Book Reviews

Review: Night Study

Review: Night StudyNight Study by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Soulfinders #2
Published by Mira Ink on February 25th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore.

Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Addictiveness: ★★★★

When I read it…

I read this over about a week, between January 6th and 12th 2016.

What I’d heard before I read it:

Pretty much nothing! I requested this one on NetGalley because I adore Maria V. Snyder, and didn’t read any reviews before I started it.

What worked for me:

  • The characters: One of the things I love most about Maria V. Snyder’s books is that her characters are so awesome.  We’ve been through a lot with these characters now, and reading each new book feels like catching up with old friends.  There’s a lot of character development – particularly for Valek – which is great, and we’re also learning a bit more about the intriguing Onora.
  • The relationships: Snyder doesn’t just write awesome characters, but characters that interact, that have complex, believable relationships.  From Yelena and Valek’s romance to Janco and Ari’s banter, it’s these relationships that really make the characters feel real.  The romance between Yelena and Valek is great, holding firm despite a lot of changes, and a lot of character development, particularly for Valek.

What didn’t quite work for me:

  • The POVs: Night Study switches between Yelena (in first person) and Lief, Valek & Janco (all in third person).  I kind of love multiple POV stories, so that didn’t bother me, but I wasn’t particularly convinced by the changes between first and third person – I didn’t dislike it, I just found it a little…unnecessary I guess.
  • The pacing: at times the story felt a little slow, and I felt like there was a bit of running-in-place, where setback after setback meant there wasn’t a huge amount of progress at times.

Overall thoughts:

Maria V. Snyder’s books never disappoint, and I’m pleased to say I enjoyed Night Study just as much as I expected to.  The characters we know and love, combined with a few newer ones, means reading the book feels like coming home, and despite the new storyline, the book feels nostalgic.  Despite the comfort of characters and world-building we’re used to, the story manages to also be addictive, making it difficult to put down.  I didn’t love it as much as some of the earlier books in the series, perhaps because this one felt a little safer, a little slower, a little less shocking than earlier books, but I still really really liked it, especially seeing the characters and their relationships grow.

Other Reviews of Night Study: Heart Full of Books | Two Chicks on Books | Dark Faerie Tales

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