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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review: Solstice by P.J. Hoover

"Where mythology and dystopia meet..."

In the current literary world we book lovers live in, where everyone writes every possible dystopia themed novel, nothing could be more catchier than combining a dystopian world with mythological elements. It's such an attractive premise, and just like a few people I know, that one line had me sold in this book.

Title: Solstice by P.J. Hoover
Pages: 378
Release Date: May 4th 2011
Published by: Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Source: from author for review (thanks, Tricia!)
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 is P.J. Hoover's debut YA novel and is the first front-list novel to be independently published by an Andrea Brown Literary Agency author.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. Persephone and Hades' story is my absolute favorite in all of Greek Mythology. I just love how everyone seem to be always against them and yet they just want to be with each other. So tragic. At least that's how it was in the versions I've read and I loved every single one of them.

In Solstice, the world is dying, and Piper's in the middle of the slow devastation of the Earth. She'd seen the horrors of what the extreme heat can do in Austin and everything the government does worsens the Earth's condition instead of helping it get better. On top of that, she's been under the shadow of an overprotective mother all her life, and they're running away from a father she didn't really know. What Piper isn't aware of is that the secrets that surround her may also be the key to saving the world she'd live in all her life. But Shayne and Reese, the two new guys at school hounding her, make it seem like choosing one over the other makes it a matter of life and death not just for her but for her home.

For all her flaws that were made obvious throughout the book, Piper is a likeable character. But I did have a hard time relating to her especially when her feelings just swings back and forth easily between the two guys. When she was with Reese, she longs for Shayne and when she's with Shayne, Reese would randomly pop up in her mind and she would swoon for him. However, her almost instantaneous shifts of feelings shows the readers the struggle within her.

P.J. Hoover was able to mold mythological characters into believable teenagers of today. If Gods and Goddesses were certainly living in modern times, this is how I thought they would behave. The modern Ares still possess the arrogance of the God of War, and Hades retains his somber, withdrawn but strong qualities that made him the Lord of the Underworld no matter what time he is in. I do think I fell in love more with Hades, with the addition of Charon as well as Cerberus who will also charm the readers!

Though I wish for more emphasis on the fact that the world might be ending, to feel more urgency that it was indeed falling apart, P.J. Hoover was able to make it an integral part of the story strong enough to make it a driving force that moves the plot along.

I loved every single moment I've spent as the plot unravels right before my eyes, piece by piece, one secret at a time. Solstice is a page turner, a story that you just can't put down, can't stop reading until you reach the end. Readers will journey through the depths of Hell together with Piper, and face the terrifying fact that the world is on a meltdown of huge proportions.

Reminiscent of P.C. Cast's The Goddess of Spring, Solstice is a Young Adult novel of intense romance in a modern world still surrounded by myths, Gods and Goddesses. The world about to come into an end serves as a great backdrop of an olden tale with a modern twist. Solstice is a fantastic blending of mythology and dystopia and true to its word, they did meet.

I highly recommend this book to fans of mythology based books who are searching for something new, something romantic and intense and hot, with lovely writing and a great flowing pace!

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Great story, great characters and really good setting!

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
Pretty cover, if you ask me!


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