Solstice is a book about a dystopian America where people are controlled to an extreme degree by the government. Each person has an implant that is used to regulate their emotions, and keep them functioning like good little robots.
The main character in the book is a very complex and fun character named Jez. She has a couple of things that make her stand out, first her emotions cannot be controlled by the implant, and second, she is part of a secret group that has a special responsibility to try to fix the planet from all the flooding (I think). This plot line leads to some wonderful intense sequences, and has a great potential to be a powerful thriller.
During the book Jez is pulled aside to take some tests that are not fully explained, and we are told she both failed and passed the tests. Then she is released. That part was a little confusing to me, but it got the plot moving along as she was then moved to the University.
While at the University poor Jez has thing after thing thrown at her and she needs to try to keep her emotions in check as she tries to figure out what is real and what is just a test.
The book is good and kept me turning the pages, but there were three things about this book that bothered me. They were somewhat minor and might fall into just personal preference.
1. The romance element was too 'hot and cold.' The characters acted a little irrational for my liking. It kept me wondering what they would do next, or if they really did like each other, but in the end they just seemed to change their minds a little too often for my liking.
2. There were a lot of really cool things that never happened. I wanted to see the 'Total Recall' moment when she uses her key to save the planet. I wanted to see her find a cure for a diseases. I wanted to see her graduate at the top of her class. I wanted to see her find a way to beat the system and get through the tests they had her face. I wanted to see her hide her emotions and trick some official in a cleaver way. I wanted to see her go and save the people who were altered. There are just so many things that had great potential and I wanted to see them unfold, but unfortunately they did not. It really is a great reflection of the author's ability to draw me into the story, but then it also left me feeling let down when none of those things happened, which leads me to my third point.
3. When I read a book I like to have some kind of conclusion or finality. As an author I understand the desire to set up books for a sequel, but this is more like half a story, and I really don't like that. I want a series with two or three good books with endings, that are part of a larger overall story. Like small battles within a larger war. In this way the book fell short for me.
In the end, I liked the book. I liked the main character and the world that Redd created. I enjoyed reading it, and I think it has great potential to be a fun story, when the story has a conclusion.
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review