Shalene's Reviews > Poison Study

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
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** spoiler alert ** Poison Study is so many different things: it's addictive, it's wonderful, and it's also wasted potential. Let me explain:


Poison Study is so--oh so so so so very close-- to being a fantastic piece of work. It's that little dude at the bottom of the picture, only mere centimeters from those diamonds! If she'd only budged a little further... I mean, Poison Study has so many positives! The brilliant atmosphere, for starters, with the icy and unique nation of Ixar. The concepts of the land is enchanting, and the entire premise of the novel is genius. I adore any land with snow, since the arctic/northern setting is probably my favorite. It feels snug and warm and intense all at once. In fact, I have to say that the atmosphere is probably my favorite aspect of this novel... that is, other than Valek. ;)


I'm extremely picky when it comes to my love interests. They cannot be made of plastic. They cannot be lovey-dovey and gushy. They cannot be cliched. And most of all, they cannot be blatantly obvious. I hate it when I pick up a book, read to page ten, and know exactly who the little lover is going to be. I want some mystery! I want some tension! I want some surprise.

Valek did just that. He's not strikingly obvious as a love interest, and he's not cliched. He's a unique, dark, and sexy beast who also happens to be an assassin.


Marry me please?

Anyways, onward! Let me explain what I think drew this novel back from being a five star.

I felt that Snyder's incorporation of magic was ill-fitted. Such an overused concept didn't belong in something as unique and brilliant as this. I mean, one could have do SO many other things with a poison taster! But magic? Magic? It was fine in this one, I guess, but it tore the following two apart. Everything just became so... unoriginal.Was she too scared to branch out and be unique? Did she feel the need to go mainstream? Whatever the case, I feel that if Snyder had formulated a different plot and removed the magic, then this could have been even more brilliant.

The writing style, too, really bothered me. The first time, I didn't see anything wrong with it. The next time, every mistake and awkward sentence was glaring at me like a headlamp shining into someone's eyes. It make me so sad! The style is over-saturated with melodrama and sappy/cheesiness, which could have been easily fixed, I feel, with some rearranging of sentences and words! And it's not that I hate a dramatic voice, but this sappiness was ill-written and sounded like somebody's rough draft. In other words, it felt corny.

Sad face. :(

My last (but DEFINITELY not least) issue is the ending... Where Yelena and Valek have their moment... In a very disgusting dungeon. When they're being pursued. By evil people. Who are trying to kill them. They decide that it's time to confess there love and... well, yeah, awkward... right there, in a dungeon with rotting corpses, manure, and and and and and juuuuust



They hadn't even had their first KISS yet!!!! So WHY??? That was NOT romantic, Snyder!


So, in the end, I really feel that this book could have been a five star. But it wasn't, because of mistakes that could have been fixed with some editing....

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