Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder Retro Friday Book Review

Retro Friday Reviews are a weekly feature/meme hosted by Angieville where you review an older or under the radar book. Basically this meme rocks because older books deserve love too.

Guys, when I met Maria V. Snyder at BEA 2010, I proceeded to gush like an idiot to her about Valek. Poison Study, I blame you for making me look like a Bieber fan girl in the presence of greatness. I also blame Poison Study for making me fall head over heels for Maria. V. Snyder’s writing style. Kids, I read Poison Study one hot summer day, outside, lazing on the back porch. While everything outside was lazy, my pulse went up a few notches because of Poison Study’s intensity.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder | Good Books And Good Wine

Yelena is about to me executed for committing murder (ironic, no?) although she had an awesome reason to murder the guy, when she is offered a reprieve. She won’t be put to death so long as she is Commander Ambrose, leader of Ixia’s food tester. Sounds like an awesome job right? You get kick ass meals and a nice room in the palace and job security. WRONG. Every day, Valek, her supervisor, I guess you could say, gives her butterfly dust poison and the antidote at night so she doesn’t run away. There’s INTRIGUE, MAGIC, secrets, slow burns AND SEXYTIMES!

I want to put Poison Study in my arms and jump around with it to show you how much I loved it. In fact, while writing this review, I have the strongest, impractical for the time being, urge to re-read Snyder’s work. HOLY CRAP. I can’t even explain my love eloquently, except to ask you to imagine me flailing my arms about as you read this, because that is how I express excitement.

Usually the male lead in the books I read don’t do it for me. I know, I know. Well, some are okay and I’m like heck yes. BUT OHMYFUCKINGGOD VALEKKKKKK. I lurve him. It’s totally a hate relationship at first between him and Yelena and you, read: I, read it and are all JUST HATESEX EACH OTHER ALREADY!!! BUT THEN it burns. Slowly. Sexily. (Okay writing that made me feel like a creeper). And my lips are going to be sealed on that matter. Just trust.

Yelena as a character is someone I want to take home and make my best friend because the girl has had it rough, but manages to still be awesome. She’s vulnerable, yet strong. I thought she was well drawn and more than just a blank sheet for the reader to project themselves onto. She has a painful past, obviously, you don’t just murder someone without a good reason unless you are crazy. Yelena isn’t crazy.

Also, I just want to give a shout out to Janco. ILY! ILY! Even though fictional characters probably can’t see shout outs or cool things like that, Janco deserves one. And I won’t divulge more on him except to say trust me on this.

Basically kids, if you want a light, sexy fantasy you need to read Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. It is LEGIT. I promise your pulse will rise as you read this. So, I guess if you have pulse problems don’t read this. BUT if you are down for a ridiculously good book and ready to be converted to the church of Snyder AMEN, READ THIS BOOK.

Disclosure: Purchased copy.

Other Reviews of Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder:

Tahleen’s Mixed Up Files
This Purple Crayon
Fantasy Book Cafe

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. WOOHOO! *virtual high fives you* I LOVED this book so much! And Valek… *le sigh* He is so amazing and mysterious and I want all the manness that is Valek! And Yelena is indeed best-friend material, so I’m good with her getting Valek instead of me. And YAY for Janco! I could pretty much gush about this book and Snyder’s other books all day.
    I’m so excited about her new series, need to start Touch of Power soon!

  2. Definitely one of my all time favorite books. I love this series. I can’t wait to read her new adult fantasy coming out too. I get the same jumping urge too 😀

  3. Um, this sounds like it had my name written ALL OVER IT. I seriously just went and bought it for my Kindle right now. GOOD JOB, April 😉

  4. YES! TEAM VALEK!! That bundle was my first purchase on my kindle in December…I hadn’t heard much about it and I bought it anyway because it was a good price (typical Jess behavior), and WOW, I could NOT put it down! I agree that it needs to be read by more people.

  5. Man, you really did sound like a creeper. Don’t worry though, Valek brings that out in all of us. *licks lips* <—- see?

    Seriously, one of my favorites. The other two books in the trilogy go major downhill but this one is AMAZING. Oh the characters. Love them.

  6. This sounds like it’s the type of book I’d definitely enjoy reading. And the cover is so pretty too! I really have to get my hands on this one now. Thanks for the review!

  7. Yessss!! I love Poison Study so much. The whole food taster thing is so different than the typical and I loved that. Valek is THE SHIZNIT. Also, Ari and Janco are some of my favorite secondary characters EVAR.

  8. So much love for this book. It was the original adult cover that pulled me in. SO gorgeous . . .

    And then it was Valek who kept me there. Great review, April!

  9. I TOTALLY love this book, too, and have read Poison Study more than once!! It is totally worth it!! 🙂
    – Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of “Poison Study” by Maria V. Snyder

  10. Oh no, my pulse problems! It may be worth death if it’s as steamy as you promised. Just kidding.

    I read Touch of Power and then had to buy this whole series. She really is good at the fantasy with hot men thing. <3

    Even in Inside Out / Outside In, which I enjoyed but didn't love, she had some seriously steamy scenes. Wasn't there one in a shower? Gah. I wish she would write me a love life. Sigh.

    • Christina, I am glad I found your blog.

      Can I just say that steamy is my favorite. Like her love scenes are the best evarrrrrrr.

      I liked Inside Out/Outside In, but I know a lot of people didn’t find it to be the best ever. which is fine. But sigh, I just love Riley and Sheepy.


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