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Solstice Hardcover – June 18, 2013
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Is it facile to term a novel about earth inexorably cooking to death an admirable slow-burn of a read? Because that’s what Hoover accomplishes as she nicely balances multiple genres, dovetails classical mythology with contemporary global-warming fears, and generally takes her time tying things together. High-school student Piper knows there’s something her boyfriend, Hades, is keeping from her, and she sets out to explore the Underworld (and near-future Austin) for clues. Gradually, it becomes clear that this is one of those gratifying reading experiences in which few narrative details are wasted: everything means something. Sure, the answer to the central mystery of just who Piper really is may be guessable by those familiar with the Greek pantheon. Yet how Hoover connects such archetypal characters to familiar YA figures, such as the “clingy Mom,” is cleverly insightful. The only problem concerns the need to keep Piper herself in the dark—consequently, she sometimes comes across as more shallow than we know her to be. Still, this is a debut novel that consistently delivers. Grades 9-12. --Peter Gutierrez
“Solstice is one red-hot read--it intrigues, sizzles and satisfies.” ―Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times bestselling author
“Fans of the mythology in the Percy Jackson books and the romance in the Twilight saga will find something to love in this new dystopian by P. J. Hoover.” ―Madeline Smoot, Bookseller, BookPeople, Austin TX
“The best modern retelling of a mythological story that I have ever read. Equal parts of mythology, dystopia, and teen romance come together for an amazing story that is a must read for all YA enthusiasts.” ―Danny Woodfill, The Book Spot, Round Rock, TX
“This enticing combination of an all too scary near future and classical mythology is impossible to put down.” ―Diana Tixier Herald, Librarian, Genrefluent.com
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Top Customer Reviews
Solstice is one of those book that I love to hate! It was very hard for me to get into it, and once I (kinda) did, it was a BIG disappointment! Nothing really happened, besides global warming, which was intriguing, but I want something with a bang, or at least....Something! But as the story progressed and we get introduced to the Underworld, and the Gods, then I started to say, okay, this is going to be good after all. Sadly, that was not the case with Solstice.
Solstice had very interesting Ideas, but was not well thought-out. Now, I did not hate this book, BUT it didn't live up to my expectations at all! The writing was good, but everything was VERY predictable! I seen things coming way before they even happened, and when they did happen, it wasn't nothing to get excited about!
The world has gone into chaos. Global warning is in effect, with extreme heat rises, and unexpected hail storms. Its like the weather has a mind of its own...Many people have died as a result of this, and more are expected. Many even believe this is the end of times.
Piper, a freshly turned eighteen year old is struggling from her mothers obsessiveness to keep her sheltered, and cut off from everyone other then her best-friend Chole. She has never had a boyfriend or gone to hang out with friends. So when her mom has to go on this "mysterious" meeting, Piper seizes this opportunity to spread her freshly turn eighteen year old wings, and soars! She goes on a date! For the first time ever, and she loves it! But that's only the beginning of Piper's changing life.
Her life is thrown out of control when mysterious things start to happen. She's hearing and seeing things that can't really be there. And she hears whispers of someone oncoming demise. Then if that isn't enough, two mysterious boys come out of nowhere, and they both seem to know her, and want her. Then Pipers world turns upside down, when both boys turn out to be gods of this underworld, she never knew existed! She's also having these strong desires for both boys. One feels real and genuine, while the other desire feels forced, like a fuzzy haze. Piper can't understand or explain any of this, so she excepts it....
Then Piper is introduced to the Underworld were Gods rule, and dead souls linger. She is thrust into this life of pain, sorrow, misery, on one side of the underworld, where the bad souls go. And on the other side, happiness, love, and a life in paradise for the good souls.
Piper knows she is connected to this world somehow, someway, and she determined to find out how! But no one will tell her anything, and people are dying all around her, her moms hiding something and smothering her at the same time. She also has her best-friend Chole, starting to go crazy on her, and her estranged father is sending her letters and trying to take her away from her mom. And if that's not enough, One of the gods turn out to be something Piper never expected, and he's starting to stalk her! Pipers world went from crazy, to unbelievably INSANE, and she has absolutely no clue how, and why, But shes about to find out....
Now, doesn't that sound good? Well I thought so too, but really it is nothing like it sounds. When Piper found out that the guy she is falling for was actually and god in a different world, she wasn't even freaked out. she didn't ask the most obvious questions anyone would ask, and this go's for other things that happen. She made me feel like this: Okay, your a god in this mythology world, and you judge the dead souls that enter, but can you pass the wine, please? I mean come on, I would been freaking out demanding answers! But No, not Piper, she acts like its a everyday thing to met gods in the Underworld, and see Souls linger!
I also found the character development terrible! I did not like any of the characters, well maybe just a little, but not really. Its like they didn't have any personality, and I found myself not really caring what happened to them. And it was soooooo PREDICTABLE!!!! I knew what Piper was and her role in the whole Underworld thing when I was LESS then 25% in, and it isn't revealed until about 90%. So that should tell you right there that I did not get many surprises in this book!
Another thing that bothered me in this book was that their was really NO ACTION! If your looking for a fast-Paced book, that keeps you turning the pages faster then you can read them, then keep looking because you will NOT find it here, at least I didn't!
So Overall, I didn't hate this book, but I did not love it, or really even like it that much either. But I kept reading because I kept telling myself "It has to get better, One more chapter and it will" But Nope, it didn't. So would I read the next book? Probably not. Would I recommended this book? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But some people might find it worth the read, but just not me.
I did love how Greek mythology was mixed with our current environmental problems. Even without the gods being involved, this future looks like something we could be heading for, and that's kind of scary. Solstice is a Dystopian-ish retelling of Persephone and Hades, so clearly, Piper is Persephone and her super possessive mother is really Demeter. It's also only in the last eighteen years that temperatures have reached their record highs. While I liked how Piper/Persephone's life with her mom has stopped the seasons from changing, I just couldn't help but wonder why it was stuck in summer. Shouldn't it have been perpetual spring? Unless there was some detail that I missed? Either way, one would think Lucia/Demeter being happy would cause her to be kind to the earth rather than killing it.
Being a retelling of Persephone and Hades, Solstice is heavy on the romance and the instalove. There's a kind of love triangle, but not really, since one guy that Piper is initially interested in turns out to be a creep and she doesn't want him, but he's desperate to have her. We're not really given a reason for that, other than he likes to win. So...yeah. But Piper instaloves on the other guy, but there's an explanation for that which makes it kind of not instalove and I kind of bought it. Except for...well, that's kind of a spoiler, so...oh well.
By the end of Solstice it seemed like reuniting Persephone and Hades was the main point of the book, since once that happen it suddenly ends. I do mean suddenly. There's other things going on, but the book just ends. I thought maybe it was the first in a series, but there's a happy epilogue. Does it touch on those dangling plot threads? Nope. Even though I wasn't loving the story, I did want more, since I wanted to know what happened to Piper's mom and that other guy, since they did some bad things. I also wanted to know what happened with the Climate Change now that she's free to move between worlds again. But it literally just comes to an end.
I really wanted to like Solstice, but that sadly didn't happen. There's a lot of interesting ideas, but nothing came together quite as well as it could have. I don't mind romance focused stories, but it is annoying that getting the romance resolved voided all of the other happenings.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was first introduced to Solstice by searching Texas Authors. I found P.J Hoover's Book Solstice and loved the premise.Read more