Project Pandora (An Assassin Fall novel)

Project Pandora (An Assassin Fall novel)

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Project Pandora (An Assassin Fall novel)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
August 01, 2017
ISBN
978-1633756854
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Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening―waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight―Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself. Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control? In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down―before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass...

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Teenages Assassins

Tyler and Shannon are both foster children with a murky grasp of their past... and a startling alternate identity of hardened killers. When their burner phones ring and someone says "Olympus is rising" to them, they respond with "Pandora's box is open" and go off on their next mission. In between, they have a growing realization about what is going on. Tyler in particular starts to realize what he is going, and tries to stop it. When he attempts to leave the organization, Shannon is sent after him to neutralize him.

In alternate chapters, we also see Hades, who is another born and bred killer. When there is not target available, he tries to sublimate his urge to destroy by eating and working out a lot. When he meets Elizabeth, the daughter of a politician, he starts to have strong feelings for her. She is tired of going to her fancy private school and always having to behave, and is drawn to Hades, with his tattoos, motorcycle, and leather jacket. In turn, he decides that she should become one of the teen assassins, and starts to indoctrinate her into the program.

We are given some information about Project Pandora, and learn that there are children who were conceived and born in labs, only to be handed over to foster families after their brains are wired to be assassins. Dmitri is one of the forces behind the project, but it is all rather shady and ill defined.

Tyler and Shannon want to break free; Hades wants to delve deeper into the program and bring Elizabeth with him. What exactly is Project Pandora, and how many people will have to die before its evil ways are brought to light?

Good Points
This is definitely a Young Adult novel, and starts off with a very brutal and graphic murder. While this is not the sort of thing that I prefer to read, my students are constantly asking for murder mysteries. The fact that these are trained, teenaged assassins makes this book rather like Patterson's The Angel Experiment, but with devils instead!

I liked the four main characters, and found their evolution to be interesting. Elizabeth was particularly intriguing, because she had such a nice life with her rich, overprotective parents, but felt compelled to get free of the restraints of this life, much to her own peril. Shannon and Tyler are equals and friends, and work together to try to figure out what their role in the project is. Hades was a classic bad boy; he isn't supposed to be charming, but is anyway.

I would have liked to know a lot more details about the Project and what its purpose is, but I imagine those details are going to be covered in the next book. For now, readers who like edge-of-their-seat novels with plenty of gore will find Project Pandora to be quite a page turner.
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overall good

“Project Pandora” is a really intense and creative YA sci-fi/thriller. We follow four teenagers who are all part of Project Pandora. They all have code names from Greek mythology and perform special jobs (e.g. assassin). Hades is the only one who is aware of his role/job, and he suffers greatly psychologically from the physical/emotional abuse and his role as a murderer. The others have varying degrees of anxiety/depression from their dissociative identities which are triggered with specific phrases.

Elizabeth, or Persephone, is a senator’s daughter and expected to behave and dress perfectly at all times. She finds herself drawn to a stranger at a banquet, Hades, and does not want to play her perfect role if it means staying away from him. They become closer and begin to date as things spiral out of control. Shannon (Artemis) and Tyler (Apollo) go to a nearby public school, and they are attracted to each other- unknowing that their extracurricular activities include murdering people together. Things really begin to change as Hades begins to evolve and break free from the reigns of his captors and Tyler is able to resist the assassination brain washing.

In part, the book follows teenage romance, but the bigger part of the book focuses on Project Pandora and the control a group of people have over the teens. We get the idea that this is all a very small part of a much bigger plot, and it seems that this will be continued in a sequel. There is main character death here, which I am including in my review for people who may want the warning! The book is extremely intense and really only appropriate for older teen audiences, mostly because of violence, torture, and abuse.

Overall, I found it enthralling and hard to put down as we follow these four unique but engaging characters on their journeys of self-discovery. Despite the many viewpoints, it was easy to follow and the story unfolds beautifully! I am looking forward to seeing where this series may go in the future.

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.

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