Monday, 9 March 2015

Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Blurb (from Goodreads): Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison... About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Poison Study (Study, #1) “To Yelena, our newest food taster. May you last longer than your predecessor.”

This was an okay story, but the slow pace put me off.

I did like Yelena, but it took me a while to warm to her. I didn’t understand her reasons for killing the man she was supposed to have killed, and I found her quite a hard character to relate to. If anything, I liked Valek more! I suppose she did have her reasons for acting the way she did though.

“All my fantasies of friendship fled me as I realised that being friends with the Commander’s food taster was a big emotional risk.”

The storyline in this was okay, but the pace was too slow for me. It felt like very little happened, and I found my attention wandering. I wanted to know why Yelena had killed previously, I wanted to know if Velak had feelings for her, and I wanted to know if she would ever actually get poisoned, but those answers took a long time coming.

‘I rose, my head spinning. “Is it lethal?”
“A big enough dose will kill you in two days. The symptoms don’t arrive until the second day, but by then it’s too late.”
“Did I have a lethal dose?” I held my breath.
“Of course. Anything less and you wouldn’t have tasted the poison.”’

When we finally did get the answers, they did explain things a bit, and I did feel like I understood Yelena a bit better once they were revealed.

“My sisters,” I corrected. “I killed you for them, but I should have done it for me.”

There was a little bit of romance, but it really was only a tiny, tiny little bit of the story, and all we really got was one kiss.

“I believe Valek’s sweet on you. I’ve never seen him take such an interest in a food taster before. He usually trains them and leaves them alone.”

The ending to this was okay, but I have to say that while I’d managed to follow the book okay up to the 80% mark, I found the last 20% really quite confusing, and had little clue what was going on at all! I’m hoping that I understood enough that the second book in the series will make sense to me!
6.5 out of 10

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