Solstice by P.J. Hoover

solstice_pjhooverDo you like dystopias or mythology books? What about books that are both?

Solstice combines a dystopian-end-of-the-world atmosphere with a core plot that connects to mythology. Meet Piper. She’s just your average teenage girl with an overprotective mother living in a world that hasn’t seen winter for as long as she’s been alive. The heat waves that threaten the world are getting worse, which makes Piper’s mom more protective causing Piper to rebel all the more. She gets a tattoo with her friend and plans on moving away as soon as she finishes high school.

When Piper’s mom goes out of town, Piper finds herself pulled towards freedom and romance. But will it be with Reece who breaks rules for fun or Shane who makes her heart beat faster when she sees him? As she learns more about gods and the battle for the underworld, it’s hard for Piper to know who to trust. But whoever she is with, Piper can tell everyone is keeping secrets. Will she find a way to stop the world from dying and even find out who she is?

The romance here is a bit cliche with the insta-love-triangle. It isn’t bad per say, just nothing that new or special. I think I enjoyed more of the idea of the plot, how the mythology and dystopia blended together more than the characters. If the premise seems interesting enough, give it a read because it’s an interesting take of gods dealing with the end of the world.

-Nicole G., 12th Grade

Solstice is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Library.

Owari no Serafu (Seraph of the End) by Takaya Kagami and Yamoto Yamamoto

Modern Japan (and the rest of the world) has been ravaged by a virus, leaving almost everyone above the age of twelve dead.

Monsters called the Four Horsemen of John have come into the world, eating humans they cross. Vampires, afraid that their food supply would be lost, have come out and made human children as their livestock.

Yu, Mika, and the rest of the children of the Hyakuya orphanage are livestock to vampires. This has been the case for four years: living in a city made by vampires that they can’t get out of. Yu hates it, but the person that he feels like is his brother, Mika, feels that by giving his blood, his family (the orphanage) can escape. Something goes terribly wrong in the plan, and Yu is the only one who escapes, vowing to get revenge.

Four years later, at the age of sixteen, Yu trains to be in the Japanese Imperial Demon Army, made up with Japan’s last humanity that fights the Vampires. But what if he meets new friends who can become his “family”, knowing that he is haunted by his past? And what happens when he gets a demon to wield, who tells him that he is not totally human?

This manga is wrapped in chaos, fear, and mystery, making it a very good plot to follow and keep readers on the edges of their seats. Additionally, there is a lot of unexpected comic relief, so this is not a serious manga like Attack on Titan usually is. The characters in this dystopia world seem very real, as though they were people the reader would know. Finally, the drawings are amazing; both action scenes and scenes of down time (school, suspenseful scenes, etc.) are well done and very thorough.

If anyone is looking for an action manga that is not too serious, this is one to read. However, although it can be found in Barnes & Noble, it can not be found in the Mission Viejo Library.

-Megan V., 10th grade