I love anything mythology inspired. This story was an engaging retelling of a lesser known Greek myth. The spin and humanization of Pandora was a breath of fresh air.
Overall a really neat premise but the writing style didn't work for me. It just felt too slow for the story but I can definitely see this being popular!
I say historical novel but who says this isn’t our true history. We have all heard of Pandora’s box but never knew how much was fiction and how much truth. The young lady in this novel has a sad story when her parents are killed and Grecian antiquities are lost. Her uncle is a true villain and got his just due. Not sure if I like or dislike some of the characters but it is an intriguing story that kept me interested.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Perennial and Paperbacks for the eARC.
This book had so much potential. History, mystery, mythology, fantasy, immersive storytelling, romance! It seemed to have it all!
But…it fell short for me. The plot progressed slowly, and Dora (the main character—Pandora) fell flat. Mythological elements were sparse, and the story left MANY unanswered questions.
A solid three-star read but lacking something.
I love that this book took a Greek myth and set it in London, 1799. Others have described this book as atmospheric, but I wouldn't go that far. but it does give a strong sense of time and place. I do think it was a bit slow and repetitive at times. I wish it had read more like a thriller because all the elements were there, but it didn't quite hit the mark.
I would like to thank Netgalley and the Publisher for allowing me to review this book. We follow Dora Blake, who's aspiring jewelry artist and she lives with her uncle atop her late parents once famed antiquities shop. An mysterious Greek vase was delivered and her uncle begins acting weird and he keeps the vase in the basement away from Dora and people. Dora wants to know more about this mysterious vase and she has for help from Edward , who is scholar and the two start to dig for the truth. I found this book to me semi-interesting and was in and out of the story. I found something not explain well and needed answers too. The author did a great job with the her descriptive writing and found myself transported to London. Overall, it's okay story and i will still recommend this book. 3 out 5 stars
What a gorgeous cover for this book, it's the main reason I requested it! I was so sad to find that the actual writing did not match the stunning beauty of the cover.
While Greek retellings are pretty hot right now I just found this one to be so slow and I'm sorry to say a bit boring. I had to keep setting it aside and force myself to pick it back up due to how much it felt like I was slogging through it. The characters weren't anything special and just felt pretty bland. I think the author had a good idea setting this retelling in a totally different time and place I just think she missed the mark.
Overall, very middle of the road book that has a beautiful cover and not much else going for it. Thank you so much to Harper Perennial for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Set in London during the often ostentatious, yet typically highly odoriferous, mucky and gloomy atmospheric Georgian Period at the end of the 1790s, the fascinating historical fiction, “Pandora,” by Susan Stokes-Chapman is a rare glimpse into both history and mythology during at time when British aristocracy was at the height of seeking antiquities from remote locales throughout the known world.
Stokes-Chapman intertwines a Cinderella-type love story about orphaned Dora Blake, actually Pandora Blake, left as a wee child in the less than competent nor caring hands of her Uncle Hezekiah after both of her parents die in a collapsed tunnel on an archaeological dig years before.
Dora’s Greek mother, Helene, named her daughter after the ancient myth of Pandora, who according to legends, is the world’s first mortal woman, who Zeus, King of Mount Olympus and all Greek deities, ordered created. Zeus also gifted Pandora a box or jar—depending on story versions—that contained the sins of mankind that would spread throughout the world if she peaked into her box/jar.
In “Pandora” we learn about the esteemed British Antiquarian Society (still in existence); the black market on illegal smuggling and trade in antiquities; ancient Grecian pottery styles and it’s dating; jewelry styles and craftsmanship of the era; and most intriguingly—about the real Pandora and her “box.”
Interspersed in this fascinating (almost Dickens-style novel) is also a bizarre love triangle; jealousy, greed, envy, corruption and penury; and of course, wicked murder most foul.
JoyReaderGirl1 graciously thanks NetGalley, Author Susan Stokes-Chapman, and Publisher Harper Perennial and Paperbacks, Harper Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing Inc. for this advanced reader’s copy (ARC) for review.
This was so close to being a great book. so. dang. close! But then that ending. Are you kidding? That's some impressively lazy storytelling by any standards. I'll give it three stars because it may not bother other readers, but it ruined the entire reading experience for me.
**Thank you NetGalley and Harper Perennial for the eARC**
Pandora is a historical fiction novel, and the myth of Pandora's box is woven throughout, both in terms of the story and the physical "box". So if you are familiar with the myth I believe you may enjoy this even more. If you haven't read it, I recommend reading it or finding a synopsis. The market has flooded with myth retellings, especially Greek ones (which I love), but it is nice there is something that is a bit different.
I won't go into the plot of this novel, there is just enough in the summary, I'll look more into the writing style, characters, POVS, that type of thing. Throughout the novel we get a number of POVs, and I found each of them to have a different voice, which I liked. I found I liked the characters I was supposed to and disliked the ones I wasn't, and that isn't always the case. Some readers did not connect as much to the writing style, it is a bit more flowery, but I really enjoyed it. I thought it lent itself well to the time period we were set in - 1799 London.
Like I stated earlier it is a historical fiction novel where Greek myth is laced in, but we also have a bit of a mystery and a romantic subplot. For my taste it was a nice balance, but keep that in mind when deciding to pick this up or not.
I did have this as an advance reader copy on ebook, but I also listened to a decent amount of it on audiobook. The ebook is nice, but I really enjoyed the voice actors for this novel, so I would recommend that as well. If you pick this one up, I hope you enjoy. It is a solid 4 stars for me, I really liked it, it isn't one of my favorite novels, but even after reading it a little while ago I am still thinking about it, so maybe closer to a 4.5?
Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Perennial for the advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Perennial and Paperbacks for providing a free ARC in exchange for my honest review. Amazing read! I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but I was hooked from the beginning! The characters are engaging and the setting is a perfect backdrop for this winding tale of antiquity and myth. Highly recommend for readers wanting a fun and suspenseful read!
Well-written historical fiction with a mythological bent. I appreciated how quickly the atmosphere of the book was set up and how easily I connected with the main character. great recommendation for readers who enjoy historical fiction with a bit of intrigue.
3.75 out of 5. I was really into this book until the last pages. What is going on with this ending? I wanted so much more. The concept of gothic romance with some greek mythology attached to it was actually very well constructed and presented. The character developments of both Dora and Edward were very well done, and you could not help but root for them. But I go back to the ending and all my anticipation just fell a bit flat. The jewelry and artifact descriptions were so lovely I felt like I was looking at them.
I am a sucker for greek mythology retellings and this one had such an interesting premise. It's inspired by a myth but not in the same historical context which is something new and fresh.
This book was rich and luscious, a beautiful piece of historical fiction that kept me gripped. I was in a reading rut for a long time, and this was exactly what I needed to get out of it.
I thought I had written this and published it…. I didn’t realize I didn’t. It has been long enough since I finished that I am not entirely comfortable giving a detailed review. However, I will say that I enjoyed this tremendously. In fact, I was rather hopeful that this might be the start of some adventures or mystery solving by the main character - since she was pretty fearless and seemed to have a female Indiana Jones feel to her. Hope to see more of the characters, and this author.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this digital ARC.
Pandora is a very loose retelling of the Pandora myth, set in London in the Georgian era. It is more historical fiction than mythology based. There is intrigue and mystery, a lot of classical references, and an engaging MC.
The pace varies from quick to much slower. The characters held my interest but I would have liked a bit deeper dig into both of them as characters and into their growth as the story progresses. The pacing was not very consistent.
I found it entertaining but the third person present tense was a bit of a stumbling block for me initially. I got somewhat used to it after awhile but it still caught me and pulled me out of the story at times.
Overall a slow paced, slow burn mystery, historical fiction with a whiff of mythology and the classics sprinkled in.
Plenty of intrigue throughout but lacks the characterization the plot would require. The characters are not interesting to hold the plot together and there are times the book lags. The added sexual elements also seem unnecessary and feel uncomfortable.
So this book wasn’t really what I was expecting based on the title. I assumed it would be another Greek myth retelling emphasis on the mythology. Instead I got a historical mystery of sorts, but I’m not mad at all- it was quite a good novel.
This novel was unbelievably beautiful. The prose was evocative and emotional - I connected with Dora almost immediately. The story is filled with rich detail and paced so that you never knew exactly what was around the corner. I chose to read this one because I love the Greek myths...Pandora especially. I expected there to be a bit more emphasis on the myths, or at least more of a supernatural bent, but what I got instead surpassed that. The plot and characters are so good, there was no need for embellishments. Easily one of my favorites of the year. Highly recommend!