Anne Clarence ★★★★★
The Reading Life

I was compensated with a small amount for my time and effort in reading the book and writing this review. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and are based on my honest personal experience reading the book. Nor did the publisher in any way shape or form ever pressure me to give a positive review. Solipsum by Daniel Couto delves into the captivating journey of Charlie, a young photo assistant thrust into the glamorous yet perilous world of high-fashion photography. Assigned to a novel print campaign that spans thirty locations globally, Charlie becomes enmeshed in an unforeseen romantic web and is mesmerized by the industry’s attraction. As the campaign’s popularity increases, dark secrets surface that expose a secret scheme carried out by Solipsum, a demon posing as the campaign’s male supermodel. Amidst the dazzling veneer of beauty and power, Charlie navigates a realm where love blossoms in unforeseen corners and images transcend into eerie reality. I am a huge fan of stories in which the protagonist is thrown into something unknown, leading to a form of adventure (i.e. exploration of something new), and travelling with them as they explore new things and reveal aspects of a world that are often concealed. I became enthralled with this novel right away because of this and had a lot of anticipation before reading. To my surprise, it was better than I had anticipated. Excitation, adrenaline, careful world-building, and other aspects were all executed by the author. I had a feeling this book would succeed right away immediately upon reading, and oh my did it do so magnificently. The fascinating adventure it provided made me feel like a regular person setting off on an exciting discovery of a fresh and vivid world, meeting people and experiencing things that were far different from what I was used to. I genuinely love it because it can take me to amazing and imaginative places like that. As a lover of darker stories and someone who has read plentiful darker books with more mature content, the depths of the more mature themes and material were all something I was especially happy to see. And seeing how many more exciting aspects of the story come to light as the story progresses, it all gave me great satisfaction and motivation to finish the story until the very end. The story’s inclusion of subtle themes and occasionally mature content also made the story feel more real for me because those topics are all very relevant and plausible in the context. To put it simply, these darker undertones enhanced the story and added to its overall appeal by drawing me into a world full of passion and mystery. One thing that really drew me in was how the story blended supernatural aspects like demons and hell with real-life high society references. It adds levels of complexity and mystery to the plot, enhancing both character development and the overall lore. For my part, I’ve always been drawn to books with magical and mystical themes because I want to explore worlds that are well beyond the confines of modern reality. So it was a nice treat for me to find these aspects integrated smoothly into the plot. The reading experience was made even more captivating and unforgettable by this mix, which not only increased the sense of wonder and adventure but also offered a distinctive viewpoint on the interaction between the every day and the fantasy. Although I had no prior experience with photography or computer graphics, I was pleasantly pleased by how much information I learned on those topics from reading this book. It was unexpected but then expected after I remembered how the author’s background is a professional photographer and computer-generated artist. That really added validity to the things I came across in the book and made me look at the information used to build the world and setting in a new light. This first-hand knowledge enhanced the reading experience in ways I hadn’t expected, giving the portrayal of pertinent subjects in the book an unmatched authenticity. Seeing how easily the author’s knowledge was transferred into the book’s pages and providing readers like myself with an uncommon window into the artistic and technical facets of photography and computer-generated imagery was nothing short of remarkable. Not only did this extra layer of authenticity make the story more engaging for me, but it also made a lasting impression, demonstrating the value of knowledge in enhancing the reading experience. I had a great time reading this book overall. I was interested in the notion at first, and I’m happy to report that it didn’t let me down. It surpassed my anticipations and fulfilled my aspirations and suggestions. It is an excellent read, and I wholeheartedly suggest it!

Peggy ★★★★

I don't know what I had expected or not expected but this book took me by surprise! Not in any form a normal type of read for me but holy crap.... so glad I read this one!

Demetria Head - A Look Inside ★★★★★

"Solipsum" by Daniel Couto is a mesmerizing journey into a world where beauty, power, and the supernatural collide in an unforgettable narrative. This novel immerses readers in the life of Charlie, a young and talented photo assistant, catapulted into the fast-paced realm of high-fashion photography. Her adventure begins with an assignment of a lifetime, working on a print campaign that soon becomes a global sensation, adorning cities around the world. Couto's storytelling prowess shines as he masterfully unfolds a tale filled with unexpected twists and exhilarating moments. As Charlie becomes enamored not only with her work but also with the photographer who hired her and the striking female supermodel at the campaign's center, readers are drawn into a web of passion and intrigue. However, "Solipsum" takes a dark and thrilling turn as the campaign's success is tainted by a series of mysterious deaths. Charlie's discovery that the male supermodel, Solipsum, is secretly a demon from Hell adds an element of supernatural suspense that elevates the narrative to new heights. The juxtaposition of the glamorous fashion world with the hidden horrors lurking beneath its surface creates a sense of unease that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Couto's vivid and evocative prose brings this world to life, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in a place where love can flourish in unexpected places and where photographs possess a magic of their own. The blending of martial arts, supernatural elements, and cutting-edge photography adds layers of complexity to the story, creating a unique and enthralling reading experience. "Solipsum" is a tour de force that explores the intersection of art, beauty, and the supernatural. Daniel Couto's ability to seamlessly weave together diverse elements into a cohesive narrative is a testament to his storytelling prowess. This novel is an exhilarating and thought-provoking journey that will leave readers captivated from start to finish, offering a glimpse into a world both familiar and extraordinary.

Donna ★★★★★

I absolutely must recommend 'Solipsum' to everyone who is into horror, action, mystery, sci fi, fantasy, and/or erotica because this book has it all in spades. On my second read I still couldn't put it down. Couto has a gift for words that has you biting your nails, tearing up, and laughing out loud on a regular basis. Loved it!

Lydia ★★★★★

Dan Couto has captured a world of fashion, photography, futurism in a thrilling adventure through Solipsum. Read it and let your imagination run wild!

Elisabeth Schlegel ★★★★★

Dan Couto is a very talented new writer. Solipsum is a skillfuly written novel. I was hooked on the first page to the last. Well-paced. Bravo,. can't wait for his second novel.

Bob Noorduin ★★★★★

Start reading this book with an open mindset because it starts challenging your perception of reality quite early on. Couto uses a very expressive and witty writing style that engages your fantasy trying to picture what is going on and why. It is clearly written from the perspective of someone who has an intimate working knowledge of the flashy world of photography/fashion and the gory sub-culture of greed and lust for new highs. He takes us to an alternative reality, close enough to be scary, where demons exploit the ugly sides of humanity brought to the forefront by raw consumerism. There are multiple levels to this story and some very unexpected turns which make it an awesome read. Once I got through the first chapter, I could not put it down until I had finished it.

NoelleCS ★★★★★

This book makes for a perfect vacation read. Fashion, demons, mind-control, love, passion and sex.. what more could you want in a beach book? The story is very original, so much so I am at loss to compare it to anything else I've ever read (maybe sci-fi romance novel meets Steven King?); it kept me reading, wondering what odd thing or idea might be presented next. My favourite thing about the book is the way Couto writes, everything from people to light is described in a way that makes you at feel like you could touch it. I am not often a fan of books that do this kind of thing, but its the WAY it's done is really very entertaining...the comparisons are sometimes so crazy and visceral I found myself laughing out loud... "a man with a face like chocolate suet", "walls that curved and ran like ridges in thick cream, slowly poured over the rusted crenellations of some long forgotten machine". These are not even close to the best ones. Next time through, I'm using a highlighter... some of the passages are worth repeating (and re-reading). The cover art gives you nothing to go on. I recommend you "look inside" and sample a few pages. Great fun.

Nathan Younger ★★★★★

It has taken me far too long to write a review for what was a clever and dynamic book. Daniel Couto takes us down a high gloss rabbit hole into a world of high fashion, martial arts, and fantasy. A world that could easily be our own. At the first "Solipsum" appears to be a fairly straightforward construct. Beautiful women, dashing romantic men, and we know the villain from the beginning. Or do we? Slowly, Couto begins twisting and twisting this world into implausible curves and twists culminating in a final showdown you will simply not see coming. For fans of horror and fantasy, of Stephen King and of Neil Gaiman. A high octane must read!

Ashton Ray Hanson ★★★★★

A must read for anyone into....uhmazingness!! I dont typically read these types of books but I couldnt put it down! The mix of horror, action, fantasy, and sexiness completely sucked me into another world. I cannot wait for the next book!

Jan Foster ★★★

This is a book which holds such promise, but, for me, didn't 100% deliver. I like urban fantasy, even when it verges on dark fantasy, and the prose in Solipsum is incredible. The layers of images, the descriptions, the sheer and compelling vividness of the writing kept me reading, even though... - I personally couldn't empathise with any of the characters - and there are a LOT. The cast is huge and at times, because of the head hoping, it was hard to keep track of. I found I liked the humans more, but it was a little confusing figuring out who was a hidden demon and who was simply human. The cat was probably my favourite, which says something.... - Secondly, it was quite slow to get into the actual story. Only by the 25% mark did I think I had a grasp on where it was going. The world which is portrayed in the book seems at first familiar and very plausible - think 1980's superficiality - but it really isn't very likeable. From catwalk designer fashion to architecture, Couto has absolutely nailed it, and that experience of building the image in the readers' mind is unforgettable. Sadly, I think I prefer my reads a little more on the warm and cosy for me to truly 'enjoy.' If you like urban-horror-fantasy then this is a great book!


Beauty must be Served...

Solipsum follows the adventures of Charlie, young photo assistant who works for one of the top photographers in the world. She gets the assignment of a lifetime and soon finds herself working on a print campaign that takes over all the print-based advertising in thirty cities around the world. The campaign begins to succeed beyond everyone’s wildest expectations and it becomes the most fantastic experience of Charlie’s young life, even was she finds herself falling in love with the photographer who hired her, and the stunning female supermodel at the campaign’s heart. Then people begin to die and Charlie discovers the whole thing is secretly orchestrated by the campaign’s male supermodel, Solipsum, who is really a demon from Hell. Welcome to the world of Solipsum, a world much like our own, with some subtle but startling differences. A world of stunning models and shark-like super agents, big-money fashion advertising and cutting-edge photography, where beauty and power meet martial arts and the supernatural. It is a place where love can blossom in the most unexpected places and a picture can spring to life-literally. Solipsum is a story as current as life in the 21st Century, yet with elements of futurism, satire and the supernatural that elevate it far above the norm. It is both a love story and an extraordinary adventure story, as sensual as it is thought-provoking. It will appeal to fans of Johnathon CarrollStephen KingSarah Waters and anyone who ever picked up a fashion magazine.

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