February 20, 2012

Review: Poison Study

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Poison Study
Maria V Snyder
Study Series #1
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5

This is a new feature I am doing here on Wickedly Bookish where I give my bookish sisters a chance to join in on the review for our buddy reads. You can expect to see one of these a month if not more depending on how often we finish a buddy read. Thanks to Bvandenberg for allowing me to use her gorgeous artwork in the new banner! For more information on this picture and the credits please visit the Permissions page. 

This week, my sister Lindsae and I read Poison Study the first book in the Study trilogy. Our conversations of the book progressed sort of like this:

Jess: So, how far are you? I'm on chapter 5 and it's pretty interesting so far.
Lindsae: Well... I'm still on chapter 2 because I've been busy and haven't really been able to get into it... Maybe when I get more time...

Two Days Later...

Lindsae: OMG! This book is sooooo good! I'm on chapter 26! Where are you at?
Jess: I'm kinda still on chapter 5... I've been really busy... 
Lindsae: You have to catch up so we can talk about it! I love this book! I'm ordering us the next one!

Midnight That Night...

Lindsae: I'm finished! Night!     
Jess: Holy crap... 

Needless to say, I did catch up! Both Lindsae and I noticed that once we got going, we just couldn't stop. The ease of the writing style Snyder brings to the table and the addictive quality of the story makes Poison Study a quick, enthralling read.

Yelena is a young girl next in line for the hangman's noose after murdering the son of Military District 5's General Brazell. The unspeakable horrors she endured at the hands of the General and his son Reyad will not serve as an excuse for her crime, but she does have one thing going for her. There is a law requiring the Commander's Spymaster to give the next in line for the noose a chance at being the next royal  food taster.  Yelena will get another shot at life, but death still stalks her in the halls of the Commander's palace.

Lindsae and I had a lot of fun reading this. I would have liked to learn more about the poisons when Yelena did instead of the Snyder just saying she memorized all the poisons on Valek's list. That would have made the read even more engaging for me, but I can see how it wasn't entirely necessary. There are a couple poisons readers are made familiar with, but I wanted to know more! I think that is a vital element of a good book. Getting your reader to not just want to know what will happen next, but also getting them interested in knowing more about the little details of the world you have created takes some serous skill.

I've noticed with the books of Snyder's that I have read, she manages to surprise you with the romance. She often makes her heroine and her love interest dislike or oppose each other at first and then has them come together at the end. I enjoy that aspect of her writing very much, especially because she doesn't let the romance overpower her story. She doesn't hinge everything on the romance, but allows it to come naturally through the more important main events of the plot. This is why Snyder is one of my new favorite authors. This is why she has loyal fans and will continue to gain loyal fans throughout her career. She gets her reader emotionally involved in her main character, allows that character to become strong on her own terms, and then brings in the guy. The heroine doesn't get to cheat her own healing and growth by having the guy sweep in and save her, she has to do it herself. This gives us as the reader the opportunity to respect her as an individual and see her as an individual instead of part of a couple. Another person who did this well was Karen Marie Moning in her Fever series.

Overall, everything from character development, world building, and story progression are strong in Poison Study. The story doesn't need to leave off on a ridiculous cliffhanger to keep you interested in the series, but leaves you with just enough of a question. Lindsae was so excited to read the next one, she ordered us both a copy almost immediately after finishing. We both can't wait to get our hands on Magic Study and will be watching our mailboxes with impatience.

One last thing I wanted to say is this was a great book for a buddy read. There are lots of speculations to discuss and there is such a strong heroine that you can't help but cheer for girl power! I highly recommend you read this with your bestie or your sister, or maybe even someone you want to get to know better. :-)

Coming Soon: The Sisters Wicked Review Magic Study

1 comment:

Lindsae said...

Hey Everyone this is Lindsae. I just wanted to say that Jessica is right one when it comes to wanting to know more about the poisons. Ms. Snyder did give you some of them but I was wanting to know how many she had to memorize and what they tasted like to her. I also wanted to know a little bit more about her powers (I am thinking that it will be in her next book, but I would have still liked to know what her power was) I also wondered if Valek knew the whole time that she had powers or could have powers. Over all though once I got to chapter 3 I was hooked. I ordered the next two books for Jessica and I. I and I can't wait to "dive" right in.