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Poison Study (Study, #1)
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Poison Study > Initial reactions (no spoilers)

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Tatiana (tatiana_g) Have you started the book? Are you planning to read it? How is it for you so far? Is the story engaging? Let us know what your first impressions are.

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan (lisavegan) I read the book about a month ago, with this group in mind. I enjoyed it a lot and will join in the discussion threads when I have the time.

It hooked me from the very beginning and I was engrossed the whole time I was reading it.

message 3: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2686 comments Mod
I love this book so far!!! It is great! The beginning sucked me in, so exciting!

Tatiana (tatiana_g) I read the book a while ago and remember enjoying it from the very beginning. I didn't think the everyday life of a food taster would be interesting, but it was.

Heather (heatherjoy) Same here. I thought I would be bored by a food taster plot. The magic element and politics helped add some intrigue I think.

message 6: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2686 comments Mod
I cannot put this book down!

Maranda | 2 comments I think this book is great. It keeps me wanting to read!!

Chachic I can't remember when I last read this book but I do remember that I loved it.

message 9: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I started reading the book this evening. I am on Ch6. It was really hard to put the book down. Initially, the plot did not call out to me. I mean, how can a book about a food taster be interesting? But it is. Yelena is a strong and smart female character. I like that in books. Can't wait to read more....

message 10: by Kate (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kate | 45 comments I totally got sucked in and could not put it down.

message 11: by Kaion (last edited Mar 05, 2010 12:15AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kaion (kaionvin) Just started today, first three chapters. It's written a lot more simplistically than I guessed it would be (from the sheer size of the hardback).

Current question asking self: Are these real poisons?

Guessing about plot: 1. The murder victim was a rapist. The general either orchestrated the murder, or Yelena did it out of loyalty to the general/her fellow orphans. (Possibly both.) 2. Valek's not so bad.

message 12: by Kaion (last edited Mar 05, 2010 08:20AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kaion (kaionvin) Done with chapter eight. I'm not sure whether or not the detachment of the prose is on purpose yet. Distinctly non-visceral. (And Yelena gets "dizzy" an awful lot.) I'm finding the Ixia culture rather impenetrable- we don't know anything about the people or the customs or the "feel" of the world. It's pretty hard to care about their imaginary politics yet, which make the paragraph long chunks of political exposition from Yelena fairly empty of emotional context.

Current question asking self: Is Ixia named after Ixi? Is the cinnamon roll joke just a meta-joke?

Guessing about plot: At the end of the book, Yelena goes off to Sitia for magical training. (Probably with Valek's blessing.)

message 13: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2686 comments Mod
Love your thoughts Kaion! I am about 200 pages in and I feel the same way about your guess about the ending!

message 14: by Kaion (last edited Mar 07, 2010 10:01AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kaion (kaionvin) Ha, and here I'm thinking I'm the only one who's not done with it yet!

I'm a little further in now (page 128 out of 361), and it definitely seems like Yelena and Valek are going to get into a thing. (My prediction about Reyad being a rapist appear to be turning true.) Magic has finally been introduced, and it's obvious Yelena will have some sort of magical noble heritage (oh orphans).

To be completely honest, I'm not sure I will be reading past the middle of the book if it doesn't get more interesting, fast. I thought there would be poisons! But all that study has mostly been glanced over and replaced with food-study, instead, but not in any intense way. Yelena's obviously not very interested in either one.

Yelena's reaction to the hostility of some of her fellow servants is also inexplicable. They are employees. She's a murderer. Of course they might be offput by her presence in their midst.

Current thoughts: 1) Rand is going to die tragically or become a traitor, with his food-genius-ness. (Possibly both.) 2) Hopefully the ability to infuse magic into food is going to come up, although apparently Yelena was only trained for action-y magic.

message 15: by Alethea (last edited Mar 07, 2010 12:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alethea A (frootjoos) | 46 comments I read three books in two days. Yes, I went to work. No, I did not sleep.

Wow, interesting to watch the hyper-critical mind at work (Kaion). No, don't stop, I love it! When people comment they usually just give the end product of reading without much insight (i.e. I liked the book. The book was good. The end.) This is much more interesting in discussion.

message 16: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2686 comments Mod
Kaion wrote: "Ha, and here I'm thinking I'm the only one who's not done with it yet!

I'm a little further in now (page 128 out of 361), and it definitely seems like Yelena and Valek are going to get into a thin..."

I would read past the middle for sure!! I am interested to hear what you think when you are finished Kaion! Especially since you dislike the book and I love it! I would like to see our differences on points of view!

Leigha (leighas_life) I just started it and I'm already almost halfway through. I wished I'd got the second book too.

I love it so far. It's got me hooked already. Even on the first few pages, I was engrossed into it. The plot seems different then anything I can remember reading. All the characters are interesting. I really like Yelena.

I'm not so fond of the first POV, but it works in this story.

message 18: by Kaion (last edited Mar 14, 2010 12:35AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kaion (kaionvin) Chapter 15: p141 Finally a plot/purpose appears! (Yelena must escape the shackles of the poison and go to Sitia learn magic- pretty much as I thought, but it's nice that Yelena and I are more on the same page about this. Mysterious orphan heritage = family destined to innate greatness, it's a cliche, but cliches can be good. And it's not over-explained so I don't mind.) I like strong women, and Irys* qualifies, so I like her.

*and she confirmed she has a spy in the castle. After chapter 16, my bets are on Margg. (Rand's a different kind of "traitor".) Margg is helping Yelena keep a more proper sense of perspective whether Yelena knows it or not.

Chapter 16 (p 150): I am very tired of the frequent chapter breaks though. I find chapter breaks on sudden action moments are a very TV thing- and it usually works because the suspense is carried through the commercial break (and the possibilities are ramped up by viewer expectation/thought during those breaks). And it signifies movement into the next act of the story (most TV stories follow the three act structure, more or less). But a TV episode is seen once a week and only has 3-4 real breaks in an hour- doesn't work so well in the longer novel form. The sudden action breaks don't work for me because there's no continuation in ramping up the action (change of purpose) in the following chapter (no movement in the story) after the resolution of the immediate physical danger. Also it means the chapters don't really organize the book well, and the most important things happen only on the first page of every chapter and the middle of the chapter contains a lot of moving Yelena around the set pieces (for some reason it seems like every second of Yelena's day has to be accounted for, when I think it's a strength of books that we can follow the story by story-sense rather than strict chronological sense).

p164 Alright, basically I have one more week until finals so classes kept me plenty busy and it took me all week to get through chapter 16.

I'm still very confused about the culture of the place. Surely magic is connected to their religious/cultural beliefs in some way? Kind of a Soviet Russia vibe (I liked we finally got a little more knowledge through Yelena's discussion of lack of book learning/ only training for "role" in society).

...though, the freer South thing full of ports and spices is typical fantasy writing (kind of a Euro-roots thing, I guess). But I might draw tentative South America vibes from the coup and chocolate. Don't really have much to go upon, at any rate- I have no idea what sort of family units people live in. Class systems? Advancement of technology? Principal agricultural lifestyle??? Again, all this lack of context makes it hard to understand any of the nebulous trading-with-Sitia stuff (or the banning of magic).

It's interesting the Valex has an immunity to magic- and that apparently it makes him such a strong ally. This implies that this kingdom was previously very entrenched in magic (maybe only the nobles- a class thing?)- when the ruling class probably used it as such a tool - probably even mostly a psychological one, it seems bizarre that there's no vestiges of this magic-power thought in the people.

And if Ixia is such a military-run place with much of the law-abiding (at least we hear nothing of any rebellion movement), why do the guards find it so natural that Yelena should want to learn to fight?

Kayzee | 180 comments Well at the start I was like wow not the kind of book I would read. but I was bored at work and starting reading and didnt stop until I was finished lol.

My initial thaughts were wanting to know what had happened to her to get her in that situation, and that drew me to the book. and I am so glad I read it now *heart*

message 20: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2686 comments Mod
I too think there would be a rebellion of some sort. But maybe that just hasn't come yet (future books?). I didn't mind the chapters so much. When I am going to stop reading I usually stop at the end of a chapter so it keeps me hanging on till the next time I start reading.

One thing that bothered me about the book too was the actual environment. Too many questions about class, technology, so Sitia and Ixia are too mysterious.

Are you a lit major Kaion?

message 21: by Kaion (last edited Mar 17, 2010 09:35AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kaion (kaionvin) I might be if I could write a coherent essay to save my life. (I can't.)

I'm a (very low-level) Bio major.

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 43 comments I really enjoyed this book and am very curious as to what happens in book two

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