Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Pandora English - Tara Moss

A few weeks ago, I was asked to review The Skeleton Key - the third book in Tara Moss's paranormal series, Pandora English. In order to do it justice, I set out to read the first two books in the series. So here's a round-up post of my reviews for The Blood Countess and The Spider Goddess. Look out for The Skeleton Key soon! Enjoy!

The Blood Countess (Pandora English#1) -Tara Moss
Grade: YA
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Pandora English is no ordinary small town orphan. When she's invited to live with her mysterious Great-Aunt Celia in New York City, she seizes the opportunity to escape her stifling hometown break from her tragic past and make it as a writer. Things, however, are not what she is expecting. For starters, her great-aunt's gothic mansion is in a mist-wreathed Manhattan suburb that doesn't appear on maps. And then there's Celia herself - a former designer to the stars of Hollywood's Golden Age - who is elegant, unnaturally young and always wearing a veil. Pandora lands a job at a fashion magazine and her first assignment is covering the A-list launch of the latest miracle cream, BloodofYouth. But something is not right about the product, nor Athanasia, the drop-dead beautiful face of the brand. It seems there may be a secret ingredient in BloodofYouth, a secret worth killing for... (Description from Goodreads)

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If I had to describe The Blood Countess I'd say it’s a mix of 'The devil wears Prada' with paranormal and mythology twists. Quite interesting if you think about it.

Pandora has spent her whole life dreaming of getting out of her small town. A town where she was looked at as "the weird kid" (especially after an incident when she was little where she told people she spoke to the local, recently departed, butcher). So when her great aunt Celia invites her to come live with her in NY, Pandora jumps at the chance. It’s the opportunity she’s been waiting for, to leave her old life behind and start a new career as a journalist in the fashion magazine industry.
But things aren't as normal in the Big Apple as they first appeared.

For one thing her great aunt looks really young for her age, and then there's the dead civil war guy who turns up in her bedroom at night, and let’s not forget the strange supermodel Pandora meets on her first day at her new job. Pandora soon learns that the supernatural world is real and she's very much a part of it.

I liked Pandora's great aunt Celia although the one thing that left me feeling frustrated was that she never really answered Pandora's questions so (like Pandora) you were always left wondering what in the world was going on!

I have a real soft spot for the beautiful city of New York. It's one of the places I am dying to see, so any book set in the great city automatically gets bonus points. I liked that we got to see the different areas of NY as Pandora settled into her new home.

I also really enjoyed the start. It was absorbing and you wanted to know what every ones secret was, but I was kind of disappointed that our questions still weren't answered by the end. Overall though, it was an enjoyable, easy read.
(Originally posted on Goodreads)

The Spider Goddess (Pandora English#2) -Tara Moss
Grade: YA
Rating: 3/5 stars

It's been two months since Pandora English left her small hometown to live with her mysterious great-aunt in a haunted mansion in Spektor – the fog-wreathed suburb of Manhattan that doesn't appear on any map. With the help of her great-aunt and the beautiful – but dead – Lieutenant Luke, Pandora is beginning to understand the significance of the Lucasta family heritage her late mother kept secret from her. Pandora is heir to a great gift. And with that comes frightening responsibility...

Meanwhile, she seems doomed to be forever underestimated in the mortal world. Her fashion editor boss doesn't seem to know she exists. But New York needs Pandora's special gifts. There is a new designer in town, and her ambitions extend far beyond taking over the fashion world one knit at a time... (Description from Goodreads)

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The Spider Goddess starts a few months after The Blood Countess. Pandora has settled into her new life in NY. She's still getting used to the secret supernatural world she's found herself in, but she's no longer afraid.

Our supermodel nemesis, Athanasia, is back causing problems for Pandora. However, Pandora has now learnt how to deal with her.

We finally meet the elusive (and turns out, quite freaky) vampire Deus. Deus was a nice surprise. He wasn't at all what I was expecting.

There were a few mysteries at play in this novel. Pandora has a strange- and from her instincts- dangerous woman following her around. What does this woman want? Well, I can’t tell you or it will be a spoiler.

If that wasn't enough, leading New York knit designers are going missing and Pandora suspects foul play from the supernatural world.

We finally find what being the Seventh actually means for Pandora (unfortunately we don’t find this out until close to the end). It was kind of what I was expecting but at least this means big things are in store for her.

There’s only one issue I have with these novels- nothing really gets explained. There are lots of “mysteries” going on but with no real explanation for them. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out in The Skeleton Key.

Overall another fun, easy read and I liked the little twist right at the end.



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