Author: P.J. Hoover
Genre: Dystopia/Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: May 4, 2011
Where Mythology and Dystopia meet...
Piper's world is dying. Global warming kills every living thing on Earth, and each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles which threaten to destroy humanity. Amid this Global Heating Crisis, Piper lives with her mother who suffocates her more than the chaotic climate. When her mother is called away to meet the father Piper has been running from her entire life, Piper seizes an opportunity for freedom.
But when Piper discovers a world of mythology she never knew existed, she realizes her world is not the only one in crisis. While Gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper's life spirals into turmoil, and she struggles to find answers to secrets kept from her since birth. And though she's drawn to her classmate Shayne, he may be more than he claims. Piper has to choose whom she can trust and how she can save the people she loves even if it means the end of everything she's ever known.
Solstice has a pretty interesting setup. The world is basically on fire. They've had to learn to live with 113 degree Fahrenheit days, barely getting relief at all at night. This is where we're introduced to Piper. A young woman, seventeen, still in high-school, Piper is raised alone by her mother - never knowing her father.
When she meets two young men at school, who make her feel things she's never experienced before, things really start to change. Shayne shows up in one of her classes - saying he'd been there all year - and Piper feels an instant connection. She meets Reese through a mutual friend, and is irresistibly drawn to him, even losing a bit of her better common-sense when he's around.
I don't want to give away too much, because the story is pretty intricately tied to the mystery of who everyone is. Though this is set up as a dystopian/mythological story, and I can definitely appreciate the skill with which P.J. Hoover combined them, it's much more a mythology or paranormal story.
The beginning is firmly entrenched in the dystopian aspect of the world though - a world dying from global warming, and that's really the impetus that drives it. It's fascinating seeing what humans in Hoover's world have come up with to combat and survive the heat. I wanted to know more, dig deeper, understand better.
It does begin to get bogged down a little bit, losing some of the interest when we're put more through the paces of introducing the mythological aspect. And without saying anything to spoil what it is essentially a retelling of, I will say that if you have even a rudimentary knowledge of classic myths you'll recognize these characters fairly early on. What kept me reading from that point was to see if there were going to be any unexpected twists thrown in. There weren't.
Solstice is an interesting story that sometimes gets lost in the details. I would recommend it for younger readers (middle-school and up) as I do think it's a fun way to retell this particular myth (which has always been one of my favorites). I look forward to reading more of Ms. Hoover's work in the future.
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