My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book from Shannon Thompson on behalf of the author, Ryan Attard, in exchange for an honest review. Receiving a free copy has in no way affected my review.
The Pandora Chronicles tells the story in which an alien species left its imprint on some of the humans in the world. These individuals, known as Selects, carry around a DNA strand that make them different from the rest of the human population. With an alien race naturally come a ton of secrets, and in The Pandora Chronicles, the story is bustling with a secret society, orbs of world destruction and/or domination (I’d like ten) and two timelines mingling together.
I was contacted by Shannon Thompson, personal assistant of the author Ryan Attard, with the request if I would like to read and review this book. I, of course, happily complied – I love receiving books and on top of that, I haven’t read a lot in this genre, so I’ve been looking to find books that I enjoy. The story starts by telling the story of Captain Jack Finnegan and a woman named Duchess Elizabeth Tier in the 18th century. Duchess Tier informs Finnegan of so much that he discovers he is part of something much, much bigger, and the cycle to fulfill what he is destined to do begins.
Later, in 2012, Nick Solomon – a laid back teacher and archeologist, is thrust into a similar situation and I immediately drew a connection between the two men, without the book urging me to. I just kind of assumed that the two of them would be linked, and later on the book does touch upon that a little, so that was pretty interesting. I must say that I preferred the first bit of the book, and I was sad that it was significantly smaller than the second. I suppose the first bit served more as an introduction than anything and that’s why it was shorter than the ‘main’ bulk of the story.
My main problem with this story wasn’t that it wasn’t entertaining – it was. It’s very well thought of, very creative and you can tell a lot of time went into this. The story has such a good foundation that it can serve as the basic plot for more books to come, which is really nice. My main problem with this book was that I didn’t like the second main character, Nick. Or any of the characters in the second bit, to be completely honest. I felt more connected to Jack and Elizabeth in their short lifespan than I did the entire remainder of Nick’s adventure.
I thought that, although he was funny at times, his sassy attitude served only to be funny – and you’d think that’s a good thing, but it’s not. If I like sassy characters, it’s because their sassiness adds to their personality, it makes me like them more. With Nick, it felt like his only goal in life was to fill the awkward (and also regular silences) with a crude joke and it just seemed unnecessary to me. Like I said, some of them were pretty funny (“Are we there yet?” “No more joke.”) but the majority of it just got on my nerves.
Aside from that, I didn’t feel like I got the time to get attached – really really attached – to any of the characters because, well, everyone constantly died. When Nick went on his first mission, the story introduced several new characters and they all came off as bland to me. The one character I felt I could grow to like died within a couple of pages – joy! On top of that, the fact that Nick was one of the Selects made him pretty much capable of solving anything, which completely robbed certain situations of their suspense. Oh geez, I wonder if he can get out – oh wait, of course he can. He’s a Select – he knows every answer, every maneuver, every solution if he just puts his mind to it.
I ended up rating The Pandora Chronicles 3 stars out of 5 because aside from my irritation with Nick and the abovementioned irritations, the story has a very well thought of foundation and would be a great read for sci-fi enthusiasts. It is a vividly described world with a history lesson thrown in every once in a while – and maybe a movie or gaming reference here and there – and can be an enjoyable read for those who are ready for an action-packed ride.
The Pandora Chronicles is officially published today, so if you are at all interested in this book — Sci-Fi readers, you should be! — then definitely check this out! You can find the author on Twitter here and you can read all about the book here on Goodreads.
As always, have a lovely day.