CHARIS: Journey to Pandora’s Jar

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Thirteen-year-old Charis Parks has five days to save mankind. What she Charis: Journey to Pandora's Jarthought was mere mythology has become her reality … she alone must reverse the curse of Pandora’s Jar. If Charis is to fulfill her destiny, she has to face her fears against the darker forces of Hades and the blood-thirsty Erinyes Sisters who help him. Together with the gods and her best friend Gabe, Charis takes a fantastic journey to Pandora’s Jar, where she must release the only spirit that remains trapped inside – the spirit of Hope. Or else …

She’s been called the female answer to Percy Jackson. And I for one love the magic at work here: female heroine vs. 21st century Greek mythology. It’s the perfect read for children interested or flirting with Greek legends, yet vibe more in modern day suburbia; easy access to the ancient world of immortals and demi-gods.

I love when kids familiarize themselves with Greek legends because life is full of mythological references. From the Oedipus complex to Pandora’s box, these ancient stories have shaped our Western world view and informed many of our artists, writers, and philosophers. Just another great reason to read this book.

As an adult reader of middle grade, I can honestly say I loved the story crafting. Nicole Walters weaves together all the essential ingredients for a fantastic quest into a dimension that feels real, inviting, and full of danger – only the bravest souls dare enter.

Though the characters felt a bit underdeveloped (which is not uncommon for middle grade), it didn’t take away from the novel’s charm.

An enchanting and educational read. I recommend it.

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