Review: Poison Study (Study #1) – Maria Snyder



Choose: A quick death and hell or slow poison and hell.

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 is decent older (2005!) YA novel. And that’s really all that can be said about it. Our heroine is plucky, she has determination and a will to live. She gets threatened, she learns to protect herself. A plot is a foot, she works to stop it. She starts to fall for Valex, he (eventually) starts to fall for her because YA books demand it. Oh, and she develops magic.

Because you have to make this a series somehow.

Honestly, I liked this book best when she was watching what was going on around her, but before she started getting the extra powers. The next few books in the series she more or less becomes the Special Snowflake who is more powerful than most and just yeah. Maybe the series should get some credit for doing it before most, but it doesn’t change the fact that this book isn’t unique once you get past the interesting set up.

It was a quick and easy read, and I enjoyed it enough to finish it in a few hours. Fans of YA would likely enjoy it. Personally speaking though, I didn’t find Yelena to be interesting enough to press on with the series, and in all likelihood, I’m not going to remember that I read it – there’s just isn’t enough there to make it worth remembering.

Verdict: Borrow It.


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