AH's Reviews > Magic Study

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
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Mar 01, 2010

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bookshelves: own, book-challenge, zzread-july-2010, fantasy
Read from July 10 to 16, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Yelena reminds me of Benjamin Linus in the TV series Lost -- she always seems to get captured and beat up...

In this sequel to Poison Study, I felt a little disappointed.
What disappointed me was the characterization of our heroine. In
Poison Study, Yelena had a difficult time, forced to choose execution or death as a poison taster. But she prevailed and overcame the difficulties that arose. In this book, Yelena seems rather helpless at times. She is betrayed, ambushed, captured, bound, and beaten many different instances in the book. Give the girl a break!

While Yelena's helplessness disappointed me, there was another side to her character. Yelena seems to have the ability to make really loyal allies and friends OR really nasty enemies. Her friends rescue and protect her often. Yelena also has the ability to talk with horses. It was cute and touching at first, but a little annoying later on in the book. In Magic Study, Yelena is just coming into her powers. She will be a strong master magician.

I was touched when Yelena was reunited with her family. Her father had drawn a sketch of her for every year she was missing. Her mother was a little wacko, but kind and loving. And there was 14 years' worth of sibling rivalry to catch up on. As I read the descriptions of the Zaltana's homes, I pictured the treetop homes of the Navi in the movie Avatar...

I so missed Valek! Note to authors -- please do not write about a sexy man like Valek in one book and then make us wait and wait and wait and wait for his appearance in the sequel. Not nice at all! I felt Yelena's longing for Valek. I missed him too.

The supporting characters were memorable. I was so happy to see that Ari and Janco came back. And enterprising Fisk, once a beggar, now an entrepeneur, all because Yelena took interest in his plight. Cahil truly annoyed me -- his immaturity and lack of discipline was truly loathsome.

I will be reading Fire Study, but not right away.
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Reading Progress

07/12/2010 page 44
07/15/2010 page 75
19.0% "Poor Yelena, never seems to get a break in life..." 10 comments
07/16/2010 page 352
88.0% "So Valek finally does show up in disguise, Yelena gets kidnapped and tied up again, and Cahil gets his voice taken away. Cahil definitely does not deserve to become king. My vote would be for Yelena." 9 comments
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Comments (showing 1-29 of 29) (29 new)

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Mahyar Aww, you're reading it...without me. *sobs*

message 2: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Do you want me to wait? I can start something else. I have no problem having 2 or 3 books going at the same time. Let me know...
BTW, I can't believe how fast a read it is.

message 3: by Mahyar (last edited Jul 12, 2010 06:05PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mahyar Do you have another book(One that you're interested in.) to read? If so, I'll be ready to start it in a day and a half.

What do you mean? I hope you haven't already reached page 200 or something, LOL.

message 4: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH OK, I'll wait for you to catch up. I'm on page 44. It really went by fast.
I always have other books to read :)

Mahyar That's soooooooooo nice of you. If I don't read with you, I never would, specially since Lethal said that "Valek is almost completely absent in Magic Study."

message 6: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH So far, his name is only mentioned. Yelena misses him, her family hates him. I will miss Valek.

message 7: by Mahyar (last edited Jul 12, 2010 06:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mahyar AH wrote: "So far, his name is only mentioned. Yelena misses him, her family hates him. I will miss Valek."

LOL. Stupid family, I hope they aren't trying to make her forget him or something, I'd be pissed.

Tatiana Valek (unfortunately) shows up at about page 275.

message 9: by Mahyar (last edited Jul 12, 2010 06:28PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mahyar Tatiana wrote: "Valek (unfortunately) shows up at about page 275."

Now that I know that, I'll be checking the page number every couple of minutes.

Mahyar I'm ready, AH, are you?

message 11: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Yes I am....Yah, back to Sitia...

message 12: by Mahyar (last edited Jul 14, 2010 01:33PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mahyar AH wrote: "Yes I am....Yah, back to Sitia..."

Okay then. I'll start it tomorrow morning since it's almost 1 am now.

message 13: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH OK, great, I'll start back on it tomorrow.

Desperado Awesome review, AH! I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking the sequel to PS was subpar. It does seem like Yelena is always either running, getting kidnapped, beat up, or talking to horses. It was fun & exciting in PS but in MS, it became very repetitive & boring. After receiving advice from friends & reading reviews, I've decided not to read Fire Study but I wish you luck. Sometimes I wish I had've stopped at PS cause the rest of this series seems like a hot mess.

message 15: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH I really had strong feelings on this one. I felt that all they did was travel, get ambushed, beat up, escape and repeat. It's too bad that the magical aspect was not the highlight, just a back story.

I bought Fire Study at a used book store a few weeks ago. My neighbor and her daughter read it, but I have some other books to read before I get to it. What I might do is just put it as a book challenge read later on so I'll have a reason to read it. Not in any hurry, I have to get to Destined for an Early Grave, and Magic Bleeds, and Changeless first!

Mahyar Great review, Ah. I just finished it now.

Katyana Great review! And I am so with you re: Valek... It was frustrating to have him missing for most of it.

message 18: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Thanks! I've seen this phenomenon in a few books, like the 2nd Night Huntress book, but she didn't make us wait almost 300 pages for Bones!

Katyana Yeah, we got Bones back much much faster, and at least he played a major role in the book. I appreciate that Snyder is trying to male her heroine self-sufficient (or at least not reliant on the hero... but haha, Yelena is constantly getting into trouble), but really. Give us Valek, dammit.

Desperado Yelena is nowhere near self-sufficient. I thought her powers were teh shit & everyone keeps saying she is one of the strongest magic users out there but I find it hard to believe when she can't even keep herself from getting kidnapped! That's like everyone telling you a guy is really good in bed but every time you get in the sack with him, he has erectile disfunction.

Mahyar ♠LethalLovely~HBBIC♠ wrote: "Yelena is nowhere near self-sufficient. I thought her powers were teh shit & everyone keeps saying she is one of the strongest magic users out there but I find it hard to believe when she can't eve..."


message 22: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH LL, that was hilarious.

Katyana Oh no, I am not saying she's self-sufficient. Just that I think that the author is keeping Valek away because she wants Yelena handling her own stuff. But yeah... if there is trouble within 10 miles, Yelena is sure to fall into it.

Tatiana I think it's great that Yelena is self-sufficient, but there is no crime in asking for help when in need and in this book she is over-confident in her powers and consistently rejects any help or advice, to her own detriment.

Desperado I don't agree that Yelena is self-sufficient but I do agree that Snyder tried her best to make her come off that way by booting Valek out of the picture. One of my many annoyances with her in this novel is that she plays the "why me?" card ad naseaum. I admit that people do alot of bad stuff to her but she creates her own problems too. She runs into situations half-cocked & is surprised when things don't go her way. Like Tatiana said, she rejects advice & help but I don't see her saying "no, no. I can do this on my own" when people inevitably have to get her ass out of the messes she's made.

Desperado Oh, & thank you AH & Mahyar. *Lethal bows*

message 27: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Well said. And at times, I felt like screaming -- it didn't work the last 3 times you tried that -- don't go off on your own again.

What I did like was that she was her diplomatic and welfare activities. She changed a group of beggars into little business people. Diplomatically, she didn't fly off the handle like when she was dealing with the Ambassador and the other clan.

Desperado True, true. I loved how she introduced those poor kids to a better way of living. They started off as beggars but turned into mini entrepreneurs. It's ironic how she can teach a bunch of kiddies to be self-sufficient but she can't do it for herself.

message 29: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Maybe it was because when she was in Ixia, everything was done for her. She had remarked that no one in Ixia would be beggars, because everything was provided for them. So maybe since she comes from that mentality, she had difficulty becoming self sufficient.

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