Cover Image: Pandora


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Member Reviews

“Pandora,” by Susan Stokes-Chapman gives the reader a strong sense of late 18th-century London, and how the poor, the artisan, the merchant and the upper classes lived. It also has a solid mystery, and a hint of the supernatural.

Mild Spoilers:

It was fun to read about how Pandora (Dora) and Edward (her eventual love interest) worked at their trades, and Pandora’s uncle, Hekiziah, is an absolutely horrible person. A thoroughly nasty villain. Add to that the grossness of London at that time, a possible curse, and some interesting information about the antiquities trade, and you’ve got an engrossing read. And, if you, like me, love reading about the treasures of antiquity, you’ll really enjoy it.

I would have liked to have seen Dora grow a bit more as a person, in the story, as I think Edward did, and I could have done without the implication that being fat signals character flaws.

The sense of place definitely makes it a good choice for people who like being immersed in a time period. There’s also the backstory of how Dora’s parents were great scholars, and how they lost their lives, which grabbed my interest and could have taken up a bit more of the book to good effect. Still, it was a fun read, and I enjoyed spending a day with the story.

I look forward to more books from Stokes-Chapman.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this story.

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Got a copy on Net Galley!

True Rating: 3.5 Stars!

This book. Damn.

I had very high expectations, I have to admit, when I first downloaded it. It combined late-1700s England and Greek mythology-- how could I <i>not</i> like it. And I did like it. A lot. It just took a while to get there.

I like the characters quite a lot, but they seemed almost one-dimensional-- especially the uncle, who is seemed to be like a mix of Cinderella's stepmother and Vernon Dursley (really hated the guy though. Props for that.). I also think it took about 60% of the book for me to be actually <i>invested</i> in the plot. So. There's that.

But overall? I adored the description and the sheer realness you feel when you read <i>Pandora</i>. I feels like you're almost with the characters as they walk the streets of London.

I liked this book, and I'll definitely be looking out for more of Stokes-Chapman!

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This book presents a great mash up: Greek mythology and history blended in 1799’s London setting perfectly! Storytelling via three different perspectives was quite fascinating as well. I got intrigued by each of the characters’ own secrets and the big mysteries which made me turn the pages a little faster.

Both of three POVs kept my interest intact!

At the opening we get introduced to aspiring jewel artist Dora Blake, working at her late parents’ once-famed shop of antiques with her uncle. She works hard to bring the business back to the shop as like old days her parents brilliantly ran the place.

When a valuable Greek vase is sent to the shop, Dora’s uncle starts acting suspiciously and locking the valuable piece at store’s basement.

Dora decides to team up with extra ambitious, pretentious Edward Lawrence who can risk anything to unlock his academic future.

But when they discover the secrets about the case, Dora’s entire life turns upside down. Anything she knows about her life, her past, her family is questionable! It seems like some things should be buried forever!

Overall: I loved the historical setting, the intriguing mystery, lovely romance, riveting pacing! One of the greatest historical functions I’ve read lately!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Perennial and Paperbacks for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

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I had such high expectations going into this. I love mythology retellings that are a twist on the original. They're so fun to read. This one took quite a while to get into - and with a million other books I want to read, it's hard to keep going sometimes. I think the pacing is quite slow to finally get to the "meat and potatoes" and exciting parts of the book. However, once I got there, it was much more of an enjoyable read, however, still not perfect. It was just okay.

2.5/5 ⭐

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Pandora is an exciting book in the new lineup of mythology retellings because it sets the classic up differently. In this novel, our titular character, who goes by Dora, lives much like her bird sidekick: Caged. She is an orphan of once renowned antique collectors whose business has now fallen from grace under the care of Dora's uncle. Her life becomes interesting when a new ware arrives at the shop, an ancient Greek jar. Our story unfolds from here; we follow the people who come into contact with the jar and its effects on them. This novel doesn't feel like a classic retelling, in the traditional sense, as it was pitched. Instead, it is a story inspired by the original myth in specific ways. Our characters discuss the myth of Pandora, there's a mysterious background character that looks a bit too much like Zeus, and the jar itself might be the original jar that started the plights of humanity. But this is not a magical book; it's more of a mystery in many ways. This was a fun story that kept me interested all the way through. I like how Stokes-Chapman kept certain details a mystery until the end, making me more curious as I was reading.

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A wonderful and spirited adventure into the Georgian Era and Greek Myth, mystery and romance. Even if this isn’t the first novel in a series (and I hope this isn’t the last we hear from Pandora and Edward), this book is thoroughly enjoyable and unable to put down.

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I have to admit that I struggled with this book. I expected to absolutely adore it and it didn't quite get there for me. I enjoyed the concept of bringing life to the Pandora myth without directly re-telling it. It was a nice twist on the classic myth retelling that has gained popularity in recent years.

However, the pacing was off. The first 100 pages dragged and then the plot sped through the rest of the book. Also, the writing often felt a little too modern for the setting and the story lacked historical detail to help the setting feel real. Overall, the writing was a bit amateur.

This book has a lot of potential but it needed a bit more work ahead of publication.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harvill Secker for this ARC.

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The story is captivating and it thrills in every turn of the page. I love the Mythology and the setting. It makes me wish I were in that world. The author knows how to grab the audience. Highly recommend.

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I did not like this book and I partially blame unmet expectations. I was hoping for something magical and steeped in lore that would immediately pull me in and this was not it. I also found the characterization to be somewhat one dimensional which made it difficult to connect to anyone. The writing could be good with a bit of editing but as it stands is too wordy with a lot of telling instead of showing. The plot is extremely slow moving and it was a chore to convince myself to keep reading. Overall, would not recommend if you’re looking for a reimagined Greek myth although you may like this if you are more interested in historical fiction.

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This does what a good reimagination is suppose to do, the Pandora elements worked in the new timeline and I was captured from the first page. Susan Stokes-Chapman has a great writing style and it worked from both a historical novel and a Greek myth novel. It has the same spark as the old mythology so I was invested in what was happening in this book. The characters were great and I could see the mythology elements in them. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Stokes-Chapman.

"Her astonishment at such a discovery is twofold. Alone, its very age is most shocking. But . . . Dora is struck with a deep-seated nausea, as if someone has shaken her so hard her stomach has detached itself. This is not what she had vainly hoped it to be, a simple case of underhand trading, of incompetent salesmanship."

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This book could be summarized simply by the word fine. Everything was fine. Nothing amazing and nothing horrible. A bit boring, but not too boring.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the journey that this book offered. It hadn't been quite what I expected, but it led to being pleasantly surprised, Primarily, I enjoyed watching the main character navigate a world that was not always kind to her.

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