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Book Review – Poison Study

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Title: Poison Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 409

Rating: 5 Star

Series Review: 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 3.5, 3.6

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Description/Synopsis:

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I loved this book.

I picked it up because it was laying around my nans house and had nothing better to do. Not going to lie, I went in with pretty low expectations but this book just so good.

I really can’t say that there was much lacking in this book. The plot was well developed and thought through but there were some parts where I could tell what was going to happen. I loved the mix of fantasy and dystopia. We are in a kingdom which has just gotten taken over by a military regime which has both its good and bad parts which I loved it for. One part I would consider bad would be the part where magic is banned and is punishable by death, and creates much drama and stress for our main characters Yelena who was orphaned, has no idea where she came from and doesn’t understand this power she was born with. You would think that something like that would govern most of the story, but that was no the case. We had the drama of her training/being the poison taster mixed in with political issues, and then we also had the very subtle and not over powering level of the romance that budded in the story.

I have read in some reviews that people would have liked more romance, and I both disagree and agree. With the way this story was written I think that the amount that was in there was good and slow developing which I like, but I do agree with some that if the story had just been an adult novel, which it so could have easily been because of the age of out main characters, you could have gotten much more steamy love, which I also enjoy. I think I agree it would have made a better adult book but I like it still the way it is.

I thought all the characters were well developed, and while there were a few kind of throwaway people in there, I feel like at least some of them will come back and serve more of a purpose in the coming stories. Maybe. I shall see I guess. Yelena I found to be a really realistic and just straight up awesome character. The amount of rubbish she has to go through, past and present,I am amazed she turned out as strong willed as she is. She is realistic about her abilities, and gets saved by others a few times, but not at any point did I think she was just a meek character who just needs to be saved all the time. She is constantly looking to better herself in her never ending struggle to make the right decisions to just stay alive. If anyone just deserved to be left alone and have a boring life if they so choose its Yelena. With the next book I think we will be focusing on her magic and her family back story more so I al really looking forward to seeing where that goes.

I would normally talk about other characters here, but since I think part of the fun of this book is that it surprises you about hwo the people end up being, if you don’t want to be spoiled about those kind of things, this would be a good place for you to end reading the review. You have been warned. All you need to know is that I loved this book, and I think you should read it.

Rand, I knew from our very first interaction with him that he was not to be trusted. I can’t remember what he did exactly that first time that made me think it, but I was like that is weird… This guy is being sus, I don’t trust him. Turns out I was right. I Valek was an awesome character He was just as mysterious as the head assassin of the Commander was supposed to be. I am really interested in how he is not effected by any kind of magic, and I hope we get to explore that more. While he seemed cold hearted at times, he also had his funny moments and cute moments that made me go awww. I love him as a character. The Commander confused me a little. I thought he was a very strong character despite the fact he didn’t pop up much, his big secret and issue seemed a bit lacking to me. While I know its a thing, and I don’t mean to be insulting to anyone who has read the book and knows what I am talking about, his reasoning as to why seemed a bit iffy. Almost insulting… sorta.

I think I am going to stop rambling on now. I thought this book was awesome and I am very put out that my Nan doesn’t have the rest of the series. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes assassins, magic, and political plotlines since the book has all of these things.

On a completely side note, this is one of those series where the cover seems to change with each book, and I went out to try and get it but one of the covers matched for the whole series/collection of books so I have been reduce to getting it on my kindle. Again. I hope that by the time all the books are released they would have worked out their cover drama!

 

Till Next Time…

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Book Review – The Poison Garden

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Title: The Poison Garden

Author: Sarah Singleton

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 283

Rating: 1 Star

Description/Synopsis:

It is the 1850’s, and a young boy, Thomas, leaves his family to be apprenticed to a pharmacist, at the behest of his dead grandmother. He also inherits a magical box from her, which provides him entry into a mysterious garden. But while visiting it, he sees a ghostly vision of his grandmother, who tells him she was poisoned, and warns him that he must find the person responsible, and save her precious garden. For she was one of five members of an arcane guild, each of whom cultivated an individual garden, mastering the art of poison, perfume and medicine. The guild members jostle for power as, one by one, they are murdered …

Can Thomas solve the mystery, before he in turn is threatened?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

My opinion of this book is not great. Within the first couple of pages I was getting annoyed with the style of writing and found myself drifting off while reading and thinking about other things, and it took me far longer to read because I kept putting it down and trying to find something else to distract myself so I didn’t have to keep reading. But, I hate to leave a book unfinished and I committed to trying to post a review each day, so I pushed myself through it.

The contents of the book is described in way to much pointless detail that you dont get to form your own opinion or idea, and it happens way to fast for me. You get have barely started reading before major stuff starts happening, and though this can often work in some books it is not the case here. I felt as if I was being rushed through because the author themselves was already bored and was trying to get to the end of the book. Because of this rushed feeling you don’t get to connect to any of the characters. When bad things happen you don’t care because why should you? You haven’t gotten to feel any warmth or connection to them, you have just been told “This is this guy,” and then they just remain some random you know of but don’t give a damn about.

This feeling of disconnectedness could also be contributed to the pore dialogue. The conversations feel forced the entire way through, and for me they sealed the deal when it came to not caring about the characters. Towards the end I started to feel something, my head was focussed on the story I was being told and I wasn’t looking to see how many pages where left, but then some forced dialogue reared its ugly head and I was pushed outside of the book again. Things are danced around in a too obvious way, or they are just too plainly laid out for all the world to see. Conversations don’t seem natural (or feelings or reactions for that matter), and I felt as though I was reading school students running through a scripted play for the first time.

That being said however I did love the idea behind the book and feel it has so much untapped potential which makes the failings stand out that much more for me. Gardens which are all connect but all apart, which shape to your imagination and inner most ideals, and are boundless to restrictions of simply ‘good’ or ‘evil’ magic/abilities sounds like a fantastic concept that should have been looked at it more detail. I so desperately wanted to know more about each garden, to spend more that 10-30 pages I was given exploring each garden world.

This one book could easily have been an awesome series if it wasn’t so rushed.