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Pandora's Promise (The Pandora's Trilogy) (Volume 3) Paperback – August 12, 2015
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"[Pandora's Promise] will appeal to those who like post-apocalyptic fiction, and also readers of romances.... Kathryn Lance paints beautiful word-pictures and has a fantastic sense for emotional truth. This is one trilogy that starts good and gets better with each book; Pandora's Promise is the best." --Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 12/15
About the Author
Kathryn Lance is the author of more than 50 traditionally-published books of fiction and nonfiction. Her newest book, Pandora's Promise, is the final novel in a trilogy that began in 1985 with the award-winning novel Pandora's Genes. When not writing science fiction, Lance keeps busy as a docent at two nature parks in her beloved Sonoran Desert
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As the main characters and their challenges - internal and external - were skillfully revealed, I became more and more engaged. The characters, who feature in all three books, are psychologically complex and very human, and the scientific/fantasy elements of the plot are believable, even sometimes frighteningly plausible. The plots of all three books in the series engage the reader's imagination and intelligence, offering clues to what may unfold yet continually surprising with unexpected developments that kept me eagerly turning the pages. The contrasts of worldviews and cultures are just as fascinating as the situations the characters encounter, and the human characters keep learning and growing through their choices and the consequences. Questions of morality, gender, and the ways humans relate to other animals are skillfully woven into the plot without ever overshadowing the action; as in all the best fiction, the reader is challenged to consider "what would I do in this situation?"
Although PANDORA'S PROMISE contains enough skillfully-interwoven background information to stand as a good read on its own, I think the reader who doesn't start at the beginning of the trilogy and read straight through is missing out.
The theme of climate change and man-made catastrophes is strong in this book and really made me consider what our everyday products are made of. In the Pandora Trilogy, the "Change" came about because man messed with the DNA of bacteria to help clean up a massive oil spill. The DNA mutated and "ate" anything made with petroleum. Further mutations affected plants and animals, making the world a very difficult place to live. A partial list of petroleum-based items is given in a diary entry from the time of the Change. I read that list thinking, "No, that can't possibly be right. Clothes, basketballs, and computers have petroleum in them?" Well, I just did some research, and, yes, hundreds of items we use every day have petroleum in them. Imagine how the world would come screeching to a halt if all petroleum-based products stopped working or just fell apart.
That's the world of this trilogy and how a few generations later they're still trying to make a stable civilization and deal with climate change on very limited knowledge. The characters have deep senses of loyalty to each other and to the "greater good." The different "civilizations" across the country are as different as can be and have very unique ways to cope and govern, particularly the Pros.
I love the diary entries that were given about the time of the Change and how they linked to and influenced a few of our main characters.
If you've read my reviews of the first two books (Pandora's Genes and Pandora's Children), you're already familiar with my longing for an empathic, capable fox-cat. Now I also want an elephant. I don't know where I would put one, but the Dream Tasters (elephants) in Pandora's Promise would make great companions. Perhaps I could fence in the back yard, but it is a bit small.
I do hope this isn't the last book in this world. I'm very curious what happens next for each of the main characters and with "the Eye." Douglas Adams had four books in his trilogy, so Kathryn Lance can, too.