http://www.TracingTheStars.com was given a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Solar Storms is an optional prequel to ORBS (which is an awesome, blew-me-away book). Solar Storms is a well written short story that deals with the discovery, event and aftermath of a devastating solar storm that hits Earth in 2055, laying waste to much of the midwest United States. It introduces two of the main characters in ORBS, Dr. Sophia Winston and Dr. Emanuel Rodriguez. It also introduces the NTC, or New Tech Corporation, who have privatized space exploration and much of the scientific sector.
The book does a good job of setting the scene, building the world that ORBS will come to exist in and telling the story of the developing disaster. It feels like the beginning of a disaster movie, where they director spends fifteen minutes or so giving a brief history of an event before forwarding to a jumpcut with a date across the screen years later. This book serves that purpose for ORBS.
It gets four stars instead of five simply because I feel like it didn't need to be its own novella. I think this could have served as a good starting place for ORBS (Which is a solid, no question 5-Star read) and should have been incorporated all into one novel. I think the information is very good to know for the reader to have a solid grasp on what is going on in the first chapter of ORBS. It isn't necessary to understand the beginnings of ORBS, but I think it would have made a nice entryway for the book.