Author: Bridget Zinn
Genre: Teen Fiction
Rating: 4/5 stars
Release Date: March 12, 2013
The Overview: Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former 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 and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
The cover of Poison caught my attention right away, and I have to say it was a really fun book to read! I found the storyline totally grabbing – a girl (who happens to be a potion master) is on the run after her failed attempted to poison her best friend… the princess. It was a cool concept, and I thought the author made some excellent plot choices throughout the entire book – I enjoyed it immensely. Initially, I was only planning on reading a chapter or two a day but found myself sucked in each time I picked it up.
Although the writing wasn’t the most sophisticated in the world, the author used a lot of really smart techniques to keep my attention. Most notable of which was the use of really great hooks at the end of each chapter which just begged me to keep going. She also applied the “reveal” tactic successfully quite a few time throughout the book, and did it in a way that wasn’t obnoxious or detracting from the story. Usually when an author does this, they choose to hide silly information, creating a false tension for no compelling reason. Zinn’s application made the book that much more of a page-turner because I kept thinking: “Cool! I wonder what she’s going to reveal next!”
The beginning of the novel was interesting, but not as strong as the rest of the book. It wasn’t until about fifty pages in that I was totally on board. My main issue was a lack of world building. The story evoked a medieval setting, but so many modern terms and images were thrown in that I wasn’t entirely sure where it was taking place. It could’ve easily been in either world. That said, it didn’t take away from the story too much, and after the love interest was introduced, I was hooked.
Overall, for every weakness, there were some major strong points, and I think Zinn did a great job tailoring her writing to her target audience. It was a great first book from a talented new author. Poison is perfect for those wanting a fun, light read!
Other books you might like:
- Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
- Wings by Aprilynne Pike (read review)
- Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
- First Truth by Dawn Cook (read review)
- Fire by Kristin Cashore