“Pandora has a little bit of something for every horror fan, no matter what type you prefer. It is part psychological horror, part supernatural horror, and part slasher-thriller. There are scenes of sickening mutilation and as well as scenes of intense emotional turmoil. The characters are haunted in dreams, hallucinations and reality by both worldly and otherworldly entities. Pervading and guiding every event is the poisonous influence of an ancient wraith and the history of devastation to which it is intricately connected.
Parypinski is incredibly adept at building suspense and compelling the reader to continue. In Pandora, she utilizes a multi-tiered approach to develop the story from three directions toward the conclusion. At the heart of the novel are the actions of several protagonists and supporting characters reacting to the foreboding events occurring in their town. Parallel to this story thread are two supporting threads. In the first, the reader learns the history of the wraith’s interactions with humanity in reverse order; the genius in this design is that we are left waiting to discover the origin of the spirit until the end of the novel, and the suspense of learning the truth builds steadily to the novel’s climax. The second supporting thread follows the exploits of the Reaper, a twisted individual who kills people while heading toward the protagonists’ hometown; tension builds as the reader eventually comes to understand the relationship between the wraith and the Reaper and anticipates the Reaper’s pivotal role in the climax. The three supporting story threads build suspense along parallel lines, urging the reader along on three different levels and making the novel very difficult to stop reading.
Ultimately, Pandora is a story about an ancient evil that has tormented humans for millennia and a handful of individuals who confront this sordid history. The novel implies that the wraith’s corruptive influence has led humans astray in our treatment of others, our perceptions of our own worth, and notably, our utilization of religion for abominable ends. Parypinski’s tale is no doubt a horror novel, showcasing our greatest shortcomings as individuals and as a species and defining humankind as disturbingly subordinate to forces above and outside our control. It is also a story about the human drive to overcome death, destruction, and everything that corrupts us. Parypinski engages these fundamental philosophical questions with subtlety and tact, and they serve as the foundation for the events in the novel. Luckily, the superstructure she builds upon this foundation is highly entertaining.”