Saturday, September 20, 2008

Book review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study was by far my least favorite of all the fantasy books my friend Brownie has lent me. The story of Yelena, a condemned murderer who avoids execution by agreeing to serve as the official food taster for the Commander: possible death by exposing an assassination by poison plot versus certain death by hanging. To keep Yelena from escaping, she is fed an incurable poison and remains alive only by receiving the daily antidote from the Commander's chief of security. Along the way, she becomes privy to rebellious factions rising against the Commander and also discovers that she has some magical powers ... which is bad because magic is illegal and punishable by death.

What I took issue with in this book is not the plot - which is no more outlandish or ridiculous than any of the other fantasy books I've read lately - it's that Poison Study is poorly written with short, choppy sentences and obvious modifiers. If there wasn't a photo of the author on the back cover, I would have guessed this was written by a twelve year old. I mean, try this:

My last night in Ixia was spent with Valek beneath the tree. The hours till dawn flew by. The rising sun intruded, waking me from a contented doze in Valek's arms, forcing me to face the day that I had to leave him.

I'm sorry but it's just so mundane and clunky, and the whole book is like that. Brownie has promised me that the books get better as they go on (there are at least two more in this Study series) but I'm moving them to the bottom of my to-be-read stack.


  1. hey loved your book the next Cast in book and read from 9 pm to 1 last night completing the book....was very good ....had some choppiness to it but overall good plot...will get to you.... - Brownie

  2. Dear Bitch
    Poison study is my favourite book of all time. So who are you to say people cant enjoy this book. Just because you doint like it doesnt mean others shouldn't ok. Sure I am twelve but you sound like a fricking 6 year old with no talent what so ever.
    unsincerely ME BITCH

  3. Hey, my very first hate! Welcome and thanks for taking the time to leave your comment - no, seriously, you must really be passionate about this book to take the time and energy to leave a comment here (which I know on Blogger is a pain in the ass). If you reread what I wrote, however, you'll see that I didn't say people can't enjoy Poison Study - I only said that I didn't. Truly, to find someone who has read a book these days AND cares enough about it to post a comment ... well, all is not lost.