Hosted by La La in the Library
I have been a reading monster these past few days! After what's felt like AGES since I finished a book (in my defense, I was so sick I wasn't even able to read for the first half of the week) I apparently went through a bad enough withdrawal that I HAD to read. RIGHT NOW. Which happily led to a new absorbing series for me:
So Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder is on sale on Amazon (it's $1.99, so grab it while it lasts!), and it's on my TBR so I figured....well why not? It's been recommended to me a few times by more than a few people, so I figured I would give it a shot. Unfortunately, while I liked the world building, the character developments sometimes felt a bit uneven, and I really wasn't into the ship. Which isn't to say it was a bad book, but it's not one that's probably going to stick around in my memory. Plus, loathe that I am to admit it, ships are sometimes REALLY IMPORTANT to me. And I tend to connect to books better when they are - and it just wasn't. I really, really didn't care. I liked the story and was willing to forgive the rest (because honestly it wasn't like it was awful) to pick up the second book, and oh man am I glad that I did. It ended up being so absorbing that it led to immediately checking out the third book and staying up until 2am to finish it, which is a feat I am rarely up to these days since I usually have to get up so early. The second book remains my favourite by far, but I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the now ongoing series! (It was originally a trilogy, and it looks like the second trilogy is going to finish next year).
What most interested me about the series beyond the absolutely heart pounding, non-stop action of the plot, was the world building. Maria Snyder has managed to create a world where there are two countries - one based on a capitalist democracy, the other on communism, and I'm so used to finding the former glorified and the latter vilified that I was pleasantly surprised to see that she managed to make an argument for both systems. Both systems in this book have big drawbacks - in the communist country, rules are strictly enforced without mercy and lives are micromanaged, but everyone has job security and a purpose, and they are rewarded based solely on their abilities - not gender or age. In the democracy, there are beggars and homeless and the council is very slow to act on anything, often taking months even in situations that are perilously time sensitive, but the people have the freedom of choice. It was really interesting seeing that dichotomy, and I think being fairly accurate in what the benefits and drawbacks are of each system, and it's something I've never really seen in a fantasy novel before.
So as much as I did not paint a flattering picture of the first book, I'm really in the minority on that - something like 30 of my Goodreads friends have read this series, and like 95% of them rated all the books very highly. Plus, I can guarantee that that if you had the same issues I did with the first book, the second book makes up for it. Which is to say, I think you should go read this series.