I’ve a short-ish review for Fire Study, book #3 in the fantasy Study series. It’s completely spoiler free for THIS book, but it may spoil you for previous books in the series. If you HAVE read those 2 novels, read on!
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study (#3)
Publication: February 19th 2008 by MIRA
The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.
When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena’s unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before…
Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.
This was a bit of a disappointing read. It dragged longer than previous books in the series. The action was a bit delayed and I couldn’t really follow what was happening.
The novel left off after the ending of Magic Study. I enjoyed the hunt for Cahill and Ferde in the first part of the book. It had some tense scenes, but then the novel kind of lost direction. I couldn’t see the flow between scenes, and it made the plot convoluted in my opinion.
There wasn’t quite the craziness in Magic Study or the thrill in Poison Study. However, it was never difficult to get through, only that I was so very much confused. The plot seemed jumbled and nothing was memorable. I found myself reading then forgetting what I read moments later – so that wasn’t a good sign. I can’t even remember specific scenes right now.
There’s a lot of mistrust in this novel, so often I would forget which characters were “good” and “bad”. It was nice to see Yelena’s friends working though.
The ending was strange. I didn’t quite get the closure I wanted. Disappointed but mostly confused.
We see the north and south of Ixia sort of unite against a common threat after a lot of conflict between them. There were some confusing aspects about the world I just couldn’t understand and needed more clarity. None of the explanations felt like info dumping but they were lacking. I feel that the politics didn’t flow as well and kind of interrupted the tension.
I feel that Yelena didn’t develop as much as a character. I was hoping to learn more about Yelena’s soulfinder abilities. There were some explanations of how her magic worked and her role as soulfinder, but I wanted more. She’s had this increasing progression of powers throughout the series, but what bothered me was that it seemed infinite. I still really enjoy her as a character. The sass was awesome (as always) and her sarcastic dialogue was iconic.
I could have done with a bit more Valek. Ever since the end of the first novel, he hasn’t really appeared as much as I would have liked. I admire the understanding and equality in Yelena and Valek’s relationship. I love that Snyder has written them and both strong independent individuals with a respect of boundaries. I just can’t deal with needy and suspicious partners in relationships.
I was disappointed in the lack of Ari and Janco in a lot of the novel. I love the humour, energy, and witty dialogue they bring to each scene.
I’m still not a fan of Leif. I don’t trust him, but it was nice to see him and Yelena bond as siblings.
But I still love Kiki.
I’m confused about the Moon Man – what he was and his role in the events that occurred.
I still find Snyder’s writing addictive. Sometimes the dialogue fells unnatural, but I still really enjoy it. I loved the humour that is always great in Maria V. Snyder’s books. There’s the usual fast-paced writing and continuous progression of the plot. However, the characters took so many steps towards a goal (which I wasn’t so clear myself).
I really wanted it to work and I really wanted to love it, but that just didn’t happen. Although this wasn’t an amazing novel, I’m still excited to try Snyder’s other works. I hope the rest of the series picks up.
What did you think of the book? Loves and hates? Overall feelings on the series? Comment below!
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