Sunday, September 7, 2014

Book Review: Poison by Bridget Zinn


Bridget Zinn

Published Date: March 12th 2013

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Pages: 288

Genre:  Fantasy, Adventure, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
I picked up Poison due the an interesting synopsis paired up with a gorgeous cover. I would be lying if I hadn’t thought of Poison Study and hoped that this book would be written in a similar style.

Luckily, reality didn’t hit too far from my expectations. Things were a little lighter, a little simpler, but the style of the writing the kind I enjoy reading the most.

The book opens up with Kyra sneaking around and avoiding old friends and guards, because she had tried to kill the princess with her potions and poisons. She failed the first time and now everyone is after her, but she is determined to try again… despite the fact that the princess is her best friend.

The great strength of this book is how our main character doesn’t tell us, the reader, anything. For example the book starts off going on about how she needs to kill the princess and after we’re comfortable with that it throws us for a loop with the best friend thing. It then teases us with only half an explanation of why and we spend most of the book wanting to throttle Kyra, and have her think clearly about it all so we can understand what's going on and her motives.

Because of this, the book becomes very engaging, keeping the readers on their toes with an active mind up until the very end.

I also enjoy the fact that the book is carefully set up so that we are dropped in at the middle instead of at the beginning.

The characters are sometimes simple, but varied and charming (when they’re supposed to be). I’m personally a fan of this kind of charaterization, so I enjoyed this.

Where the book did suffer a bit is with the pacing. The climax felt less like a climax, more like it was dragged out and I couldn’t figure out which part was supposed to be the big turning point. Other times the pacing was too fast. It’s not a huge issue, however, and didn’t stop me from enjoying.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys some nice YA Fantasy with charming characters. I also recommend this to anyone who enjoys it when an author carefully fits together the reveal of a mystery like a puzzle.

This book was published post-mortem as the author died of cancer in 2011. There won't be any more books by her and that is such a tragedy. She would have easily become a favourite author of mine. I hope she realized how great this book was.



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