Saturday, March 2, 2013

ARC Review: Poison by Bridget Zinn

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.
Release date: March 13, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion


I was on the ARC tour for this book through Southern Book Bloggers ARC Tours. Thanks, ladies!

I was kind of worried about this book before I started reading it. I mean, girl assassins can be great but things can also And I'm not in the mood for gritty, tough books at the moment.

My worries were unfounded, and I knew it as soon as I picked up the book because of this back cover copy:


* Magicla kingdom in peril
* Potions master (flavor: feisty)
*Evil princess (distilled from former best friend)
* Tiny pig (with essence of adorable)
*Handsome ruffian (must be funny, charming, good at rescuing; best if smells nice)
Blend with romance, add a dash of enchatment, mix well for mayhem, and drizzle in humor.
WARNING: Contents may be irresistible.

If that weren't enough to tell me what kind of book this would be, do you see that cute piglet on the front cover, peeking out from behind Kyra's leg?? I didn't notice him at first either, but I think it's safe to say nothing too upsetting it going down in a book with a baby farm animal on the cover.

"Poison" was charming. That's the word that struck me as I read the first two pages, and the feeling stuck with me throughout.  It's light, and reminded me of a sitcom in book form. No matter how tangled everything seemed, it all worked out at the end and everything was just fine. Also like a sitcom, I never doubted that the happy ending was in the making.
There we enough plot twists and surprises to hold my interest. Several characters aren't who we think they are, and finding out their true identities was part of the fun.

 I found Kyra a likeable lead, and her stubborn determination wasn't overbearing. And Fred was a sweet love interest.

Zinn distills the backstory of why Kyra tried to poison Princess Ariana very slowly, in little bits and pieces. Flashbacks of the girls growing up together gave insight into both their characters, and I wondered what in the world could've made Kyra feel she simply MUST murder her friend. That kept me turning pages, as did the constant apperances made by Fred, despite Kyra's best efforts to ditch him and get on with her mission.

The fantasy world and its magic are different and I found them entertaining. I don't think I've read a book where potions played a huge part before, so that was interesting.

As far as content, there is very little violence, no sexual content (unless you count one or two very minimally described kiss), and just an occasional mild curse word.

I was deeply saddened to learn that author Bridget Zinn passed away in 2011. She was a gifted story teller, and Poison was a delightful debut novel.


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