When Jay loses their home and business in the financial crash and Pandora’s job as a TV panellist comes under threat, the appearance of an archangel seems to be just the good omen they need. The message he brings, however, forces Pandora to disappear on a secret mission to fulfil a prophecy, endangering both her relationship and a precious gift she’s been given. Events bring Pandora to her knees, but the light at the end of the tunnel may yet lead her to a miracle.
It wouldn’t be a Pandora story without romance, transformation, suspense and a touch of the fantastic. True to form, this final book of the series provides all these elements and more.
Carolyn Mathews is a master of the breezy conversation that carries a cargo of concealed inner conflict, mixed intentions and all-too human illusion. In her latest Pandora novel, she sets sailing a whole flotilla of these packed messages in bottles, to jostle down the troubled stream of Pandora’s life.
Jessica Moss, writer
This uplifting, highly enjoyable novel is the third in the Pandora series by Carolyn Mathews. Although this was my first introduction to the main character, Pandora Armstrong, the fact I hadn’t read Transforming Pandora or Squaring Circles didn’t prevent me from the appreciating the book.
The author’s style is light and breezy, with deft characterisation and expert use of snap-shot descriptions, combining an energetic approach with mystical themes. The main character is both likeable and complex enough to carry the story, her flaws balanced by honesty and humour. Throughout the book she is torn between three potential love interests…yes, three!
I was stunned when the author dropped a bombshell in the middle of the novel that had me reeling. I was expecting a bitter-sweet ending but was left with something altogether different, hard to describe but satisfying on an emotional level.
J. Dearden, author of ‘The Realignment Case’
‘Pandora’s Gift’, the final book in Carolyn Mathew’s Pandora series, opens with Pandora going through a rough time. Her partner, Jay, loses much of their property and his business. Pandora is supporting them, but her job is threatened. As though all this upheaval isn’t enough, Archangel Cassiel appears and gives her shocking news. In order to fulfill the mission she has been given, she will have to disappear for a period of time. She risks a great deal by doing this, but there is the issue of a greater good. Does she have the strength?
The author writes with wit and flair. She brings to the reader an engrossing story filled with memorable characters, both human and otherwise. There are surprises as well as suspense. I found this to be a beautifully crafted story about love and second chances.
I highly recommend reading this special book. Pandora’s Gift is a standalone book. However, the first two books in the series make for a great read, too. They are ‘Transforming Pandora’ and ‘Squaring Circles’.
I have really enjoyed reading this trilogy and getting to know Pandora and the other characters. It is beautifully written with the words flowing off the page effortlessly which make it such a pleasure to read.
In this third part of the trilogy we see Pandora having to make some really hard decisions which not only impact on her own life but on those she loves too. Again, as with the other two novels there is a strong mystical/spiritual element to the book but don’t be put off by that because even if you are not a spiritual person, it is still a great story and it is part of Pandora’s journey. She is a very real and convincing character and I couldn’t help liking her even though she made mistakes and had a fairly chaotic love life. This book is full of emotion, surprises and suspense with some humour too, all wrapped up in a mystical bundle waiting for the reader to unravel it.
Although it is not necessary to read the other two books in the trilogy before reading Pandora’s Gift (and what a gift it is!), I would recommend starting at the beginning with Transforming Pandora because once you get started, you won’t want to miss out on a single word that Carolyn Mathews has written.
Sarah Houldcroft, Authors Uncovered
Book three in the Pandora series is by far my favourite. Having followed the heroine from early adulthood, being privy to her romantic encounters, some successful, others self-sabotaged, it was with great warmth that I journeyed with her on the road to receiving her greatest gift.
We find her working as a daytime TV presenter, trying to keep body and soul together, as her husband’s business buckles under the strain of the 2008 economic crash, before divine intervention sends her on a four-month diversion from her own life, changing its course forever.
Certain she has made the correct decision to return to her previous existence, Pandora’s problems only multiply, before finally settling once more into an acceptable, if most unexpected, situation.
Carolyn Mathews’ characters are flawed and fun, their humour often serving to help them through some difficult situations and evoking the reader’s empathy. The plot-twists and seemingly out-of character actions serve to keep the reader guessing until, quite rightly, the end of this highly entertaining trilogy.
Helen Noble, author of ‘The Deeds of the Devil’
We meet up with Pandora for the third phase of her journey with, as always, something happening in her relationship with Jay.
Jay is looking at reforming his band, Jay and the Jaylers, which means he could be touring again, with all the temptations that brings. This could be the thing that will tip the finely balanced nature of their relationship overboard; a relationship that has been on and off and on again over the years. Mostly off, at this particular time.
As Pandora is an enlightened being of some repute she is a little mystified as to what it is that seems to be drawing her close to Andrew Truman, a biographer, and a man it would appear she has little or nothing in common with, but is someone who could help Jay by writing about him and his band. It is not until she is advised that Cassiel has once again come back into her life to work with her, she begins to understand, if not accept, that there are changes heading her way once again.
As the days unfold she is told she will bear a child and that this child will go on to carry out works that will be of massive benefit to the people and the environment. This, of course, raises a raft of questions as Pandora is no longer young and has serious doubts about the ‘Mother Mary’ scenario into which she is being led.
But like all things in Pandora’s life, nothing goes as planned. With an Angel in charge and help from his friends, a mystical elixir, and Pandora’s ability to complicate matters, what can possibly happen? As this is the final book in the Pandora trilogy, the finale is fitting. The first book Transforming Pandora, follows onto Squaring Circles which segues effortlessly into Pandora’s Gift, all guided by Cassiel, an Angel we met in the first book, who has been there to guide and protect Pandora throughout her journey.
The words of the indomitable Angel Cassiel sum the essence of the trilogy up beautifully: The cycles of Nature are reflected in your life. Autumn is the perfect time to release old cares to make way for new growth. Be like the trees whose leaves must fall. Allow your true nature to be laid bare.
Pandora finally comes to understand that whatever is sent to you in life you should accept with grace, go with the flow and hold on to the belief that ‘all has happened just as it should’. A beautiful completion to a work that has captured the heart, the imagination and very essence of life, living and ultimately, the spiritual entity we each have deep inside.
Ian Banks, Blue Wolf Reviews
In the third book of the Pandora series, it is a life-changing series of events that lead to the unknown and unexpected. Pandora’s life begins to change when Jay loses their home and business in the current financial climate. Pandora soon learns that her job as a TV panellist may also come to an end. Pandora must face her biggest challenge, however, as we enter the supernatural part of the story. She must find a way to disappear from her life in order to fulfil a prophecy and risks losing the parts of her life she treasures the most.
The great thing about the intriguing Pandora series is the blend of genres all mixed together to make the perfect story – a story where anything can happen… Anything is possible. The clever way the author does not stick to one genre gives her more scope to let her imagination run wild and enchants the reader into a captivating read that will grab the attention from beginning to end. The brilliant balance of mystiery, romance and chick-lit meeting the paranormal makes this, and the two other books in the Pandora series, unmissable.
Nikki Bywater, Nikki’s Books4U
Pandora Armstrong is back and this time, she brings a big surprise with her. This third novel in the Pandora series is a great addition to the previous two, and combines romance, spirituality and suspense. It introduces a guide, or angel, to help push the plot along. Andrew Truman, or Cassiel, is a very cool helper in a pretty attractive body. Not unlike the movie The Adjustment Bureau (starring Matt Damon) where guides come to earth to make sure that we humans get it right, or just don’t screw up too much, this specific guide borrows a human body to make sure Pandora succeeds with a very important challenge.
She loses her job, her home and a few other things that she thought were important in her life, but she finds deeper meaning.
A fun read, that can be enjoyed both by those who are into guides and angels, and those who are not.
Daniela Norris, author of ‘Recognitions’