking to settle the score with The Fold. Jett must now race against Hazbog and his army of Boe warriors to save his friends and himself from the clutches of the blood mist. Who will survive? Get your copy tomorrow to find out!

— Kelly, Lead YA Blogger

New Review

The Tinker and the Fold Part 1: The Problem with Solaris 3

Four years ago a father and son collaborated on a fun project to write a science fiction story; an effort that was to blossom into something more than a one-time partnership. The Tinker and the Fold: The Problem with Solaris 3, sees their effort brought to full fruition in this first book of a trilogy, a result of that process; but if readers anticipate a genre read replete with conventional devices, they will immediately realize there’s far more happening here than a predictable story line.

Many sci-fi reads for young adults revolve around events and characters which don’t stand out from the crowd. Not so with The Problem with Solaris 3, which opens with sassy young Jett’s increasing defiance of the status quo. His attitude crosses over from school to life in general, and though his twin brother Jack strives to blend in, Jett is determined to carve his own path and personality as he navigates his world.

It’s this attitude that earns the eighth grader a unique place in the scheme of things to follow when his proclivity for tinkering attracts the attention of The Fold, a galactic peacekeeping organization, and leads to quite a different kind of alien abduction than popular literature portrays.

From an invention that tests his mother’s quantum theories and opens the door to strange new worlds to Jett’s place not just on Earth, but in the universe, The Problem with Solaris 3 succeeds in going where few other young adult science fiction reads can follow, transporting its readers to a unique universe replete with kidnappings, unexpectedly hilarious alien invasions, and a “must have” list of tools that includes impeccable and funny logic (“E.M.P. grenade (because electro-magnetic pulses come in handy in the event one needs to disable electronic devices – say an army of murderous robots.”).

Each chapter adds a dose of humor and wry observation that defies normal sci-fi approaches. Each builds upon Jett’s clever, creative character and the strange worlds he encounters, which are graphically and beautifully described from a pre-teen’s viewpoint: “No freakin’ way,” he whispered stepping outside and into an alien civilization. He was surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of tall silver blue towers. Every tower had plants growing down from it. They were of every imaginable color, and the colors popped brightly in the glistening sun. Silver space craft flew harmoniously through the blue green sky as if to some unheard musical rhythm.”

Even when dialogue and extraterrestrial encounters are taking place, the sassy, spunky interactions between characters are fun and refreshingly original: “Not exactly what we planned, but certainly a fortunate reversal of events,” Tii-Eldii observed, “It appears phase mismatch can cause the swapper to warp the fabric of time itself causing us to be in two places at once just moments apart, fascinating…” “Blah, blah, space time, Doctor Who – Let’s get out of here! Do you know how to fly one of these things?”

“No, but there’s a first time for everything

The difference between a one-dimensional, predictable sci-fi read for young adults and one which is a standout in its genre often lies in a combination of author approach and fresh, original details; and the father-son team of Evan & Scott Gordon succeed in going where few writers (much less family authors) have gone before.

Rich in characterization, plot, development, and humor, the story unfolds as a winner and is highly recommended not just for the young adult audience it’s intended for; but for many an adult sci-fi fan looking for the truly remarkable standout read that includes thought-provoking reflections on the nature of peace, collective consciousness, and ruling systems.

— Diane Donovan, Editor

New Review

The Tinker and the Fold Part 1: The Problem with Solaris 3

The Problem with Solaris 3 is the first book, and it takes place in Southern California in 2028. Jett Joseph Javelin Junior is an eighth grade student that loves to tinker. That is until his tinkering goes dangerously wrong and attracts The Fold. The Fold is an extraterrestrial force that keeps peace among the galaxy. When they come to collect Jett, his life is thrown into chaos. From alien abduction, to living in Tower 100, becoming a castaway, to flooding the White House with aliens that eat everything in sight, Jett’s adventure to save Earth will keep you guessing, and keep you wanting more.

— Kelly, Lead YA Blogger

Jett, a California kid, invents a gadget that could propel an unready mankind far into space, and he’s abducted by powerful, cautious aliens.

Scott and Evan Gordon, a father-and-son sci-fi/YA writing team, offer a rambunctious launch to a new series. In southern California in the year 2028, adolescent inventor Jett Javelin, son of a theoretical physicist, takes cues from his mom’s research to create the “quantum swapper,” a DIY teleportation device capable of materializing individuals light-years away. Its use instantly makes Earth a high priority for the judgment of the Fold, a federation made up of 1,756,234 intelligent, peace-loving (and vegan) alien civilizations. The Fold takes action whenever a nonbeneficial race discovers interstellar travel. It turns out the Fold, via their chief regulators, the Aaptuuans (the variety known to UFO enthusiasts as flying-saucer “little greys”), long ago seeded throughout the universe the laws known here as the Ten Commandments. Any spacefaring civilization that violates these laws in any way—even killing and eating animals for food—is subjected to “neutralization,” doomed to likely extinction by having all electronic technology deactivated. After the Aaptuuans abduct Jett along with his invention, his behavior (and whether his people find his records and can duplicate the quantum swapper) will determine Earth’s fate. Luckily, Jett hooks up with the tentacled Tii-Eldii, a refugee from a previous Aaptuunan neutralization, and the chase is on.

The fleet narrative never has any dead spots and boasts a clever range of aliens of all shapes, sizes, and appendages. It also has just the right balance of tongue-in-cheek (when a life form happens to have a tongue or a cheek) and serious elements when it comes to pondering moral issues and dilemmas. There is, naturally, a cliffhanger finale to draw readers into the next installment.

Fun YA galactic romp that is not without its thoughtful side.

My Favorite book I’ve ever read..Awesome Book!!

By Amazon Customer on January 23, 2016

It was the best book I ever read!!! I love all the characters in the book, Nukii was the best! The writers really took some thought in all the charaters and it was a fun read. I read it in one day and couldn’t put it down that was a first for me! I would recommended it to everyone adults, boys and even girls!

A “can’t miss” for young adult sci fi aficianados

By Robert Hoyt on June 6, 2015

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Because the primary author is a middle schooler himself, I think this book does a particularly good job of combining Jett’s unvarnished freshness with philosophical and religious themes that many adults as well as young adults will enjoy, I loved the way the book moves from action packed adventure with unique alien characters to interesting perspectives on the foibles of the human race.

The best testament to my pleasure in this book is how much I am already looking forward to Part II. I am sure that Jett will be even more intriguing as an older adolescent in Part II. Given the foreshadowing of what lies ahead, I suspect that Jett will need all the additional brain and emotional resources that he can get!

No Problem…

By Eric Hartman on May 26, 2015

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A well constructed and thought-out tale of discovery and redemption that I thoroughly enjoyed. Jett Javelin is intelligent, sarcastic, and sassy, everything you like in a pre-teen protagonist. His travels take him, and the people of Earth, on a journey of self-examination and discovery that will decide the fate of humanity. (Without a doubt, my favorite character is “Bob”, Jett’s room away from home.)

Warning….Once you start you will not put it down!

By Cathy Ablondi on June 8, 2015

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This is a thrill packed page turner that is sure to captivate all those who love adventure and science fiction. Its protagonist, Jett, is an engaging middle school boy who is smart, funny, irreverent, curiously wise and totally believable. From Solaris 3 to Aaptu to Boona, Jett’s personality reals you in as you are taken for an exciting ride through the galaxy in space ships, quantum swappers, and even in the slimy pocket of a huge earth worm. Most impressive of all, however, is the book’s presentation of issues facing humanity, and its questioning of what is right and what is wrong and who is good and who is evil. This makes it wonderful for parents and kids to share because it is bound to stimulate meaningful discussions about the big questions in life (not always easy to do with teenagers). I anxiously await part 2.

It’s a fast-paced YA book that kids who love aliens and action are going to thoroughly enjoy

By LoMaloYaPasoon December 12, 2015

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Do not think that this is thinly-veiled Christian literature. I’ve got nothing against Christian literature at all, but if Christian-lit is not your cup of tea, you might put this book down initially, as it may seem it’s simplistically referring to the Ten Commandments. Keep reading! This IS a very spiritual book, but not specifically-Christian. It’s a fast-paced YA book that kids who love aliens and action are going to thoroughly enjoy, but the moral dilemmas it wrangles with are spiritual in nature. Do ‘nice’ beings who are attempting to keep order across universes really get to play God? Does someone’s ‘bad’ action make them evil, and therefore beyond redemption? These are some of the themes woven in and out of this fast-paced book. It will almost certainly provide fodder for discussion around your house. You can sneak in conversations on ethics by just reading this book to your kid out loud. I hope the authors write a sequel!