Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT



Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

The first book in a trilogy about Pandora’s Box in the modern world and how Pandora’s descendent holds the key but is only just beginning to understand her power.

On the morning of her 16th birthday, Evangeline Theopolis’ mother places an ancient key on a chain around her neck. It’s a family heirloom, though her mother has no idea what the key unlocks. Later, Evangeline returns home from school to find her mother has collapsed and, at the hospital, Evangeline is forced to admit that her mom has been suffering delusions. The doctors reveal the reason is a terrible brain tumor. Running parallel to this story in alternating chapters is Malledy’s story, a young man who is also diagnosed with a fatal disease. Malledy is an archivist determined to find ancient artifacts of great power, including Pandora’s Box, which he believes may contain his cure. Evangeline soon finds out that she is the descendent of Pandora when she is kidnapped by a sect of women devoted to protecting Pandora’s Box. Her newly bequeathed key unlocks the actual Pandora’s Box from Greek mythology, which still contains a fifth Fury of Annihilation. As Pandora’s descendent, Evangeline also has powers originally bestowed by the other Greek gods. Her world collides with Malledy’s once he becomes determined to use her to become godlike himself. Fischer’s fast pacing and numerous plot twists are sure to keep the reader turning the pages to find out not only if Malledy will succeed, but if Evangeline will succumb to her curiosity about the box. Though the prose can sometimes be clunky, Fischer’s characters are well fleshed-out and sympathetic, and some have hidden alliances that serve to make Evangeline’s plight seem all the more realistic. With this fresh, intriguing novel, Fischer is clearly laying the groundwork for a trilogy that will successfully continue to bring ancient mythology forward into a modern tale of self discovery. With vivid imagery, compelling characters and plenty bursts of action, this first novel weaving mythology and contemporary teenage troubles is thrillingly memorable.


Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1467966535

Page Count: 292

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012


From the Once Upon a World series

A nice but not requisite purchase.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale in board-book format and with a Mexican setting.

Though simplified for a younger audience, the text still relates the well-known tale: mean-spirited stepmother, spoiled stepsisters, overworked Cinderella, fairy godmother, glass slipper, charming prince, and, of course, happily-ever-after. What gives this book its flavor is the artwork. Within its Mexican setting, the characters are olive-skinned and dark-haired. Cultural references abound, as when a messenger comes carrying a banner announcing a “FIESTA” in beautiful papel picado. Cinderella is the picture of beauty, with her hair up in ribbons and flowers and her typically Mexican many-layered white dress. The companion volume, Snow White, set in Japan and illustrated by Misa Saburi, follows the same format. The simplified text tells the story of the beautiful princess sent to the forest by her wicked stepmother to be “done away with,” the dwarves that take her in, and, eventually, the happily-ever-after ending. Here too, what gives the book its flavor is the artwork. The characters wear traditional clothing, and the dwarves’ house has the requisite shoji screens, tatami mats and cherry blossoms in the garden. The puzzling question is, why the board-book presentation? Though the text is simplified, it’s still beyond the board-book audience, and the illustrations deserve full-size books.

A nice but not requisite purchase. (Board book/fairy tale. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7915-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017


From the Who's in Your Book? series

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Close Quickview