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Spotlight on: Pandora Drive by Tim Waggoner

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Pandora Drive by Tim Waggoner Tim Waggoner, Pandora Drive

Damara Ruschmann has a strange and wondrous power: the ability to make people's thoughts real. When she was younger, it was less powerful and just seemed to affect her family (though she carries the guilt of her brother's death and her father's disappearance because of it).

But as she has grown older, it has left her control. Now it has spread all over her neighborhood (located on Pandora Drive), and her neighbors' worst fears, greatest fantasies, passing wishes, and even spoken metaphors -- anything they can imagine -- are all coming true. Zephyr, Ohio, will never be the same.

Author Tim Waggoner has followed up his critically acclaimed 2005 novel Like Death with 2006's Pandora Drive, an exercise in imagination that brutally illustrates the adage, "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."

A novel with as simple and open-ended a setup as Pandora Drive succeeds or fails by the author's imagination. Does Waggoner create realistic characters with fantasies that make entertaining reading? Does he set up these thoughts and their consequences in a way that is believable yet surprising? Is the prose fast-paced enough that we get swept up in the series of events with little time to wonder how it will all turn out? All of these questions get a resounding yes.

Waggoner has no shortage of ideas and he approaches them unflinchingly -- fans of the extreme horror novels of Edward Lee should enjoy Waggoner's vision immensely -- and executes them flawlessly. There is imagination to spare, and Pandora Drive is as much a thrill ride as you would expect a novel that begins and ends at an amusement park to be.

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