cover image The Pandora Room

The Pandora Room

Christopher Golden. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-19210-3

Solid prose and well-developed characters lift bestseller Golden’s sequel to 2017’s Ararat. After an assignment in the Arctic to study deadly prehistoric microbes, Ben Walker, who works for the National Science Foundation, a front for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is ordered to Iraq to handle another unsettling discovery. Archeologist Sophie Durand has excavated an underground city in Kurdish territory, Derveyî, and within it has found a hidden chamber that holds what appears to be the source of the myth of Pandora’s Box, a sealed vase. Given the legend that the box “contained all the evils that might plague mankind,” Walker’s bosses dispatch him to insure that proper containment protocols are observed while it’s extracted for further study. That mission is endangered by Islamic terrorists and by something making members of Sophie’s expedition sick. Golden makes the oppressive atmosphere inside Derveyî palpable. Preston and Child fans will clamor for more of Walker. [em]Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary. (Apr.) [/em]