Solstice by P.J. Hoover
Kindle edition, published 2011.
Wow! I stumbled upon this author on a blog (The Bookshelf Muse), and the first thing that caught my eye was that cover. Great job to whoever did that! I read a couple sentences of the blurb and got the sample from Amazon.com. But I really had no idea what it was about other than the dystopian setting of the global heating crisis. So, going in, I had pretty much no idea where it was going, and it was really cool reading it that way! Reading without any preconceived notions, just enjoying the book for what it was - great writing!
Enough about me - onto the book. It starts off as a "typical" dystopian, introducing the reader to the world of the future. Piper's world is stuck in the Global Heating Crisis. It's been summer for eighteen years and there's no end in sight. There heat bubbles, cooling gels, little air conditioning, missiles to dispel the heat bubbles, domes to protect people. It's a fascinating world that probably could have been a novel in and of itself, but then we start to see inklings that there's more to Piper and her family than meets the eye. She receives a mysterious box for birthday present. She meets a guy who says he's known her for a year. P.J. Hoover soon pulls you into a world of mythology with finely crafted language that constantly kept me wanting more.
This book was addicting! When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about when I'd have time to. When I was reading it, I was forcing myself to slow down. The world is so vivid; it's like I could feel the heat. There were lots of twists, and it kept you guessing (although I knew what was up about two thirds of the way through, and I was yelling at Piper to get it). It's so imaginative, too. I want to see this on film. I think it would be awesome. I'm definitely not an expert in Greek mythology, but my high school was pretty big on it, and I loved revisiting some of those myths and also seeing a new take on them.
There were times when Piper seemed to passive, but overall, I liked her. She grew into herself, for sure. There were some great characters and concepts. I liked the author's take on the Underworld.
I really, REALLY liked this story. I recommend it for any young adult or dystopian or mythology or Indie readers. Or just anyone, really. It's a very enjoyable read, and I can't wait for more from this author. I hope she writes a sequel. I'd be all over that.