• Book: The Study Series (#1-3)
• By: Maria V. Snyder
• Rating: 3 stars
• Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic
Hey friends, gather round to hear about one of the biggest disappointments of my young life. (spoiler free!)
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…
If you’ve read this series, you might know what I’m talking about here in regards to the unfortunate turn of events it took. However, for those who read the series and loved every minute of it, please comment and tell me why. (I know that sounds sarcastic, but I promise it’s not.)
After loving Poison Study, the series went progressively downhill with each book, ending in Fire Study which took me some three months to read. THREE WHOLE MONTHS. For someone who can generally finish a book within a few days. That’s just too many months.
Let’s start at the beginning with Poison Study. The first book was fantastic, largely because of Valek (amiright??), but also the story was compelling and pretty well-written, certainly not the best writing I’ve ever seen, but very readable.
Then the second book, Magic Study, definitely had me losing some interest. I missed Valek, who isn’t in the majority of the book, and he was a big reason why I enjoyed the book in the first place. None of the new characters were particularly intriguing and I wasn’t attached to them at all. They often felt forced and awkward. Basically the whole book was spent thinking about how I missed Valek, but the plot still held some interest, even though it had turned in a direction that I wasn’t entirely keen on, and I read through it pretty easily.
Now for Fire Study. This is where the series truly falls apart for me. I’m talking crashes and burns. The plotline was dry. Yelena could not hold my interest whatsoever. Even when Valek came back again I was significantly less invested than before. I seriously considered putting it down and never picking it back up, but I generally try to avoid doing that because I’m stubborn and even when I hate the journey I have to know how it ends.
Basically, here’s the breakdown:
Poison Study: Hecka rad!
Magic Study: Cool I guess.
Fire Study: Stab me in the eye and put me out of my misery.
Honestly, the only reason I stuck around was because I waiting for Valek to show back up, and you know what? If the protagonist of your story can’t support the story on her own, she’s just not a good enough protagonist.
Really, the biggest problem I had with Fire Study was the writing. It definitely needed another round or two of edits, because the author was WAY over-explaining things. I understand that there were a lot of important details to remember, but it was just way too much. The story kept getting interrupted so she could mention or explain a detail from one of the previous books, and it was unnecessary most of the time. Trust your reader to remember those kinds of details!
One of my least favorite things is when a book series you initially loved, leaves you cold and disappointed in the end. But oh well. This is the risk we take.
If anyone has read the Souldfinders series, or any of her other series for that matter, let me know if it’s any good, or at least if it won’t disappoint me like this one has. My heart isn’t ready to be burned again.