Tag Archives: maria v. snyder

Tuesday Mash-Up

I meant to come along on Friday and post my good news. I didnt. I got roped into an extended shopping trip at Toys R Us where my little guy ended up with a Cozy Coupe and a plastic slide. All to use IN the house, as I do not have a backyard. *_* Ah yes, the joys of parenting.

I then meant to come and brag about my good news on Monday. But, as you can probably guess. I didn’t do that either, since real life tends to take me away and keep my hands full with other things. Like our television for instance. No, I was not watching it, though I wish I had been (no Gossip Girl spoilers! I am still furious over what the writers are doing to Chuck/Blair). My television lost power last Thursday. And never came back to life. We spent yesterday night shopping for a new one and dishing out a good chunk of change. Plus side, we have a cool new flat screen HDTV. Down side, we’re out a few hundred bucks. *sigh*

So here I am today, with a mashup of info and my good news.

First up: I am a Steampunk enthusiast. I love the style, I love the era, I love the possibilities. I am loathe to find that it is often NOT done justice. I do however have high hopes for this.

Thanks to http://www.scifiguy.ca/ for the heads up!

OMG. First of all, that cover is STUNNING. Secondly, one of the YA authors I’m kinda obsessed with (Maria V. Snyder, whose Glass series I’m currently working on), is contributing a story. Along with a few other heavy hitters. Ann Aguirre. Caitlin Kittredge. Et al. I’m beyond excited. And I’m going to get it, if only to support the steampunk love. 🙂 Look for it in May 2011.

Speaking of beautiful covers- ok, I can’t wait. Check it out! I have a brand new shiny to share with all of you. I just received the cover to the second book of my Guardian Circle Series, Zerah’s Offering.

I LOVE it. The color, the mood, everything. The heroine is Amaya, the empath from book 1. And Zerah is a very different place than you remember it! Look out for book two coming sometime in November. And look out for exclusive excerpts and giveaways here on Hollow Tree!

Happy Tuesday all!

Book Geek Wednesday: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

I came across this book one afternoon while browsing Barnes and Noble for something new to read. I walked by the hardcover a few times, each time pausing momentarily to stare at the cover. The image on the right is what I saw. I didn’t pick it up right away. I’m not sure why. I played that game about three times, before I finally caved. The thing about the cover that I really enjoyed was that it told me several things. One – it would be high fantasy judging from the girl’s clothing and the painting style. Two- it involved poisons of some kind which made me curious (why, how?). And three- it was one of the new releases from Harlequin’s LUNA line which I’d been watching since it launched. I had really high hopes for that line, since I’m a big fantasy fan, and every trip to the bookstore included a walk down the fantasy aisle looking for the little moon symbol.

I kid you not. I’m rather disappointed that the line has since pretty much fizzled to one release every few months or so. But that’s another post entirely.

When I finally picked up Poison Study and read the byline, I got excited.

Choose: A quick death… or slow poison.

I read the first few lines of the blurb. Yelena, the story’s heroine, is about to be executed for murder but instead is given the opportunity to become a food taster. Wow, she’s getting off pretty easy, you might think. But really, it’s a lesser of two evils. Sure, she gets to live another day and eat fancy meals prepared for kings – putting her at risk of assassination by anyone who might try to poison the Commander of Ixia. Ahh… slow poison. Not only that, Valek, the poison trainer and her ‘boss’ for all intents and purposes, has given her Butterfly’s Dust, a poison which will provide an agonizing death if she doesn’t return for the antidote daily. So she escapes one prison and death, only to enter another. That is an awesome premise.

The worldbuilding in this book is captivating and impressive. I loved the political climate of Ixia and how we got little glimpses of it through Yelena’s eyes. The details in regard to the food tasting are superb. I believed every moment that Yelena trained, I was awed by the various poisons, their names, and their effects. They made the world in the book come alive for me and were hands down, my favorite scenes.

Valek was one of those characters that snuck up on me. I started the book expecting not to like him. He does poison our heroine and force her to take this terrible job or die. But throughout the story this man full of mystery and moral ambiguity fascinated me. He’s stealth and dangerous and all kinds of lethal and I loved every page he was on.

Overall, the story had a few weak points, mostly in setting up Yelena’s history and the strange magical power she starts to develop seemingly out of the blue- but I suppose that was necessary to carry on the series. After Poison Study there were two more books, Magic Study and Fire Study. I have yet to get my hands on those, but I do plan to eventually!

Although these books were not originally released as YA fiction, Harlequin has reissued them with new covers and I think the series and its protagonist are a great fit for the YA market.

Overall score: A-

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