Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: Poison (Bridget Zinn)

Title: Poison
Series: standalone
Author: Bridget Zinn*
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Told: Third Person Singular (Kyra), Past Tense
Content Rating: Teen (mild violence, minor sensuality, undergarments)
Format Read: ARC (traded)
Find it On: Goodreads

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?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

*          *          *

Three Words: Simplistic. Amateur. Pig.

Cover: I like the color scheme and overall set-up, but the pig feels like a photobomber. There's a too-cute pig - we get it already.

Writing: While light and comical, I struggled with the amateur writing style, and the pacing was very erratic, so I had a hard time keeping myself interested and focused.

Setting: Your typical fantasy world ruled by royals. There was magic, witches, and fantastical creatures.

Story: I felt as if I was reading an initial draft, not an edited and proofed novel. (Now, I did read the ARC, but no way could it have differed that much from the final copy.) Instead of a smooth, interwoven story, it read like a collection of mini-stories about everything that could possibly go wrong on Kyra's single-minded and highly simplistic journey to kill the princess. Every time the pacing sagged: another mini-story in which Kyra suddenly found herself in peril. She did get herself into a proper "all is lost" scenario, but it was quickly countered with exactly what Kyra needed dropped in her lap, wrapping up the mini-story in a nice, too-neat bow. I will say there were some reveals at the end that I did not see coming, but I really wasn't invested enough to have been looking for them.

Characters: Kyra was unpredictable in both age and emotion, and generally all over the place. She would act the adult one minute, with a job and boyfriend and everything, then the next she was whiny and childish and rushing about with no forethought or general plan other than "find the princess, kill the princess, save the world." Overall, I didn't care for her. I did like companion and romantic-interest Fred though, with his easy, fun personality, his canine companion, and of course his name. Seriously, Fred? In a fantasy setting? And considering who he was? (Which is a total spoiler, so no hints here.) As for Rosie (aka the too-cute pig), her charm did not enchant me as it has most. Maybe it was simply because I don't particularly care for pigs as pets.

Conclusion: This should've been a book I fell in love with, but I just couldn't connect with the writing and amateur storytelling. Most have loved this book though, so be sure to check out some of the positive reviews before deciding whether to read it or not.

*Bridget died of cancer in 2011, before this books released.

Scribble Rating
2 of 5 Scribbles


  1. I've wanted to read this book for a while - I haven't found any giveaways though! :D I'd heard great things about it - it stinks that you didn't like it. :(

  2. AAAAW. This book looks so cute and I have the ARC sitting on my shelf too! I've been hearing a mix of love and like so I really don't know what I'll think. I'm sorry it wasn't as amazing as you thought though. <333

  3. I haven't read this one, but from what you're saying it's a case of the fact that Bridget didn't get to finish her work. Which is so sad, but I'm so stoked for her and her family that the book still got picked up and released!

  4. WOw didn't even know about this one.. sounds sweet.. I will check it out. Thanks for review.