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Gaia's Secret

(A Pandoran Novel #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  661 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Two Fates. Two Worlds. One Love.

Eighteen-year old Daria Jones feels trapped in the cow-strewn suburbs of Fresno, California. And with a father so overprotective he's installed video and thermal surveillance down the street, she doesn't get out much. Until the night he disappears.

Following the trail of notes he's left behind, Daria gathers three things: a dark force is hun
Paperback, 364 pages
Published September 22nd 2011 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published September 20th 2011)
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Showing 1-30
4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  661 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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Nicole De Granda
At first I didn't expect much from this book because it didn't have many reviews and I got it for fairly cheap through BookBub. I wanted an easy read but this book captivated me and sucked me into it's magical world. I am really surprised that this is not a best seller.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read full feature here:

First of all, I want to thank Goodreads and Ms. Barbara Kloss for that giveaway that sent me this little gem. I honestly didn't even remember entering the giveaway and I was so surprised to have this sitting in my mailbox!

Let me calm down for a second before I say this.... How is it possible that this is not on everybody's TBR or currently-reading shelf? I can't say that the story was very original but the execution of it was way be
Patrick Hodges
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of a heroine, secluded and sheltered for her entire life, only to come of age and discover that she is actually a very special person, perhaps with supernatural powers or otherworldly auras, is quite a common theme in YA fiction.

In other words, if your book is going be a variation of this premise, you'd better make it entertaining as hell to make it stand out. This book does that.

Eighteen-year-old Daria has lived with her overprotective father in Fresno, California for as long as sh
Oh... my... wow. Just wow.

When I bought this book, I wasn't expecting anything too special - just your standard, 3-ish star, young-adult fantasy fodder.

Instead, I found this hidden gem that I just loved to pieces. In fact, I don't even want to write this review right now, because all I want to do is go and read the next book in the series. But, alas, that wouldn't do justice to this book, which I so thoroughly enjoyed, so here I go.

In Gaia's Secret, you follow the adventures of Daria Jones, who
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An enchanting adventure full of characters all together hypnotizing. Daria is a young woman recently turned eighteen and full of desire to break away from the captive lifestyle she has led thanks to an overprotective father... no, really...he installed surveillance cameras. However before she can stand up to dad and tell him she is leaving to start her exciting new life, one is handed to her in the form of an alternate world of magic and power, Gaia. The story draws you in and doesn't let go. My ...more
Kelly Clare
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alex is my new book boyfriend. I have a serious crush. Barbara Kloss was a new Author for me. And when you stumble across a new Author you always have the doubt of whether you'll be wasting your time and money. But we all know the other side of the coin, where you find THAT author who writes those stories which just sing to you. I AM SO HAPPY I FOUND GAIA'S SECRET.
Had to get that out.
How to tell you about it without spoilers...
- The character is tough, but we can see how she can grow
- The fantas
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fantasy reader but I loved this book. I felt very connected to the characters-which is not normally how I am when I read either. First book in awhile that I let everything around me crumble so I could finish it. I guess I'll have to read the second. I also loved that it was clean! No language, etc. great read.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks-read
This was a book with very strong world-building and descriptive language, and weak pacing and character development. Honestly, until the absolute end of the book, I didn't care for the main character almost at all.

I understand that Daria was strong-willed and stubborn, which aren't bad traits in a heroine, but she also deliberately misunderstood everyone around her. I can agree that being kept in the dark about so many things would be endlessly frustrating, but Daria seemed to chose to ignore al
Reviewer King
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: loved
I. Couldn't. Put. This. Down

This book was magical. It was fantastic. It was EPIC.

From the very first page, I was sucked into the story. All my basic human needs were abandoned as I spent the whole night reading because I couldn't stop myself from turning the pages eagerly.

The world-building is so beautifully portrayed and presented in a way that made me feel as if I was right there with Daria, Alex, Cicero and Sonya. Everything was so vivid and the author's writing was rich and powerful. She is
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I received this book free from the author. Like many independently published novels, it suffers from lack of better editing. However, it is not a terrible novel. I rather liked it.

Barbara Kloss has a great way of developing her main characters. From the first page, Daria comes through as a rebel teenager who's tired of living a secluded life. She narrates the novel, balancing wit and determination at a level that far exceeds that of most other debut novels. Her growing feelings for Alex, her for
Michelle MacQueen
I LOVE fantasy as a genre but, because of that, I actually tend to stay away from those types of books. I have my favorites such as Robin Hobb that I end up comparing everything to and that never works out well. Fantasy is one of the hardest genres to get right - but I decided to take a chance on this one anyway because it looked intriguing. Boy, was I glad I gave it a chance. This is how fantasy looks when it's done right.

Daria is your average teenager who's mind is blown when she learns that
Amanda Robinson
great promise

The idea behind this story was wonderful. A little more focus on the actual story and details into the characters and plots and it would be amazing!! That may sound odd, but the majority if this book is VERY detailed descriptions of the land, the buildings and castles that the story takes place in. So if you are looking for something to paint a vivid picture of a magical realm look no further. But so much time us spent on it that I found myself wanting to jump ahead several pages ju
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, romance, ya
This book was a romance that just happened to occur in a fantasy world called Gaia. So if you like YA romances with some magic and adventure thrown in, you might want to give this book a try.

Daria was a decent main character. The story is told from her point of view and you can feel her frustration, joy and anger over the various situations that occur. I felt that she was the only character, though, that had flaws. The rest of the main characters that you meet pretty much always do the right thi
Paul DiBara
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well, I'm impressed ! There's both realism and vibrancy in the characters. I was as interested in absorbing the traits and growth of the characters as I was in following the trials and adventures in the story. Humor not only relieves tension in the story but enhances the personalities.

This first installment of the series is filled with a thoughtful sense of confusion as the characters attempt to assess threats to themselves and their magic filled world. Nothing in the story remains static, keepi
Christina Gaudet
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the first time in a long while that I've felt such a strong connection to characters in a book. It brought me back to the first young adult fantasy books that I discovered as a teen and I loved every minute of the story. It caused distractions in the rest of my life causing it impossible to complete regular tasks such as cooking and cleaning until I finished reading the story.

Having said that, there were times when I was very frustrated with the writing. Kloss had a tendency to repeat wo
Kristine Low
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a great first book into an exciting series! I especially appreciated the fact that this book starts off in modern day, normal earth as we know it, and gradually introduces you to the magical world of Gaia. The character development is realistic, and any sort of romance occurs very, very gradually. I was glued and was very pleased to know the sequel was already available and even better than this first book. I highly recommend this to adults who love young adult fantasy and of course, al ...more
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read from a debut author. Packed full of adventure, excitement and secrets. Daria is a headstrong girl thrown into a world she knew nothing about, and is frustrated by the secrets kept from her. As a result she gets herself into all sorts of troube. Alex is swoonworthy, and not in the same vein of controlling, stalking, somewhat crazy male love interests that seem to be overly represented in YA these days. Can't wait for the next one to see what else is in store for Daria and her co ...more
Laura Josephsen
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A unique fantasy full of beautiful language and imagery, and characters that make you love them and sometimes make you want to throttle them. The protagonist is one of the most stubborn characters I have ever read--and it was such fun to see the ways she began to grow, and grow up. Lots of action and intrigue, and the author's voice is wonderful.
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: goodreads-wins
I recieved this book as part of the goodreads firstreads giveaway, and I thought it was one of the best new fantasy books I've read in a long time, the heroine is likeable, the secondary characters are well fleshed out, and the story is unpredictable and entertaining. I can't wait to read the sequel.
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: firstreads
Barbara Kloss takes you to another world full of magical and mysterious creatures. There was lots of action and adventure. Wish I could have spent more time in this world. I hope there will be further books in this series. I would love to find out more about what happens to Daria and Alex. I did win this book on Firstreads, but I feel very lucky to have won such a great book to read!
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What would I do without my ereader? I would miss out on gems like this one. I love fantasy.. This one is good! In fact it was so good as soon as I finished it, I bought book 2 and read it right after.
Emma O'Neil
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoying this book! Looking forward to my weekend so I can finish it.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun book. Quick read. Interested to see where the next book goes.
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didnt wanted the story to end. The characters were amazing so as the story line. Diffently a re read!
Dominique Atherton
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed it! The characters are full of life and Barbara's imagination is limitless. Kept me on the edge of my seat guessing when the next twist would come along.
Haley Nguyen
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh
3.25 stars.

I was expecting something more epic considering the rave reviews... But this intriguing first installment should do enough for now!
Larissa :) [HIATUS]
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star-read
Surprisingly great! :D
Laurie Hopkins
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Pretty good

Overall, I enjoyed the story, it was a little slow at times. Daria herself was a bit slow, like stuck her head in the sand slow. And I found the beginning confusing, riding a horse and then boom, lightening, and another scene, almost stopped reading there, but if you get past that, it's not bad.
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a great book, I'm shocked more people haven't read it.

Yes, there were some minor annoyances of the main characters back and forth "should I stay or should I go" and how easily she flip flopped.

I loved the world building, the characters, the depth and history of her friendship with Alex and the earth/nature elements.

Don't be fooled by the unappealing cover, read this book.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty slow

As much as I like these types of books, this one just didn't do it for me. It was hard to stay interested when the whole premise of the story wasn't described until 75% into the story. The main focus until then was the blossoming relationship of the 2 main characters. I won't be reading any more of the series.
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Barbara Kloss loves adventures, and finds them through reading, writing, trekking through the wilderness, and gaming—though she doesn’t consider herself a gamer. She just happens to like video games. RPGs, specifically. She’s also a bit of a fitness enthusiast, a classically-trained pianist, and she believes that maintaining balance in life is a good thing (coffee excluded).

Barbara studied bioche

Other books in the series

A Pandoran Novel (4 books)
  • The Keeper's Flame (A Pandoran Novel, #2)
  • Breath of Dragons (A Pandoran Novel, #3)
  • Heir of Pendel (A Pandoran Novel, #4)
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“Life never obeys our plans, I'm afraid.” 6 likes
“Sometimes great power brings out the worst in us, and unfortunately, it isn't until people are given it that we see the true shades of their character.” 4 likes
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