Besides being spoiler-free for Night Study, I’ll also try my best to avoid spoilers for all the prequels for those of you who have yet to be exposed to the awesomeness that is the Study Series.
Fantasy – intrigue, action, magic, witty banter, and romance. And did I say magic?
YA/Adult – I don’t think this is a YA novel (at least, it’s not found in the YA section of the bookstore), but based on what I’ve read in YA books, I’d say they could handle and enjoy it.
Night Study by Maria V. Snyder is the second book in the continuation of the completed Poison Study trilogy. The first three books in the Study Series (Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study) concluded back in 2008 and I lamented the fact that I’d have to say goodbye to some of my all-time favorite characters. So you can probably imagine how excited I was when Snyder wrote the Glass Series – a Study Series spin-off that had some new players, but brought back most of the original crew as side characters every now and then. I wanted them at the forefront, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. So you can definitely imagine how I was even more excited to learn that she planned to revisit the Study Series again in another trilogy (called Soulfinder, of which Night Study is the second book)! Dreams really do come true!
In Night Study, Yelena and the gang must navigate complex relationships and challenges – the results of which could potentially most definitely be life-threatening, sift through all the deceit being thrown at them (gosh guys! can no one trust anyone anymore?), and ultimately unravel a dangerous conspiracy that threatens both Sitia and Ixia. As if that weren’t enough to make life hard for them, complicating matters even further is the fact that a certain someone is having some major issues with their magic…that’s all I’ll say in that regard. Go read the book! Quick! Wait! Finish this post first.
Readers are transported to Ixia and Sitia. These two countries districts lands? Okay, we’ll go with lands – anyway, they’re neighbors and they don’t get along. Ixia is a military dictatorship where magic is strictly forbidden and punishable by death. Sitia, Ixia’s southern neighbor, is governed by a council of Master Magicians and representatives from eleven clans. You can kinda see why they’re not friends.
I’ve never ever used the phrase that I’m about to use. Never. Ever. Or at least, I’m pretty sure I’ve never used it. Ready? Okay **deep breath** Squad Goals. Yep, I said it. Squad Goals. These characters are squad goals….am I even using it correctly? Doesn’t matter. This group has so much personality and I love it! They’re all so different, but they mesh exceedingly well. They look out for each other, challenge each other, help each other grow, and they get on each other’s nerves without diminishing the love. They’re smart, funny, and can kick some major ass.
What I Liked
EVERYTHING!!! Okay, calm down, D. I liked that Night Study was told from several different character perspectives. It gave the story a nice flow and pace. And can I just say that Snyder is master of the chapter-cliffhanger? I seriously ended each chapter being like “wait! But! But! What?!?!” I also really love that the main protagonist is such a badass female character. Yelena’s clever, intuitive, a fighter, yet has flaws. She’s not perfect, nor should she be – cause no one is. But she does her absolute best to protect her loved ones. Heck, she’s even protected people she hates because it was the right thing to do. On the other hand though, she does what needs to be done.
What I Liked a Little Less
Where’s the cool map??? The original Study Series had an illustrated map at the beginning of the book and it’s missing from the Soulfinder Series **sad face** It’s obviously not obligatory, but it was nice to have a visual. The only other (really minor) comment I have is that I would have liked to see more of the story from the other half of the Power Twins. If you’ve read the series, you know who I’m talking about. If you haven’t, that’s okay. Just know that I would have liked to see things from a particular character’s perspective.
Did you know Maria V. Snyder has, not only a Facebook page (she’s very active and responds to fans!), but also an email newsletter (which you should most definitely sign up for)? You’ll be the first to learn of any new developments and she also shares short stories and excerpts 😀 Head on over to her site to sign up. Just scroll to the bottom of that page and you’ll see where to enter your email address. Her site also has book excerpts and all the short stories that she’s written so far. And valuable links for aspiring writers. Isn’t she great?!
Overall, I’d give Night Study 4.5/5 stars. It’s- It’s just- It’s just great guys. Maybe I’m biased cause I’ve loved the series for so long, nonetheless, I highly recommend this. I have no more words.
If you want to check out my spoilery review of Night Study, then please head on over to the “Readers Beware” section of my blog. Or just click here 🙂