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Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman


Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman
UK Publication Jan 2022
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Random House UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Let’s travel back through time….

Synopsis from Goodreads: London, 1799. Dora Blake is an aspiring jewellery artist who lives with her uncle in what used to be her parents’ famed shop of antiquities. When a mysterious Greek vase is delivered, Dora is intrigued by her uncle’s suspicious behaviour and enlists the help of Edward Lawrence, a young antiquarian scholar. Edward sees the ancient vase as key to unlocking his academic future. Dora sees it as a chance to restore the shop to its former glory, and to escape her nefarious uncle.

But what Edward discovers about the vase has Dora questioning everything she has believed about her life, her family, and the world as she knows it. As Dora uncovers the truth she starts to realise that some mysteries are buried, and some doors are locked, for a reason.

Gorgeously atmospheric and deliciously page-turning, Pandora is a story of secrets and deception, love and fulfilment, fate and hope.

My Thoughts: Firstly can we just take a moment to admire that gorgeous cover…I love the way key elements of the story are worked into that one image it perfectly captures the heart of the book.

While I really enjoyed this book for me it had that slightly YA feel. I am not sure who the target market for this book is but as an adult book I think they could have played up the sinister aspects more and as a YA book it probably has the right balance of creepiness but could benefit from faster pacing.

Criticisms out the way lets got on to the good stuff.

I love the setting of the antique shop it felt spot on the right amount of dust, genuine finds and junk that used to make visiting these kinds of shops a pleasure in my childhood.

Pandora is a great character and I loved the details about her jewellery making, her vision for her pieces and her attempts to model them from the “junk” in the shop and the shiny gifts that Hermes (the magpie not the awful courier service) brings her.

I enjoyed learning more about ancient Greece and the true origins of the Pandora myth. I particularly liked the way the idea of a cursed artefact was carefully balanced with enough of a plausible explanation for things just to be coincidence allowing the reader to make up there own minds. Guess what I went with…Curse of course no prizes for guessing that.

Overall this was a quick and enjoyable read with great characters and an interesting mystery to be solved.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to those who enjoy books with a historical setting, those with an interest in Greek mythology and those who don’t mind that the story is slightly sanitised for a younger audience.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

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