Monday, January 25, 2016

Night Study: Snyder's Best Yet

Title: Night Study (Soulfinders #2; Study #5)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Harlequin via NetGalley

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder transports readers back to the realms of Sitia and Ixia in an exciting new Study novel full of magic, danger and intrigue.

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek...secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realise it's far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

"Maria V. Snyder has created an engaging and entirely original new fantasy, fascinating in its rich detail." — -New York Times bestselling author Mercedes Lackey on Poison Study

“This is one of those rare books that will keep readers dreaming long after they've read it.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Poison Study
Review by Nara

*spoilers for previous books*

Night Study is definitely the best installment of the Study Series so far. It had everything that I needed from a Snyder book- fantastic characters, excellent pacing and action and great romance.

This book, similarly to Shadow Study, uses the technique of multiple points of view with each chapter ending with some sort of big cliffhanger or revelation, making it rather difficult to put down. The great thing about Maria V Snyder is that all of her characters are awesome, and so you're invested in all the points of views, and not just gunning to get back to a particular character. The different plotlines all contribute to each other in some way, with you often knowing more than the characters and just watching as they do things that you know are going to lead them to bad situations.

And wow, the twists in this book. Valek learns a lot about his past and just how hard guilt and depression can be. I had quite a lot of feels with a certain section of the book where we see a lot more about Valek and how he's reached the point he's at in the present. Yelena evolves a fair bit in the book too, with her struggling to accept the loss of her magic, and basically learning anew the different cues that she didn't bother with when she had her magic. The romance progresses too, with the two having a lot of discussions about the future, what with the loyalties to different countries and such. I enjoyed seeing how Valek was protective of Yelena, but she was also her own person and refused to just go with whatever he said. Discussion, people. That's what makes a great relationship.

Anyway, this series is definitely slipping into my favourites as it goes on. That ability to keep a series accelerating is what makes Maria V Snyder such a fantastic author.

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4.5/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 5/5