Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Poison Study - Maria Snyder

Shortly after finishing Inside Out, I couldn't help but grab the first in Snyder's Study series, especially when the Glass series was only a spin off of it. After reading, I can easily say that Snyder is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

Poison Study is about a woman named Yelana, who, at the start of the book, has been tried and confessed to killing the son of her benefactor, and is about to be executed. Shortly before her execution date, however, Yelena is offered a second option: as the next person to be executed when the military dictator of the country's food tester has died, she is offered the position herself. Given the choice between dying on the noose and living for just that much longer, Yelena accepts and begins training to detect all manner of poisons, kept loyal through the use of a continual poison she is tricked into taking the first day, and the antidote she must take every morning to keep it's effects prolonged.

Poison Study was not at all the book that I was expecting, which has a lot to do with the fact that, much like Vampire Academies and Bloodlines, I read the spin off series before I read the main series. Lucky me, I once again knew more about the main character that this book even touches on. Because of that, though, this book was completely new to me, besides the names of a few key characters. And even though it wasn't what I was expecting, it was still very good.

I love Snyder's characters. There's no way I couldn't. Her main character is amazing and has depth, the love interest is amazing and has depth, even the side characters, like the military commander whose food she tastes and the cook in the kitchen, are amazing and have depth. Everyone in the book has their own special story and background, and it's frankly amazing. I think I may have loved a few of the side characters more than I loved Yelena, and that's pretty hard.

The plot was pretty awesome too, I've got to say. I was expecting magic and Yelena kicking ass and taking names, from the glass series, and instead I got a country that abhors magic, Yelena being a poison tester(but still awesome), backstabbing, betrayal, love, and hope. This book is definitely one of my new favorites, and I'll be getting a copy for my bookshelves when I get the chance.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy. Fans of Tamora Pierce will probably love Yelena's story as well, as she often came to mind when I was reading Poison Study and the Glass series. There's also a kind of dystopia feel about this book and setting, without it actually being real dystopia, so fans of the genre might want to pick it up as well, just to try it.

Poison Study is out now, and is the first in a series, so if you think it sounds interesting--or if you agree that the cover is gorgeous--, grab a copy next time you get the chance. You won't be disappointed!

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