Monday, September 1, 2014

Review: Solstice by PJ Hoover

SolsticeTitle: Solstice 
Author: PJ Hoover
Publisher: TorTeen /McMillian
Publishing Date:  June 18th 2013
Pages:  384
Genre:  YA Fantasy/Mythology 
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  Hardcover


Piper's world is dying.

Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.

An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

I  have this book sitting on my shelf for quite a while. I actually started the book off with audio but finished it with the hardcover due to technical difficulties with the audio. I enjoyed the book more as a read than a listen so I am glad I finished with the book. This was a very interesting and entertaining read. I loved the take on the Persephone/Hades myth. It was fresh and new and even though it was fantasy it had dystopian setting and that made the book even more interesting. It was good. I enjoyed it.

Piper lives in a world where its always hot, way hot. The world is dying kind of hot. She lives alone withe her mother and is in her last year of high school, turning 18, and looking forward to making it on her own, away from her overbearing, over controlling, over protective mother. Instead of planning for her future, she gets a visit from her past, a past she doesn't remember, a past that changes everything.

I really liked this story. The book had some issues for me but not enough to deter my enjoyment of the story.  What I had issues with were very small.... the pacing lacked for me. Sometimes it was very fast paced and exciting but those were very few in between. The story was slow for much of the book and it did take me a while to get through. There was much detail given with the underworld and the world that Piper lived in. Some may like this and find it to be a plus for the book, it was just a bit much for me. 

The ending lacked some for me too. I am glad Piper's story was wrapped up but I felt there was still more to tell from this world that I was brought into. The story of the dying world did not have an ending and that sort of saddened me. I would like to know if things will be fixed, if the world will be saved. 

The romance lacked just a tiny bit for me. I felt the story was more about Piper finding out the secrets of her past and of her identity. Which was good. I liked this part of the story, I felt that the romance should of felt a bit more exciting and intense than what I felt. It was sweet and I liked it, just a bit more tame than I would have imagined. It felt as if it was in the background and I felt it should have been much more of the center story. It was still very sweet and romantic though and I still liked it. I think I just needed more. 

What I did like. The characters. I liked them all. Piper was a pretty strong character, she held her own, independent, stubborn, caring, loyal. I also liked Shayne and even Reese. They were both great in their own way.When they were good they were good, when they were bad they were bad and I really didn't care if they were bad or good. I liked them. Reese had some moments that weren't very likable and he didn't feel safe, but I still liked his character and the part he played. I didn't like Shayne at first, but he grew on me and became a very sweet, caring boy that was a bit irresistible. The good was good, the crazy was crazy, and it all worked well together. 

The interaction between the character were good too. They all played very important parts and they meshed well together and were very amusing many times. Many, most of the interactions were very intense in a full spectrum of emotions. 

I also very much liked the story and the way everything came together in the end. It all made sense and I was worried at first how a dystopian turns into a fantasy and plays out an age old mythology tale. It was written well in the story aspect. It was very creative and very well crafted. 

The story kept me very interested. Even though it had it's slow parts, I never wanted to quit reading the book. I just had to read it slowly little bits at a time. I am very glad I finished Piper's story and I really hope to read more from this world. Like I said, the ending as only part of an ending, I can see so much more coming. 

It was a just at tad rough in parts, but overall I enjoyed it. 

P.J. Hoover
P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. P. J. is a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing Kung Fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek.


  1. I have seen this one but didn't know what it was about. I like that it has some of the Persephone/Hades parts to it. Great review. I think I might have to see if I can get this from my library.

  2. I read this back when it was only an indie, and I remember liking it quite a lot. I think I'd have a way different experience reading it now, as compared to then, but I'm glad to see that it still rated okay with you. I do enjoy retellings of the Persephone myth.


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