The author very kindly gifted me a copy of this one so huge thanks to her. My first thoughts were: rocking cover and cool blurb.
I should maybe point out that I rarely read blurbs as most of my books come as recommendations, mostly because I like to head into a book not knowing what to expect, but I did read this blurb and yeah, it did make me want to read on.
Here’s what I thought:
- Editing: it’s a minor one because there are VERY few errors in this book, which is awesome to see in a self-pubbed title. However, the couple of instances I spotted were dodgy moments like gender issues (his for her, etc), and missing closed/opening speech marks—so, even though few and far between, they stalled my reading flow so I double-checked the spot I was reading. But heck, you get typos in Big6 published books, right?
- Pacing: the pacing started off awesome in the beginning, but throughout there were moments were the pace seemed to lull. I get that novels can’t always maintain the exact pace all the way through, but when the pace slows to suit the scene, it needs to be picked back up again before the calm extends too long. There were enough POV’s happening in this book that speeding scenes up wouldn’t have had to result in shortening the novel. Because the author could have given us more scenes from a ‘certain someone’s POV (who I’ll come to next).
- Raphe: No, no, no, before you all get your knickers in a twist—I’m not dissing the guy. My complaint is that there simply wasn’t ENOUGH of him. Because I LOVED Raphe! LOVED that the story opened with a potential love interest on the scene. And so was disappointed when that kind of fizzled out almost. I think this is one of the reasons why more POV’s scenes for Raphe would have done heaps for the novel. Because we’d have gotten to know him better, gotten to understand his motives better, would have ‘seen’ what happened to him during/after a certain scene where we’re left to wonder, and I think some kind of desperation on his behalf (and actually ‘seeing’ that desperation first-hand) would have added an immense amount of tension to the book that all the young readers would have loved. I LOVED the opening scene where an interest is first shown and I LOVED the ‘healing’ scene, and NEEDED more like that. I can already imagine hoards of teen girls sighing over Raphe and sulking over the fact we didn’t get more time with him. I also would have liked to ‘see’ him right at the very end. All I can say is: PLEASE LET THERE BE MORE RAPHE IN BOOK 2!!!!!!!!!!!! BECAUSE THE READERS NEED HIM!!!!!!!!!!! *cough* Moving on ….
- Malledy: I didn’t suss him. KUDOS to the author for that. And that’s all I’m going to say on that one so I can keep this review as spoiler-free as possible. J
- The tone: For the most part, there was consistency to the tone of the writing/dialogue, but there were also moments when it felt as though the dialogue slipped away from whoever’s persona it was supposed to be reflecting, which leads me to …
- The dialogue: It’s hard, when writing so many characters into one scene to keep all of their personalities separate and to ensure each and every dialogue reflects who is speaking. However, I did feel as though this slipped slightly in places—mostly with members of the pact and with the doctor. I think the strongest character portrayals were in Evangeline, Raphe (love him!—just in case you didn’t get that above), Samantha, Malledy and definitely Juliette.
- Believability: there were some dodgy moments where I didn’t feel that certain character’s behaved in a believable manner, which almost made some spots seem too convenient (more inner conflict would have easily fixed that)—though that’s mostly because we didn’t get to understand their motives until later on—but, for the most part, it was pretty well thought out.
- The concept: I LOVED the concept. Great idea. I do think there were certain areas of it that could have been explored a little more, or certain scenes that could have been made bigger to reflect the enormity of the situation, but overall, this story has a GREAT concept.
- The plot: As mentioned above, this book has a great concept, which is why I almost found myself wishing it was bigger. That the intricacies of it all had been expanded upon to make it more a race to the finish; more arc’s; more red herrings; more escape attempts—which would have led to more settings/scenes and potentially more Raphe (ha! Had to get that one in there!); a little less of the prologue (because I didn’t think it was needed when we learned of it all later through the book) so we could have had more from the god’s throughout—could even have had scenes from their POV’s … or am I getting carried away with myself?
- Anyhoo, even for all of its minor flaws, there is no doubt that Pandora’s Key is a decent read, and if the idea of Pandora’s Box intrigues you, you should definitely check it out.