Thursday, 4 June 2015

Review: Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder 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...

Update 4/4/15:
My opinion hasn't changed much since the first time I read this last year - Yelena is still awesome, Valek is still swoonworthy and the book is still fantastic! It was such a relief, I'll be honest, and remains one of my favourite books of all time.

Original review 10/4/14:
So many good things have been said about this book by different bloggers and of course that means I had high expectations going into it, which were easily met I have to say.

Clear your day’s plan this is a one-sit read and you will love every second of it! I have just found myself a new favourite series and if you love a mysterious book full of terror and devious plans - you will too.

After reading the synopsis I got the impression that Yelena is a trained assassin (I mean she has murdered someone...) but in reality she is just an ordinary girl who did something desperate to get out of a desperate situation. This didn’t degrade from the book as I expected, because while she’s not an assassin she’s an amazingly strong in her character and it also makes her more “relatable”. She is also one of the bravest heroines I have ever read, admittedly she may not seem like it at the beginning but it takes a lot of courage to make it through what happened to her and everything after that; seriously she cannot catch a break.

On the other hand, a lot of the time with the other protagonist, Valek, you don’t always know where he stands. At the beginning I didn’t expect Yelena and Valek to get together in a million years even though I’d heard bloggers gushing over him. So let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised. It turns out that he is another variation of the hard on the outside soft on the inside male characters (which I love) but he is amazingly unique leaving all the other male characters in the dust. Janco and Ari who are side characters are great themselves, a little one-sided but still great. However I think I have found a new favourite male protagonist/book boyfriend in Valek.

A warning though, is that the romance is not even close to the main focus of this book, and is instead an extra to satisfy readers who like a little romance in an otherwise action-packed book. Therefore it should not be read because of it; especially since it doesn’t come to light until a little over halfway through the book.

The world, which is made of districts and from a version of the past is simple to grasp but complicated to truly understand, because of the leaders who all have their own agendas and Maria V. Snyder writes of a beautiful but scandalous tale where just about no-one is as how you originally perceived.
Favourite Quotes:
“You look stunning,” I blurted. Mortified, I blushed as a rush of heat spread through my body. I must have swallowed more brandy than I’d realized.”

“Trusting is hard. Knowing who to trust, even harder."

“Yelena, you’ve driven me crazy. You’ve caused me considerable trouble and I’ve contemplated ending your life twice since I’ve known you.” Valek’s warm breath in my ear sent a shiver down my spine.
“But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.”
“That sounds more like a poison than a person,” was all I could say. His confession had both shocked and thrilled me.
“Exactly,” Valek replied. “You have poisoned me.”

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