Pyxis by K.C. Neal
publisher: Stonehouse Ink
release date: October 2nd, 2011
version read: ebook
intended audience: Young adult
series: Pxyis, book 1
source: from author for honest review
Corinne lives an average teenage life working at her dad’s cafe, hanging out with her best friend, and trying to forget a falling-out with her almost-boyfriend Mason. Things take a strange turn when she uses her late grandmother’s food dyes for a bake sale, and her customers suddenly find her irresistibly alluring. Then she discovers she and Mason are haunted by the same dreams of a dark force that consumes everything in its path.
Pursued by shadowy figures and a crazy woman with secrets from the past, Corinne must find out who her grandmother really was. In her quest to unravel her family’s history, she learns she is destined to protect this world--and the dark world of her dreams. She races to find the answers she seeks before her nightmares break free.
Review: I really, really, enjoyed reading Pyxis---so why the 3.5 rating? Well, I'll get to that,... but first I want to say that this was a really well-written, fast-paced, fun story. I loved how normal and authentic Corinne and the other characters felt, dealing with the everyday stuff: planning little schemes with her best friend, putting up with the snotty girls, dealing with the accidental kiss with her best guy friend, only to hear rumors of him kissing her biggest enemy before taking off on a long trip. Even in dealing with the not-so-everyday stuff, their reactions still felt right. Plus the girl loved to bake, which for me, was a big plus in my book! :) The story pulled me in immediately, starting out at a bake sale where Corinne's petite fours have a surprising effect on her fellow classmates. What she though were her grandmothers food coloring in pretty bottles turns out to be a mysterious secret potion that has some of the hottest guys in school and some of the most popular girl vying for her attention. Very strange, indeed! :)
The plot races along, getting more and more mysterious and turning a little eerie when Corinne starts having strange, dark dreams. Lots of twists and turns and dangers pop up along the way, and then her best friend Mason, returns from a family trip and seems somehow connected to the strange things happening, too---as well as added a nice bit of romantic tension as Corinne tries to keep him at arms length because of what happened before he left. I was absolutely enjoying it all---the characters, the mystery, the romance, and the magic.
However, I had one huge problem with this book, and to me, it was worth a hefty docking of one and half cupcakes in my rating of Pyxis. This felt unfinished. The ending was not so much a cliffhanger as it was just a strange place to cut off the story. I jumped into Pyxis actually thinking it was going to be something about faeries (I think because the word "pyxis" was so similiar to "pixies"). Upon finishing, I'm actually still not exactly sure what it's all about. Honestly, on the last page, I double checked to be sure I wasn't missing pages. I felt like we were just about to get into the thick of the story and finally find out what the Pyxis was, but we're denied that satisfaction---and for me, it really needed that bit more of information about what was going on to be a complete book, even for a planned series.
Despite that, as I said before, I really enjoyed the characters and the story so far and I'm looking forward to reading more! I haven't decided yet, but I may wait until the entire series is out before reading the whole thing together, including a re-read of Pyxis.
Visit K.C. Neal's site: www.kcneal.blogspot.com
Purchase Pyxis at: Amazon • BN.com • BookDepository • Indiebound