Cover Image: Pandora


Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

It took me really long to finish this book. I think it was okay. I’m a big fan of Greek mythology and I felt like this fell a bit flat. I felt like the book lost my attention and nothing made me want to continue.

Was this review helpful?

I unfortunately did not have a chance to finish this title before it was published despite having an interest in it. Rated 5stars, did not finish.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed the writing but I did not like the story. Third person pov in the present tense is one of my favorites to read, yet-
the pacing was annoyingly slow.
the plot and conflict had poorly developed stakes.
some plot choices (ex. the characters' attractions and romances) were unnecessary and overly dramatic.

It would be remiss for me not to mention the author's disappointing choices in the portrayal of their fat characters. The villain is fat and his physical description is used to create disgust in readers and to add to his villainy. Other minor characters' fatness is offensively described as well.

On the plus side, I did finish the book. So there's that, I guess.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley, HarperCollins, and Harper Perennial for allowing me to read this book!!!

Pandora was not what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be more greek mythology retelling than historical fiction. I think I would have enjoyed it better if there was more blending between the two topics. However, I do see why people enjoy this book.

Was this review helpful?

I am loving all of these mythological retelling. Pandora humanizes her story and gives a voice to a character that is often misunderstood. This is told in an easy to follow story, but you can tell there was a lot of academic research behind it.

I actually binge read this one. I read this after reading Pandora's Jar by Natalie Haynes . . . So I read it following an academic and Feminist interpretation. I think this story is good on its own, but even better when you have an understanding of the original storyline, and how women characters are often misunderstood and villainized, and don't get to tell their own stories. Often there stories are told by men for men through the male gaze. It's nice having a retelling told by a woman for a new perspective and reexamination.

Five stars. :)

Was this review helpful?

When Dora's shady uncle brings a super secretive antique piece into their family shop strange things begin to take place. She and a customer named, Edward Lawrence, (a man well versed in antiquities with a motive of his own) partner up to determine the origins of the piece and to establish its provenance.

It's my own fault for not reading more reviews/the book synopsis before picking this one up. I thought I was going to get a story focused on the Pandora myth but ended up getting something different. Overall this was a fine slow burn mystery, just wasn't what I was expecting.

Was this review helpful?

Pandora is a new adult Fiction story. It is told from multiple perspectives, one follows Dora, who spends her nights designing jewelry, hoping one day to sell her creations and get out of her uncle's thumb, who became her guardian after a tragic accident took her parents. She knows he has been selling illegal merchandise out of his shop, but things seem to get worse when a large crate arrives. It's taken to the forbidden basement, but Dora has had enough of being kept in the dark and sneaks down one night to discover what's down there.
This book was entertaining, I liked the twists and using the old story of Pandora's box in this new story. Dora and Edward make a great team. Edward is a scholar, sweet and giving and has an instant connection with Dora, and wanted to help her in any way he can. I liked his personality and thoughtfulness. He was not overbearing and trying to force and make decisions for Dora but still offering ideas and help. Dora was quiet and did not want to upset or rock the boat, so she tried her best to just go along with a situation and bare it but somethings can’t be ignored and I think she really discovers a voice and dealing with some trauma from past she has put off for a long time and I don't think she could have done it without Edwards unrelenting support and Dora helped him in his own ambitions. I loved following them in this book.
I liked the Greek history and antiquities in this story. Super interesting take with some great exploration and archaeological digs made it exciting and mysteries. It was really woven into the story, and I liked where it took us. The jewelry and poetry were described in beautiful detail, so it really painted a picture of how amazing and wanted these pieces were. I would really recommend this book. The writing was good, great pace and some surprise twists. If you're into Greek mythology, exploration and hidden secrets this would be a good one.
Trigger warnings: child abuse, animal abuse, gore.
I received this advanced ebook, via Netgalley. This review is my own honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

"Pandora" by Susan Stokes-Chapman is, a historical fiction with a Greek artifacts taking place in London 1779 that follows a young aspiring jewel artist when she finds said Greek artifact.

I would give "Pandora" by Susan Stokes-Chapman a 2-star review because, when reading the premise I was expecting for greek retelling aspects, I found the characters bland though I did enjoy how this takes place in London.

Was this review helpful?

Pandora was not what I was expecting, but that is entirely on me for not having read the synopsis. I saw that it was a retelling of the Greek myth of Pandora and completely missed that it was set in 1799 England. But I was pleasantly surprised by the blend of mythology and a different historical setting. I really enjoyed the antiquities aspect and the mystery plot, even though the mystery was pretty easy to figure out well before the reveal. The conversations were also a little lacking for me as well, sometimes they felt a little flat. Overall, it was an entertaining story and I appreciated the different take on Greek retellings.

Thank you to NetGalley, Harper Perennial, and Susan Stokes-Chapman for an e-arc of Pandora in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Dora’s parents died in an archaeological dig when she was but a child and now as a woman almost grown, she lives in her parent’s former antiquities shop in London with her uncle. Although he has been distant her whole life, recently he has become even more secretive and Dora cannot help but think it is tied to whatever was delivered to the shop basement. Then there is Edward Lawrence - who is convinced by a mysterious man that Dora will be able to help him achieve his dream: admittance into a prestigious historical society. So these two are thrown together to discover Dora’s uncle's mystery before more tragic events befall those around them.

The premise of this story was awesome and original, but it was bogged down with over dramatic writing. That being said, it did pick up a bit in the second half and the plot itself was so compelling that I felt I had to keep reading. I truly liked Dora, Edward and his mystery were harder to get into and ultimately, to follow, (I think there were too many mysteries wrapped up in mysteries here for my liking?) and some of the other bit characters were intriguing. But there were a lot of tangential storylines that didn’t necessarily coalesce.


Was this review helpful?

The synopsis of this book initially drew me in, and it was an intriguing plot, but the storytelling fell flat for me. It just felt all over the place and drawn out. I feel like everything could have been condensed. This book just wasn't for me.

Thank you NetGalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars

Pandora is a new Greek mythology retelling the story of Pandora’s Box but with a Georgian-era England twist.

Pandora (Dora) Blake is an orphan after her parents died at a dig site. She’s left in the care of her uncle who has brought her parents’ antiquities business close to ruin. He thinks his fortunes will reverse with the arrival of a Grecian vase he’s kept locked up.

Dora is intrigued by it and after meeting Edward, an antiquarian scholar, asks him for help in researching it. They come to find out that the vase is connected to Dora and her family.

Pandora is an atmospheric mystery albeit with a bit of a slow start. I appreciated the more “modern” take of the Greek myth. I liked the details about antiquities and the black market trade during that era.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Perennial for this ARC. Pandora is out now.

Was this review helpful?

Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman

Pandora is an interesting take on and, if I’m being honest, a breath of fresh air in the Greek mythology retelling sub-genre. At it’s core is the myth of Pandora’s box (actually, jar) but that both is and is not the heart of the book.

Set in late 1700s London, this book is really the story of Dora Blake. Orphaned when her antiquities-collecting parents died at a dig site, she’s been in her uncle’s care ever since. He has brought her families’ name and business to ruin but is convinced their fortunes will change with the arrival of a mysterious crate that he is extremely anxious to keep a secret.

Dora‘s journey intersects with Edward’s, a book binder who is desperate to join the prestigious antiquities society. In their respective searches for freedom and prestige, they must navigate all walks of London to uncover the secrets of Dora’s uncle and her families’ past.

I really enjoyed this unique and mysterious romp through old London and was happy to root for Dora and Edward as they made discoveries about themselves and the mysterious artifact in the story. The writing was lovely and the plot jaunty enough to keep me turning pages.

Other than a couple of unnecessarily descriptive romantic scenes and an untied thread at the end, this book really worked for me. Those seeking a more serious, mythology focused story may be disappointed here but I enjoyed this historical fiction take with a splash mythological inspiration.

Pandora published on January 17th, 2023.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Perennial for the ARC

Was this review helpful?

I was expecting another Greek myth retelling, but this novel features a refreshingly original premise and setting. I appreciated the historical detail and the moody, atmospheric prose. This was an enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing more from Susan Stokes-Chapman in the future.

Was this review helpful?

Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman is an interesting tale that intertwines Georgian Era England and Greek mythology.

Dora lives with her uncle after being orphaned. Now that she's finished school Dora is focusing on jewelry making. When a shipment comes in that her uncle keeps hidden away, Dora's curiosity is piqued. She finds a beautiful vase that calls to her and immediately is inspired by its beauty. But something about the vase isn't quite right and Dora needs to get to the bottom of it. Enter Edward. A bookbinder trying to make his way into the Society of Antiquities. Together the two work to uncover secrets, some worse than others.

I'm a sucker for anything Greek mythology related so in this instance I was a bit let down. The myth inspiration was very light and the story focused way more on Dora's jewelry and relationships. The characters were a little typical and some plots you could see coming a mile away. I found the setting beautiful and atmospheric, it really sucks you in. Overall Pandora was an enjoyable read. The ending wrapped up rather quickly and in a slightly random manner but the story as a whole was interesting. If you go in with less mythology expectations it will help. I have to say my favorite thing may have been the magpie named Hermes. How perfect is that?

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review!

This story was a perfect combination of historical fiction, mythology, and a touch of magical realism. The prose was engaging, and I found myself wanting to know more with each page I read. The interactions between all of the characters, especially Dora and Edward were done quite well. Each character had an arc that fit their depictions, and everyone received a satisfying ending. I do think that by the last 15% of the story, everything began to wrap up quickly almost off-pace with the rest of the novel. Other than that, I think this was an excellent story and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Was this review helpful?

Such a fresh take on a mythology retelling!

Pandora Blake has watched her parents' antiquities shop run into disrepair under the helm of her selfish Uncle, who took her in when both her parents were killed during an accident at a dig site when she was a young girl. Now 21, Dora longs to be free from her uncle and start her own jewelry making business.

But her uncle begins behaving even more irrational than normal with the arrival of a crate that he keeps locked up in the basement. Dora discovers a gorgeous Grecian vase and uses it as inspiration for her pieces, while her new friend Edward studies it as his ticket into an academic society that has already rejected him twice.

Misfortune continues to surround the vase and those who come close to it - and as Edward and Dora learn more about the vase they begin to uncover pieces of her parents' history that may have been lost forever.

I loved the characters and the quick-paced plot of this one so much! An excellent modern re-telling.

Was this review helpful?

It is 1799 in London and Dora Blake lives with her uncle atop of her late parents' shop of antiquities and one day a mysterious Greek vase is delivered to the shop. Her uncle ends up locking up the vase in the basement, then he starts to act odd and suspicion. Dora meets Edward, an antiquarian scholar and asks him for help. Edward ends up discovering something about the vase that makes Dora question everything she knows about her family, herself, and the world as she knows it.

I really like that this a historical fiction mystery with a mythological twist. I feel like when there is a retelling or a story inspired by a myth, then they usually focused exactly on one of the myth's main characters or it is in a setting kind of similar to the myth. I will add this not true for all retellings.

Anyway, I think it is refreshing to have a different take on a retelling/ mythology with how this story is.

I do have to admit that I really struggled to get into the story and enjoy it. This could simply be because I tend to struggle with most mysteries.

I do believe a lot of people will enjoy Pandora and find it a nice, cozy and enjoyable mystery

Was this review helpful?

I really tried because the concept sounded great but it was slow for me. The writing is good and I will try this author again but I couldn’t get into a groove with this one.

Was this review helpful?

Pandora is a compelling take on the classic myth of Pandora, and I enjoyed the way that Susan Stokes-Chapman transposed the story to Georgian London and the world of antiquities. This approach adds a number of new complexities to the story, which make it even more intriguing.

Overall, I very much enjoyed my time with this novel.

Was this review helpful?