Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Review: Poison by Bridget Zinn

I've always had this little analogy in my head for what reading books is like. It's like stepping through a door into a new and exciting world, one where you can find thrills, indulge in emotion, or seek refuge in. Reading "Poison" by Bridget Zinn was like slipping down one of those huge, steep, twisty slides into a vast ball pit of multitudinous colours! Right off the bat, I found myself utterly sucked in to Kyra's world of adventure and mischief.

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly skilled potions master, is on the run. She's the only one who knows that the Kingdom of Mohr is on the verge of destruction--which means she's the only one who can save it, even if it means killing the kingdom's heir to the throne. Who also happens to be her best friend. But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart...misses. Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army as she attempts to track the princess down and finish what she started.

When you've just started reading a book and have gotten a couple pages in, you have no idea what the storyline's going to be like, or the writing, even. But what you immediately get a taste of from page one is the protagonist, and when I began reading "Poison", I knew Kyra was going to be one kick-ass heroine! Kyra is quick-witted and independent, which makes her a strong and dependable character. What makes her awesome is her skills with potions--throwing needles dipped in poison and knotting her hair with a wooden hair stick, which just so happens to hide a knife inside. But what makes her lovable to the readers is that despite her badassery, she's still a teenaged girl with issues that we mundane humans deal with in our everyday lives. And that's where Fred, the charming adventurer Kyra can't stop thinking about, comes in. As Kyra struggles with her feelings for Fred and her survival instincts to distance herself away from people, we see a vulnerability in her that makes Kyra an incredibly likable and believable heroine to follow throughout the novel.

The other characters in "Poison" are just as engaging and exciting as Kyra--needless to say, there's some amazing character development going on! Fred is undoubtedly charming and so funny. I chortled to myself many times at the banter between Fred and Kyra, which happened to include numerous mentions of ladies' underthings growing from bushes. Now do you see what I mean by quick-witted? I absolutely loved the humour and light-heartedness in the story, despite the darker side of things, like, you know, visions of a scarlet river of blood and such. Another character who is crucial in the story is Ariana, the princess of Mohr and Kyra's childhood best friend. While I didn't fall in love with her character as I did with Kyra's and Fred's, Ariana is still a rebellious, laidback and exciting character who is the perfect partner-in-crime for Kyra. The flashbacks in the storyline helped bring her character to life, even if she didn't show up in the flesh until later on in the novel. There are so many more characters to talk about, like Rosie the pink pig (yes, a pig who accompanies Kyra during her travels), the two other Master Potioners Hal and Ned, Arlo the evil bad guy, and so on, but let me assure you that Ms. Zinn has brought to life an incredible cast of characters that you'll wish you could meet!

The storyline of "Poison" is like a roller coaster adventure. I found myself finishing the book in less than a day! (And I don't think that had to do with the short length of the novel, either.) From the very first page, Ms. Zinn captures her readers' attention by dropping them right in the middle of some tension and action as Kyra is in the midst of some slippery-fingered theft, and it only gets better from there. I do have to admit that I got a little bit confused at times with the flashbacks, since the past tense was used continuously throughout when the past perfect tense (e.g. 'had done') would've clarified things a lot more. Nonetheless, the plot of "Poison" is consistently enthralling from cover to cover--I just wish that the climax had been drawn out a little longer! It ended a tad too quickly for my tastes.

Overall, Bridget Zinn's "Poison" is a wildly exciting adventure that is not to be missed, with a lovable, witty heroine and a dynamic cast of characters. I mean, there's a pig! How can you not love the book? I highly recommend the novel for anyone looking for a quick, fun read--trust me, it won't let you down!

Rating: 4.5/5

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