Hey! I exist! AND I finally finished a book! Stuff’s been crazy.
Nathan Marchand’s Pandora’s Box is a post-apocalyptic read which includes war, terrorism, zombies, grief, insanity, depression, the destruction of “paradise,” and learning to love and hope in spite of all. The main character, nameless for much of the book, takes on the world by becoming one of few females in the elite military, in a world where all evil has been contained in a certain area in the Middle East. She is barely out of training when a global terrorist calling himself the Overlord rallies the other “undesirables” in the evils quarantine and makes his attack on the world in the form of a virus called Fury, which turns humans into zombie-like creatures known as Morlocks. Fury destroys the narrator’s family, except for her father, a commanding officer in the same military elite she’s in, and her new lover Dante. Now the narrator must fight her thirst for revenge, as well as the Overlord. She is eventually hand-picked for Project: Pandora’s Box, which contains all secrets the UN doesn’t want the Overlord to get his hands on. When the Overlord attacks and kills everyone else in the base, it is up to the narrator to keep it on lockdown, and to defend it single-handed, with the help of her new and growing faith.
I had truly mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, the technology and many of the ideas it contains are not only solid, but show a wild imagination. On the other hand, I often felt like the book was rushed, the characters did things that didn’t always make sense (to me, anyway, a character who’s trained to be a soldier wouldn’t totally destroy herself because of guilt over winning a few life-or-death fights), and there’s a lot of exposition (partially caused by the fact that most of the book is told in a diary). I sometimes felt insulted by how much was spelled out (example: at one point, the main character is being ogled, and actually says she was perturbed, which should just be assumed based on what the reader knows about her character at that point) but vice versa, sometimes things happened out of nowhere that I just couldn’t follow. The author also had some pet punctuation, like quotation marks, and pet phrases, like “two seconds,” but I feel like my annoyance with that was mainly caused by my being a grammar Nazi. At some points, I wished the author had taken the time to flesh out the world more thoroughly and SHOW me what was going on, rather than just saying it. I wasn’t fond of the religious ideas presented in the book, but that’s just because I’m not a very religious person.
However, the ending was pretty darn good and definitely helped to wrap up some things I’d been puzzled about. Additionally, it helps if you actually pay attention to the dates in the journal; otherwise, some things won’t make sense. Overall, I guess that I wish he’d fleshed out the middle some more, but I definitely like the ideas presented in the book, and I was emotionally invested in the characters enough to squeal a bit at the end.