(a similar version of this review can be found here at Into the Hall of Books: http://www.intothehallofbooks.com/201...
I really only meant to give Pyxis: The Discovery
a glance to see what it was like...but I ended up getting sucked into the story. Before I knew it, I'd read a full third of the book without coming up for air! Author K.C. Neal managed to hook me with her blend of mystery, paranormal elements, and cast of very likable characters.
Why should YOU add Pyxis: The Discovery to your TBR?
1. The Characters
. Fun, likeable, and believable!
**Corinne. 16-year-old high school sophomore. Smart, fun, outgoing, and pretty. Has a great family and great friends. Corinne seems like someone I'd want to be friends with if I was in high school.
**Mason. Corinne's best friend and crush. He really likes Corinne but doesn't pressure her at all. He's calm, protective, supportive, and kind. Handsome and built. Recently moved back to the area after spending several months building wells in an impoverished country. Corinne and Mason have a great friendship/relationship and I only see this growing in the next book. Love him.
**Angeline. Corinne's other best friend. She's supportive and fun, but she isn't as present in the book as Corinne and Mason are. She's typically spending time with her family or doing activities with her church. Ang's role is important, but I assume it will become even more important in the next book.
**Aunt Dorothy. Aunt Dorothy holds the key to the mysteries the that three friends have been trying to solve...the only problem is that Aunt Dorothy spends the majority of the book unable to communicate after suffering a stroke after the death of her sister months earlier. Through a series of dreams, Corinne learns how to help Aunt Dorothy regain her health and ability to speak, and soon the trio begin to learn what they need to know to discover the secrets of the pyxis and how to guard it with their lives.
There are plenty of fun secondary characters that are less developed than the ones that I have highlighted. I enjoyed reading them all, and some of them even made me laugh out loud. It seems that they were all written like people that I know in real life, and that is what I found so endearing about the their places in this story.
. After a school bake sale, the students that ate some of Corinne's cookies begin acting weirdly - showing her more attention than normal and even trying to go on dates with her or trying to behave like they are her friends when normally they don't particularly even like her. Corinne deduces that some of her grandmother's special food coloring dye is probably responsible for this strange behavior...but why?
Additionally, Corinne is having very unusual and even frightening nightmares lately. What's even weirder is that Mason is having almost the exact same dreams. How is this possible and what could it mean?
. There are a few paranormal elements woven into this story that seems to be more largely mystery at this point. For example, one paranormal element would be the bottles of colored liquid in the box labeled "pyxis" and their mystery and powers over anyone who ingest them. Another paranormal element is the strange dreams that are being shared by Corinne and Mason...these dreams are almost bleeding over into Corinne and Mason's real life. I am
hoping that in book two, we will see more paranormal and quite possibly even some fantasy written into the story...and this is exciting to me!
. Pyxis: The Discovery
has excellent pacing. It is a page-turner, for sure, as I kept reading faster and faster to try and figure out the mysteries that were laid out by the author to be solved. I couldn't stop reading! It seemed like every time I felt like a piece of the puzzle had been put in place, something else popped up that would need to be solved or figured out. So exciting, this added to the fast pacing of the story.
. There is an undeniable, incredibly sweet, and swoon-worthy attraction that Mason has for Corinne, but she is very resistant to him for much of the book. Honestly, at times I wanted to slap this girl! Still, Mason was written to be patient and kind, only becoming frustrated toward the end when he wanted some answers as to why she wouldn't give him the time of day when it was clear that he was interested in her as more than friends. Although Corinne had her reasons for stringing Mason along, when they finally worked out their issues (at the end of the book, sheesh!
) it only made me feel more strongly for Mason because he continued to act respectfully for her and never pushed her. Mason was written pretty much like a Southern gentleman, and I completely loved that
, being a Southern girl myself. There is no love triangle
in this book, there is only frustration at Corinne for not wising up to the completely sweet dude that is trying to win her affections. I can't wait to see where this relationship goes in book two.
6. The Ending
. Holy Cliffhanger, Batman!
Thankfully, I have it on good authority that the author is hard at work on the next book. I don't usually like cliffhangers but I'm thinking that this is one worth waiting for. Most of the story is wrapped up, but the few questions that are left unanswered are perfect places for the next story to build. So in this rare case
, I am okay with this cliffhanger.
What a fun book! I didn't mean to fall so in love with the story and the characters, and get so sucked in...but I did!Pyxis: The Discovery
is certainly more of a character-driven story than an action-driven story, and I wonder if that might change with the next installment in the series. As I read, I sort of felt like this book was almost a set-up for book two, Alight: The Peril
. I am totally okay with that and welcome whatever comes next! (hoping it comes with a little bit of action...) I think we can probably look forward to finding out a bit more about the parallel universe that Corinne and Mason are dreaming about (maybe?
) and we will almost certainly be adding a fourth sidekick to the trio of friends that are protecting the pyxis. I won't lie, though, I want to see the bond between Corinne and Mason grow stronger in whatever capacity it will. Basically, I'm just super excited for the next book and hope it is released super soon.
Pyxis: The Discovery will appeal to fans of: **I received a review copy from the author, K.C. Neal, in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you SO MUCH K.C. and StoneHouse Ink!
A fast-paced story
Fun, likable characters
A mystery with paranormal elements thrown in
A slowly developing romance
Suitable for all-ages YA as well as adult readers
Pyxis: The Discovery by K.C. Neal is currently available for purchase.