The Discovery - K. C. Neal [Pyxis]
Originally Reviewed: December 27, 2014
So… what to say about Pyxis. It’s a YA novel, that’s to be sure. Throughout the book we see how our heroine, Corinne, has to manage both her increasing knowledge about the Pyxis, and her day-to-day life as a high school student and part time employee at her dad’s bakery.
In fact, that’s where the whole thing begins. Her grandmother had this box which held a number of bottles, which Corinne had thought were food dyes. She uses two of these bottles in goods she makes for a school bake sale. Suddenly, she goes from barely noticeable to one of the most popular girls in school – though temporarily, and only to those who ate a certain color treat.
Throw that in with the weird dreams that she and her almost-would-have-been-not-quite-sure-what-he-is-possibly-boyfriend Mason end up sharing, and we get swept up in conspiracy, magic, and miracles.
Points to consider:
The Good: I feel as if the characters introduced in this book were realistic, and handled the things thrown at them aptly for their age – which is a huge pitfall I see a lot of YA authors fall into, especially in their first works.
The Bad: I know Corinne has a best friend, somebody important in her life aside from Mason. Who that person is… she gets plenty of screen time in the beginning before Mason comes on scene, but once Mason is present, it’s like she gets completely shuffled off to the side. Considering the role she’s supposed to play… tsk tsk Ms. Neal.
The Good: It’s original. I can honestly say I can’t think of another book I have read that tackles the whole “cosmic force of evil” quite the same way Neal does. Of course, the theme is quite common (to be honest you’d have to be hard-pressed to find a book today with an original theme), but the approach is novel and interesting. I’m quite interested in finding out more about the Pyxis (the box and the human role).
The Bad: I finished this book about a week ago, and while I can tell you what the Pyxis is and what it contains, and some of the main details in the book, some of the more vague, but still supporting and important bits of information elude me. This is not good. I do not like having to re-read previous books in order to remember what’s going on and be able to understand the next one.
The Good: There are nasty elements, conflicts and hurdles that Corinne and her friends have to deal with – both as high schoolers and as the center of this whole cosmic woogy. I love being able to read something where the characters personal lives do not get completely ignored for the sake of the main story line. In fact… oh, I won’t even go there. I’ll just say familial relations take a very interesting turn towards the end ;)
The Bad: The two lives are almost too separate, one having very little if anything at all to do with the other. On one side you have high school drama, relationships with the immediate family, homework, job – everything a normal 16 year old girl would be dealing with. On the other side you have the Pyxis, strange smoke/fog, possible Armageddon… you get the picture. Yet, with the whole world at stake, you’d think the whole world would be touched a little more by what’s going on.
This book definitely deserves a solid 3-star rating. It had its ups and downs, but it gave me no reason to want to put it down and not pick it back up again when I had some more down time. I wanted to finish it, wanted to know more about this strange and unique experience Neal has created for us.