- Date published: 1st December 2011
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan AU
- Format: Paperback, 348 pages
- Series: Pandora English, Book 2
- ISBN 13: 9780732290733
- Categories: Fantasy
- Goodreads / Booktopia / Bookworld
- Source: bought
- Challenge: Australian Women Writer’s Reading Challenge 2013
It’s been two months since Pandora English left her small hometown to live with her mysterious great-aunt in a haunted mansion in Spektor – the fog-wreathed suburb of Manhattan that doesn’t appear on any map. With the help of her great-aunt and the beautiful – but dead – Lieutenant Luke, Pandora is beginning to understand the significance of the Lucasta family heritage her late mother kept secret from her. Pandora is heir to a great gift. And with that comes frightening responsibility…
Meanwhile, she seems doomed to be forever underestimated in the mortal world. Her fashion editor boss doesn’t seem to know she exists. But New York needs Pandora’s special gifts. There is a new designer in town, and her ambitions extend far beyond taking over the fashion world one knit at a time . . .
There are plenty of eight-legged beasties running around in this novel that follows Pandora on another adventure in exciting New York. Pandora is trying to live a normal-ish life after discovering the plethora of supernatural forces that surround her, but she’s finding it hard because designers keep going missing!
I feel like there was a lot going on the novel: Pandora’s powers and the continuing eccentricity of her great-aunt, her rivalry with Athanasia and the resulting attacks on her life by vampires, someone stealing fashion items from Pandora’s work place and the mysterious disappearances of leading designers. This meant that every time I thought I knew what was going on, I was led in a different direction, but I ultimately like this because it kept me guessing. The plot is well paced and always engaging, and I love the balance of the supernatural and fashion worlds with Pandora’s own growth.
The Spider Goddess is a light, fun read, and I liked the hints of romance it has between Pandora and the ghostly Luke. He goes through some development in the book, which I liked. I think that while it is important that the series has such great female characters, but I have been disappointed that the only male characters the book features are either love interests or cameos. I hope Luke has an expanded role in future books 🙂 I also really want to know more about Celia – this book has some interesting reveals but I think there is a lot more to learn about her.
I really liked this sequel, and it seems that there are many more Pandora English books to come in the future, so I’m quite excited. I think these are the perfect books for someone looking for a break from other, weightier books, and am interested in reading Tara Moss’ Makedde Vanderwall series (about non-supernatural crimes in the fashion world) some time.