Grace's Reviews > Poison Study

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
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Oct 31, 2009

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bookshelves: fantasy
Read in October, 2009

I think the sixteenth time I read the phrase "during those two years I was a lab rat", I was pretty much done with this book. I got it the first dozen times. The writer keeps restating the same basic plot points again and again, as though I forgot about them in the intervening twenty pages.

The metaphors and similes in this book are out of control, and sometimes seem wildly off-tone: some of them seemed fixed in the modern era, or specifically a resource-rich Westernized nation, that it was really disorienting. I also couldn't pin down what phase of industrialization this country is in -- there are bows and arrows but also large-scale factories. And I never really got a handle on the political situation, though that might be something explored in future books.

There's also an obsession with rats. Calling people "rat", being tempted with "cheese", eau de rat lingering in the air, rolling around in rat droppings and doing unhygenic things, snuggling with rats... The only other animals mentioned are dogs and horses, and fleetingly.

And in the end, I wasn't really sold on the reveals. I guessed one reveal about 50 pages in, and another reveal was just plain curious, and the final deus ex machina is bizarre. The entire book gets an underwhelmed "eh" from me; pretty run of the mill, template fantasy.

UPDATE: I've upgraded this to three stars after a second read - there are some relationship notes I appreciated more the second time around.
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