June 19, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Solstice

SolsticeBy P.J. Hoover
Available now from Tor Teen
Review copy

I am part of the Mod Podge Blog Tour for SOLSTICE and I'm repping Team Myth today.  You can stop by Girls in the Stacks to read the Team Dystopia post.  Stop by here later today for a guest blog by P.J. Hoover on Solstice: Myth Depicted.  I'm excited to be taking part in this tour as well as reviewing SOLSTICE, because I used to live in Austin and Hoover is pretty well known around those parts.

Some of you might have already read SOLSTICE, since Hoover self published it first.  I haven't read that version, so I don't know if there have been changes or not.  But SOLSTICE doesn't read like it's behind on trends.  It's not so much a true dystopia as it is the tale of a society on the edge of apocalypse.  For the past eighteen years, it's been summer all the time, and even the the summer-hardened denizens of Austin can barely handle it.  And most of the countermeasures put in place by the government just further harm the environment.

Piper, who just turned eighteen, chafes under the close watch of her overprotective mother.  The only time she gets out is with her best friend, Chloe, her lifeline to normalcy.  Then Piper meets two strange, super hot guys: Shayne and Reese.  Things start getting strange and Piper starts to realize almost everyone in her life is lying to her.  But she knows one things for sure: Chloe is going to die.  All Piper wants is the truth, her best friend's life, and freedom from her mother's oppressive love.

Fans of Greek myth will cotton on to the story being retold as soon as they see the graphic finial at the beginning of each chapter.  But Hoover does not tell it straight.  She references a variety of myths and orchestrates a tour of the Underworld that put me more in a mind of Dante's Inferno than Hamilton's Mythology.  At the same time, Hoover doesn't bog herself down too much in allusions.  SOLSTICE is perfectly readable even if you've never heard any of the myths.

I liked that the stakes in SOLSTICE didn't come down to Piper's romantic inclinations.  She has her own part to play in the balance of the world, and it is up to her to decide where and how she'll live.  Much of the book is about Piper going out and getting answers, even though people don't want her to have them, and then using that information to make her choices.  I loved watching Piper learn that she had the power to make and assert her own decisions.

That being said, the love story ain't half bad.  In does read a little like instalove, although there is more too it than that.  I was turned off by the initial love triangle setup, but it isn't really a love triangle.  Piper isn't torn between two guys.  (And let me tell you, I was very happy when a certain someone got their comeuppance.  Myths are good about that.)

SOLSTICE is an inventive novel that really gets the pages flipping.  While I am Team Myth all the way, I enjoyed the future world Hoover created.  It was easy to image in the heat, killing the plants, causing humanity to retreat to domes, overwhelming and oppressive.  It feels like a realistic possibility, no matter than the explanation is fairly fantastic. I look forward to whatever Hoover writes next.
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  1. As a fellow member of Team Myth, I'll look out for this one!

    1. Excellent! I look forward to the post on your blog.

  2. I do like the inclusion of mythic elements and apocalyptic setting that you mention, but I doubt I'd be able to get past the dreaded love triangle. I think I'll give this one a pass.

    1. I think it would be better without the love triangle myself. I hope they'll fall out of favor so that the ones left actually suit the novel.


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