Pyxis: The Discovery (Pyxis Series #1)

PyxisBy K.C. Neal

Publisher: StoneHouse Ink
Publication Date: November 4, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Author

Two worlds… one 16-year-old girl must learn to protect them both.

The nightmares haunting Corinne and her friend Mason hint at a universe that exists beyond the one they know. Her destiny is to protect a weakness between the two worlds, but her mentor is dead. As Corinne and Mason search for answers, she tries to ignore the sparks igniting between them, but can’t deny she feels safe only when he’s nearby. Will they find help before their nightmares break free?

Goodreads Summary

Corinne is hardly a two-bagger (one to cover her face, one to cover the boy’s), but there’s something weird going on. Hot guys are staring at her – guys who probably wouldn’t have given her the time of day last week. It could be her bubbly personality (not) or maybe it’s the gorgeous petit fours she was selling at school, the ones she made with icing colored by some stuff she found in an old kit her late grandmother left to her. So what’s a girl to do with a case of potentially magical potions that affect emotions? Well, she and her best friend Angelina decide to run some experiments by slipping some baked goods with a little extra something to more people. And the results are disturbing.

Corinne begins to investigate the mysterious box of liquids – labeled “pyxis” – with the help of her sort-of ex-boyfriend Mason, who’s had a stronger connection to her and is starting to share the nightmares she’s been having since using the potions. A slip of paper links Corinne, Mason, her best friend Angelina, her late grandmother and her sister to the box she found – and the Pyxis. If the increasingly threatening dreams Corinne and Mason are sharing are warnings, then they need to figure out what the powers of the Pyxis are and how to use them before something deadly happens.

The book begins hitting the ground running right at the bake sale not long before one of the jocks starts leering at Corinne. It isn’t until she and her friend Angelina start wondering about why all these guys are coming on to her that they go back and start thinking about what went on before the bake sale. It makes for some disorienting reading, but also something interesting. Neal has a good ear for the right dialogue and the way Angelina and Corinne reasoned out the way and why they went back to her house worked.

Corrine seemed to me to be more of a “normal” teenager than those I’ve read about recently. Part of that’s due to the atmospheric stuff – she text messages a lot, uses the internet – and part of it is that she spends a lot of time banging around in the dark about this pyxis stuff. She doesn’t know what to do about Mason and the relationship issues they have, she’s got a scary ex-friend who’s a man-eating bully and her current friend is less than available. There were nice touches of her working and baking – all of the things that make her average were the things I loved most about her.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Mason when he dropped into the story at first, mostly because he really did just drop in. Corrine, as the narrator, expressed feelings about him and then there he was. I wish there had been more of his family in the story because he sort of felt like an island to me, but I love how he fell right into his role as Corinne’s protector and without spoiling it, I think readers will like the relationship they have with each other at the end.

If there were weak points in the book, they were because of some confusion I had with some of the paranormal elements. I’m sure more things will be explained as the series continues but since Corinne didn’t start learning things until later in the book, sometimes it felt like I was putting together a puzzle with some pieces missing. Anyone who follows my reviews knows how much of a problem I have with cliffhangers and there’s one at the end of this book. I’m not exactly sure when the sequel, Alight: The Peril (Pyxis Book #2), will be released (I believe spring 2012), although there’s an excerpt up at Neal’s blog.

My Summary: While the pieces haven’t all fallen into place yet, this has the makings of a unique paranormal story with a nice touch of romance. I really appreciated the things Neal included that made this feel contemporary, including the dialogue. It made it easy to slip into Corinne’s head and have it feel authentic. I can’t lie – that cliffhanger ending hurt me to see – but I’m interested enough to keep reading the series to find out what on earth the Pyxis is.

My Rating: B+



  1. This one sounds quite interesting! I keep seeing it around more and more lately and I'm definitely intrigued! Great review.

  2. Thank you, Rebecca! This is a very good little story that I think will be part of a great series once the paranormal story gets clearer.

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