Friday, 25 April 2014

Review: Pandora Jones: Admission by Barry Jonsberg + Giveaway!

Pandora Jones: Admission (Pandora Jones #1)
Released: May 2014
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia
At the Other End:
Pandora Jones wakes in an infirmary - her body weak, her memory providing only flashes of horrific scenes of death. She soon discovers that her family has succumbed to a plague pandemic which almost wiped out humanity. Pan is one of the survivors who have been admitted to The School - a quarantined, heavily guarded survival-skills facility - to recover their strength, hone their skills and prepare for whatever comes next. Pandora's skill is intuition, but how useful will it be outside the secure walls of The School? And what if it leads her to question where the truth lies...

Plague. Pandemic. Intuition. Secrets. Truth. Courage. Action. Survival.

Barry Jonsberg's young adult novels, The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull and It's Not All About YOU, Calma! were short-listed for the CBCA Book of the Year, Older Readers, awards. It's Not All About YOU, Calma! also won the Adelaide Festival Award for Children's Literature, Dreamrider was short-listed in the NSW Premier's Awards for the Ethel Turner prize and Cassie (Girlfriend Fiction) was short-listed for the Children's Peace Literature Award. Being Here won the QLD Premier's Young Adult Book Award 2011 and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Award 2012. My Life as an Alphabet won the 2013 Gold Inky, the Children's Peace Literature Award and was short-listed in the 2014 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and the 2014 Adelaide Festival Awards.

Barry lives in Darwin with his wife, children and two dogs. His books have been published in the US, the UK, France, Poland, Germany and China. 
Find Barry:
Website  |  Facebook  
This entire novel was completely unexpected. It hooked you in, and it played with you mind, leaving you shocked and wondering what is true. 

Holy. Shit.
Finishing this book, and thinking about all that happened makes me dizzy. So many things have happened, and none of it was expected in any way, shape or form. It was so random that it was perfect.  

When I first saw the cover and title, and even looking at it now, it looks like some super cool spy book. Here's me thinking this chick is some to notch spy and she goes and changes the world etc. That's the vibe this cover and title gives me, and even though I read the blurb, I couldn't see how it all fit together. Ok, let me just be clear, that Pandora Jones isn't some super secret spy. And this book is so far beyond that, it's not funny. This book is on a completely different level. 

I can't get over how unexpected this novel was, and how shocked I was after finding out the "truth" at the very end, I even had to re-read the last paragraph twice to be able to get everything to sink in properly. Just wow. That's all that I can say. This book was so unpredictable that I got shocked by how many genres you can switch to in one novel, and still not be able to pinpoint exactly what one it begins to. So many things happen that I can't even begin to explain. 

What I didn't like about the novel was the language used, and the writing style. The short, blunt sentences were ok at times, it picked up the speed in the novel at more exhilarating times, and during times she out could have been boring. But it's the fact that it carries onto the characters as well. I know that they are all facing the same kind of trauma, but for them to sound like people triple their age was a little strange.

I think this sentence, perfectly sums up the writing style of this book:

Wei-Lin laughed. ‘Oh, yes. Sometimes I think he looks on words as bullets. Quick sprays are best. Don’t waste your ammunition.’

I know she is practically making fun of the teacher, but it’s kind of hypocritical when they all do it, even her.

It didn't help me connect with the characters as much as I wanted to, especially with Pandora. The only thing that was good about it, was that we got to see what she was thinking every now and again, and it was her thoughts that made me connect with her. She was speaking like someone get age should, well, at least how the protagonist in a YA novel should. It was only because of the memories from before, shows that this is a YA novel. 

I can't wait for the second book. I desperately want to find out what is true and what isn't. I want to know so many things that it's killing me right now, because I don't have the second book. I want to know, why did only a few survive the pandemic? I want to know about Nate, about everything! 

This book, definitely leaves you with your jaw halfway down your face. It was explosive, brutal, a little eye opening (about the whole, trust your instincts vibe), and more than it's fair share of shocks. This one is definitely a read.

This giveaway is open to Australian residents ONLY

This novel was received for review via Allen & Unwin Australia. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel.

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