Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Shadow Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Book One in the Soul Finders Series (Poison Study #4)
Published By: Mira (February 24, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue.

Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd 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, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous,








It has been a long time since I visited the world that Yelena and Valek live and I was super excited to jump right back into it. I remember the Study series being one of my first jumps into UF and loving it. 

There is just something about a well written book with lovable characters. One that is action packed and has just the right amount of romance and magic that doesn't over power the story. 

Even though it has been years since the last book was read, I was hopefully that I would be able to jump right in and fall in love with Valek and Yelena (and Leif,Ari and Janco!) all over again.

My only concern was being able to start this having not read any of the spin off series that came after. And while I did feel a little lost in the beginning, it didn't take me long to feel right at home again in the mystical world that Synder has created. 

It also didn't take me long to remember why I loved all the characters in the story. Ari, Leif, and Janco (love Janco and Ari's adventures and witty banter between each other) are some of my most favorite side kicks and it was nice seeing how far they have come since the early days of the Study Series. New characters as well were introduced and I have to admit, I liked them as well, what is not to like about another feisty assassin (Onora!)?

 And of course how far Valek and Yelena have come as well. Their romance has always been a quiet one and it just works for them and it was nice seeing them really being together even if for most of the book they weren't actually together (it will make sense when you read it, I promise!). 

I loved that we didn't just get Valek and Yelena's point of view this time, we also got Janco's and how I loved being inside his head! 

I am so excited that this series has started up again and with that ending? I am seriously looking forward to continuing it and getting more!




*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

48 comments:

  1. I am excited this series is picking up again, because I've been looking for an excuse to go back and read catch up on reading it, and this is the perfect reason. Glad you enjoyed it - lovely review!

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    1. Thanks Lauren and it is a great time to get caught up!

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  2. It is weird because I read Poison Study a couple of years ago but haven't read the sequel! I need to reread the first one and follow up. Great review.

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    1. Thanks Cynthia and I really hope you like the rest of the series. :)

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  3. I was really excited about it and I don't know, I was just hoping for more of Valek and Yelena together, you know? They've been separated so much throughout the first trilogy, I thought this would be different. And I wasn't as connected to the story as I was with the other books. I guess this just wasn't for me, but it honestly pained me to DNF it. :(
    I'm so glad you were able to enjoy this, Ali! I did like the few glimpses of Janco we got though!
    Great review! :)

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    1. I do wish they would have been together more, that was a downfall for it for sure.

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  4. It's been such a long time for me as well. Unfortunately, I never did get past book one, so I'm not sure I can remember much of what happened. Over the years, I've learned that these type of books is not really my forte, so I might skip this one or put it for consideration in the near future.

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  5. Uh oh, does it have a cliffhanger ending? I've read a string of books that have all had cliffhangers and now I'm convinced there's no other type of ending ;-) So glad you were able to settle into this one fairly quickly despite being a little lost in the beginning. Beautiful review Ali!

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    1. It sort of does but not in a bad way. more of a I really want to know what happens next type of way. ;)

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  6. I saw this on another blog recently and it sparked my interesting. Sounds like a really good one. I love when the romance just suits them even if it is a background kind of thing to the full story.

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    1. It does suit their characters and personality for sure. :)

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  7. Great review Ali. It's nice to know that you can jump in without having read the off shoot series.
    thanks looks good!

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    1. You definitely can but it would be better I think to have read them all. ;)

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  8. I really want to read this series! I've heard only of good things of Maria Snyder and her poison study is one of those that I want to touch and read someday but haven't yet. It's so promising when even after so many installments out, it's still as good as the first one! Awesome review, love!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  9. I'm wondering if I should read the spinoffs before I get this one! I can't wait to see Valek and Yelena again, ahh!!

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    1. I think it might be better if you did but I don't know that for sure. ;)

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  10. I am reading great reviews for this one. I thought it was a new series, I didn't realie it was a continuation of her old series. I need to read something by this author.

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    1. It is so I am not sure why it has a new series title, kind of weird.

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  11. I've really loved her books that I've read so far so I'm glad you loved this one!

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    1. If you have loved them then you will like this one too I think. Just don't expect a lot romance. ;)

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  12. I was excited to see this series come out with a new book, but like you mentioned, its been some time since I've read this series and I was worried about being lost. I'm so glad to hear to were able to settle into the story given the same situation. I would love to revisit this world.
    Wonderful review as always, Ali :)

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  13. Obviously this is a must read. On the TBR pile it goes. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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  14. I haven't read this series yet. Thanks for the warning about the spin off series. I didn't even know it existed. I'm glad this one was just as good as the originals and that she managed to keep the spark in the relationships there. So often once the couple gets together all the fun banter stops.

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    1. That is true but nope, still the same two people I fell in love with. I just wish they would have been together more throughout this.

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  15. Wait, what? Okay I have this, BUT I haven't read the parent series. Does it matter? Will I miss out on a lot?

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  16. I love that you got Janco's perspective as well. It sounds like this has many elements I love and that each is well done. Lovely review Ali. I am so glad this is going strong for you

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  17. Happy to hear you are loving on an old series. I love that this is one of your first UF series, those are special.

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  18. I KNOW I should give this author another try. I really should.

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    1. You never know, you might like something else of her. ;)

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  19. I loved the 2 first books and I have book 3 to read but I confess I was anxious about this one because a friend told me a spin off existed and so we didn't know where this one would be placed. In the end I passed because I didn't want to be too lost.

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    1. I think as long as you read book three you won't be too lost. :)

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  20. I am glad that you liked this one too! I haven't read any of the spin offs either and that was also a concern of mine. Although, it seems I wouldn't miss too much. Thanks for the review! I need to get this one.

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    1. I think you would be fine as well without having read the spin offs. ;)

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  21. I have been so excited for this one as well. I still have three books left of the spin-off series that I haven't read that I'd still like to read (so fun to see Yelena pop in for some of those). I think I'll be reading this one soon without reading those because I just have to. ;) Very excited for more Yelena and Valek!!

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

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    1. Yay! Glad you are liking this series as well. :)

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  22. I love the poison study series!!! I thought it ended well, so when I heard there was a fourth I was a little torn. I still am. I am glad you liked it. Makes me want to read it :)

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  23. GAH. I haven't read it yet. Ridiculous, I know. And that will soon change. But as of this second *shrugs awkwardly* Glad you liked it though, and I'll come back to more than skim, once I finally have read it ;)

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    1. I saw you were reading this series though, that is awesome! You'll get to this one. ;)

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  24. I am so happy Maria decided to write more in this world!! It felt like coming home. This was exactly what I needed and I loved every page! And crap now I need the next book so bad!

    Mica
    Visit my site for Senior Housing Seattle website

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    1. Me too, it was so much fun to get more from these characters.

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