Pandora’s Jar by Sharron Riddle
Veil Walker, Book One
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, YA
Length: Full Length (312 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia
It’s hard enough being a seventeen year old Veil Walker, but when your boyfriend’s a demigod and your mom’s dating a soul sucker, things can get a lot worse.
Pandora has seen ghosts since she was a kid, and now she learns she can bring back the spirits of the dead. Why would she do that? She has enough trouble getting rid of the ones stuck on this side. One annoyingly perky ghost wants Pandora to find her killer, but Ukwa, her super-hot boyfriend, doesn’t like the idea.
When trouble finds her, will she discover the true strength of a Veil Walker or, like the others, will her soul be trapped in her own Pandora’s Jar forever?
Is ignorance really bliss?
I truly feel sorry for Pandora. She knows very little about her abilities as a Veil Walker. With no one to teach her about her power, every day is a struggle, and Pandora constantly lives in fear of accidentally acknowledging a ghost in front of others. Consequently, Pandora has no close friends. A particularly bad encounter with a ghost followed by an argument with her father prompts Pandora to go and live with her mom in Florida. Pandora is hoping for a fresh start, but she soon learns that she can’t hide from her problems.
Pandora’s relationship with her parents is beyond messed up. It is clear that her parents love her, but neither of them really act like parents. While it is understandable for parents to have interests and lives outside of their children, Pandora’s parents have taken this to the extreme. They are so self-involved that they completely ignore their daughter at times. I found the whole situation quite disturbing, especially when Pandora’s dad makes a particularly shocking revelation toward the end of the book. Honestly, I’m amazed that Pandora is sane given the nature of her power and the complete lack of familial support.
Pandora is very strong and she has managed to hold herself together without help from anyone else for a long time. However, I really enjoyed watching her blossom when she made some friends at her new school. In a short time, I saw a lot of positive changes in Pandora. She still has some issues to work through, but having others to confide in has gone a long way in bringing Pandora out of her shell.
Pandora’s connection with Ukwa is intense and complicated. They have excellent chemistry, but his refusal to give her straight answers about her power is very annoying. While his intentions might be good, he ended up treating her like a child. I think it would have been more effective if he would have respected her and had an honest conversation with her right from the start. Despite this issue, Pandora and Ukwa make a wonderful, if unusual, couple. Even though they find themselves in some intense situations, I really like that they make time to talk and really getting to know each other.
Nancy, the ghost, is definitely my favorite secondary character. I could clearly picture her flitting around, laughing, causing mischief, and playing with Pandora’s dog. Nancy’s perky attitude was a nice contrast to Pandora’s more serious moods and the darker events of the story.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to read Pandora’s Jar. I found the concept of a Veil Walkers very intriguing, and I still have a lot of questions buzzing around in my head. I certainly hope that Ms. Riddle has plans for a sequel soon so I can satisfy my curiosity. Fans of paranormal romance won’t want to miss Pandora’s Jar.