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.
The events of Solstice take place in the future of Austin, Texas, where 99 degrees is the new low. The effects of global warming are becoming a reality with heat bubbles taking large numbers of lives and Austin’s government worsening the global warming issue instead of helping. Piper’s mom is on the council and disproves of the way the council handles the situation, but she doesn’t speak up. Instead, she’s satisfied working with her plants at Botanical Haven, their private greenhouse, and overshadowing Piper in her obsessive desire to monopolize her daughter.
As the story progresses, Piper realizes that there are secrets surrounding her identity. She has always believed that her father is a criminal, but now she learns that her mom lied to her. Melina, a frequent customer at Botanical Haven, gives her a mysterious box for her birthday. And the two new guys at school? Well, everyone else believes that Reese and Shayne have been there all year, and so do they, so she goes along with their ideas.
When I learned Shayne’s true identity (the first that you’ll discover), I’ll admit that began to think that this book would turn out to be just another one of the up and coming mythology books. However, P.J. Hoover introduces yet another twist to her dystopian novel: the fact that Piper is one of the gods.
Once the gods step in, this story becomes less dystopian and more mythological/paranormal as Piper uncovers clues as to whom she really is. I’ll tell you this. While I was disappointed that there wasn’t more focus on impending world doom, it made me fall in love with the story all over again. Piper doesn’t go on action-filled quests to save the world, but she does discover her identity—and along with it, she finds love. It’s not destiny, nor is it not forbidden love (excluding Mom’s daughter complex). It’s pure love.
I must say that the ending left me feeling empty. Hoover does give us a feel for how events will turn out: Piper finds her rightful place, and we have a feel for what will happen to the “bad guys.” However, the bad guys have yet to be judged, and anything could happen. She also leaves us the question of whether or not the balance in the world will be righted. The book would have been all right by itself since Piper’s back in her rightful place, suggesting that everything’s all right now, but… there’s a sequel, which means more trouble for Piper. Which means I expect answers in the sequel!!
P. J. Hoover turns the gods and goddesses into very realistic personalities. Hades is moody, mysterious, yet caring and responsible about the Underworld, which he rules wisely and justly. I enjoyed looking at the three areas of the Underworld through Piper’s eyes. Cerberus is so very doggy and lovable. Ares is cruel and arrogant, the very manifestation of the God of War that he is. Aphrodite is manipulative and vain. Zeus is easygoing and open about his affairs. As for Demeter? Well, you see another side to her that you’d never think to see. And it’s interesting, real, and adds spice to this story.
Solstice is a real page-turner of a novel. I couldn’t stop reading it from the moment I read the first lines. I recommend Solstice for readers looking for a good mythological read, a story of true love, the journey of self-discovery, and some steamy scenes with hot gods.