Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Mystery, Fantasy
Release Date: October 1, 2005
Publisher: Luna Books
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….
First Sentence: Locked in darkness that surrounded me like a coffin, I had nothing to distract me from my memories.
I’ve heard a lot of things about Poison Study, but mostly, I’ve heard nothing but good praises for it. Going into the book, I was very nervous. Will it live up to my expectations and to people’s praises? Will I eventually end up regretting my choice to read it? Or will I be with the majority this time and actually like the book?
After reading the summary of Poison Study, I was somewhat expecting Yelena to be a trained assassin and not a regular girl. I mean, she murdered someone! (I know, I know, I have a huge imagination.) To my surprise, Yelena turns out to be a regular orphaned girl who did something extremely desperate to get out of an extremely desperate situation. I felt sorry for her, especially since nobody would believe her at first, although it was totally understandable why nobody would believe her.
“You once said I wasn’t ready to believe your reason for killing Reyad. I’ll believe you now.”
“But I’m not ready to tell you,” I said and left the room. (206)
Although Yelena is a normal girl, sometimes, she frustrated me so much. Valek kindly gives her great advice, which she doesn’t put to good use, resulting in her almost getting killed at least twice. I wanted to scream at her to think about what she’s learned, but Yelena was absolutely clueless. The good thing is, she gets smarter by the end of the book.
At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t buy into Yelena and Valek’s relationship. When I hear the words “Poison Study,” I also hear something along the lines of “Valek is soo awesome” and “I want a Valek!” I’ve heard similar words murmured from other books I’ve read, except with different guy names of course, and I ended up not buying into those relationships. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed and loved reading about Yelena and Valek together. They just have this subtle chemistry that would just grab you and make you grin like a fool.
Sensing my mood, Valek said, “An execution order hasn’t kept us apart before. There are ways to get around it. We will be together.”
“Is that an order?”
“No, a promise.” (361)
Every plot twist in Poison Study was very predictable to me. In fact, I predicted all the major plot twists about two hundred pages before the actual big reveals happened. (Should I mention that I predicted something that would happen in book three of the Study series? Like whoa.) However, Maria V. Snyder smartly inserted the big reveals in the scenes where there was so much tension and worry over the characters going on that you don’t mind that you’ve already guessed everything that would happen because you’re already focusing on all the tension and the worry and the fighting scenes happening.
Overall, if you have never tried Poison Study before, then what are you waiting for? Seriously, listen to the hype; everything they said is true, Poison Study is that good. I will definitely check out the next two books in the Study series, Magic Study and Fire Study, even though I heard some not so good things about the two sequels.