Letitia's Reviews > Poison Study

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
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Jun 25, 2007

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I am torn on reviewing this book. On one hand it had the potential to be the best fantasy novel I have ever read. The world was intriguing, the characters endearing, the plot fascinating. Beyond that, the author managed to explore fascinating themes of mortality, right of choice, overcoming psychological demons, and tests of loyalty. I kept willing the writing to be better than it was. I would really love to see this author mature and develop her skill into something really worthwhile, because her story is definitely unique. Unfortunately her writing is elementary and ofttimes very awkward.
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Reading Progress

June 25, 2007 – Shelved
Started Reading
August 1, 2007 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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message 1: by Tess (last edited Apr 06, 2009 09:00AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tess I agree - I kept wondering if this was actually a YA fantasy disguised as adult, or an adult fantasy with really poor writing. I'm enjoying the story, and hoping the other two (three?) get better.

Anne-claire I couldn't put word for the feeling I had after reading poison study. But you did it admirably for me. I totally agree.

message 3: by Tess (new) - rated it 1 star

Tess Anne-claire wrote: "I couldn't put word for the feeling I had after reading poison study. But you did it admirably for me. I totally agree."

Have you finished the trilogy? I did. The writing does not get better, and the characters still feel flat. Plus the magic system seems really confusing, like she just kept adding things when the author wanted something else to happen.

Anne-claire Yes, I finished it. I don't want to say that the writing was "poor" - I prefer "simple" - but it certainly does not get better. And it was the major reason why I have mixed feelings for this trilogy. And as for the characters, I agree with you. Especially for Valek and Commander Ambrose, I expected more ... is the word "history" or "depth"? (english is not my mother tongue, sorry).
I think the magic system is confusing because it is seen from Yelena's point of view who has spent most of her life in Ixia. Or perhaps, the author willed it that way. Actually, it might be confusing, but it is not what bothered me.

message 5: by Tess (new) - rated it 1 star

Tess I think if I had read this series back when I was 12 - 15 years old, I would have really liked it. The story of a young woman overcoming the threat of death, discovering her family, saving the world, and finding love is a classic! But I've read too many "good" books to forgive the trilogy.

Thanks for your insights - you are right that the writing is just simple, not poor. And the magic might become more understandable as Yelena learns more about herself and the world.

Letitia I only read the first two. I gave up after that. There is too much really well written fantasy out there to continue with a mediocre writer. Also, I felt the story lost its momentum. Very sad! I wanted to love this.

Anne-claire To Tess: Thanks to you too. And you are right also. Were I 15, I would have wanted to become Yelena, lived her adventure and fallen in love with Valek. It is just so sad for the writing style.

To Letitia: My favorite is the Poison study. I feel that the author should have balanced much more the story between Ixia and Sitia for the last book. I guess she wanted to drift toward more magical stuff and thus lost her story line. However I liked how she described Yelena's family and how they behave and came to accept each other.

message 8: by Tess (new) - rated it 1 star

Tess Cheers to the author's efforts, and may her next trilogy be better! I just won't be reading it.

message 9: by Sobabean (new)

Sobabean So completely what I thought.... exactly.

message 10: by Mary (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mary exactly!

message 11: by Jon (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jon Zerba You may be right with her writing style but I like things "dumbed up". I wouldn't say I'm not smart but I feel it was an easy, quick read. I was able to follow very easy and not have to wonder what certain words meant or get lost in "artful" writing. Put your story on paper and stop showing off with big words that no one uses :)

message 12: by M.E. (new) - rated it 3 stars

M.E. Walker I absolutely agree! I'm hoping the rest of the series progresses well.

Pauline 100% agree. I read the first 3 books and I think I spent the entire time waiting for the author to write the book I *wanted* to read... Unfortunately it never eventuated. There was a lot of potential here, unfortunately it was just never realised :(

MaryK I agree. Plus I felt like a deeper development of the main characters would have benefitted the story. I never felt completely connected with Yelena, and that's a pity because the story has a really good concept. As I have just finished reading the first book,I hope that maybe the sequels will get better.

message 15: by хона (new) - added it

хона  Ахмэте I know. Soooo much potential but... ):

message 16: by Saki (new) - rated it 2 stars

Saki I️ feel the same way, good story but the writing was sophomoric. Too many lengthy descriptions of clothing *yawn.*

Mikayla Hatch EXACTLY how I felt. The writing was soooo awkward and at times just weird. But such a good plot

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