Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Shadow Study (Study #4; Soulfinders #1; Chronicles of Ixia #7)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Harlequin Teen Australia via NetGalley

Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.


‘A compelling new fantasy series’ – Rhianna Pratchett, SFX on Poison Study
Review by Nara

When I first heard this book was going to come out, I was quite surprised- in a good way, of course. I'd though the story of Valek and Yelena was pretty much over. With the announcement of THREE more books in the saga, I was pretty freaking excited. Those two are among my favourite characters in YA high fantasy, and I was eager to see where Snyder would take them. Just as sidenote, by the way, you should definitely read the entire main Study series AND the Glass series before starting this book. Otherwise there will be major spoilers for those books.

Shadow Study is a little slow to start, but once the action kicks in, it REALLY kicks in. Snyder is quite good at writing fight scenes, and she uses the classic technique of leaving one point of view character in a bit of a pinch and ending the chapter and switching to another point of view before we find out whether the character is okay. This really had me speeding through the chapters, because I was invested in all the points of view (Yelena, Valek, Janco) and basically just wanted to know if my beloved characters were safe.

There were so many plot twists, some of which were completely unexpected. I think at one point I actually almost dropped my book in shock- a sure sign of a well set up twist. There is also this one little bombshell dropped in the last few pages of the book which might have been shocking if I wasn't such a fast reader. Because I still had this one niggling suspicion throughout the book, it wasn't so much of a surprise when it was revealed that my suspicions were correct. So...don't pay too much attention to little things and maybe you'll be more shocked haha.

Well, overall, definitely read this book if you've read the other books in the Chronicles of Ixia. It's just as good, if not better, than the other books in the series.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3.5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 5/5