Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book Review: Poison Study

TITLE: Poison Study
Book 1 in the Study Trilogy
AUTHOR: Maria V. Snyder
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: fantasy, adventure, romance
PREMISE: Yelena has been sentanced to death for killing her abuser. She is given a choice: become the commander's food taster and live a short while or die.
MY REVIEW: I know a lot of people like this series so I apologize in advance: I did not like it. I concede that the world building is sound and Yelena is at least a better role model then some of our so-called heroines out there, and there is at least somewhat of a plot going on. However, that's not enough for me to call this a good book.
First off, the writing is flat and amatuerish. The author tells and doesn't show and literally spells everything out for the reader as if we haven't already figured stuff out on our own. Second, Yelena is a Mary Sue. Likeable Mary Sue maybe, but a Mary Sue nontheless. Once you figure out she's a Mary Sue it's fairly easy to see where this book is going. Because Mary Sue storys pretty much all boil down to giving their heroine everything she desires with very little effort. I suppose the author thought the betrayel and everyone out to kill her was effort enough or something, however, you know Yelena survives because there are two more books and the characters betrayal doesn't mean much because the person was given so little screen time with the MC to begin you wonder why it's such a big deal. Even the secondary characters lacked any personality whatsoever, this includes the love interest who frankly confuses me. Once he's a jerk, who practically abuses Yelena as much as the man she killed then suddenly oh, he's so wonderful and he starts trusting her seemingly overnight and then just as suddenly they're both madly in love. Really?
I think in theory this book was a good idea. The author was obviously trying to emulate Tamora Pierce. Unfortunately she lacks Pierce's original thought (NOTHING in this book was original, even the world building felt familiar) and good writing and not predictable plots. The author tried and maybe with a little more polishing she could be good. However, considering this book I'm not particularly interested in trying out her newer stuff like Spy Glass and whatnot.
WHO SHOULD READ: fantasy fans, Tamora Pierce fans (with lower expectations)
MY RATING: Two out of Five poison bottles

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