Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Review: Taste of Darkness by Maria V Snyder

Publication Date: 4th April 2014
Publisher: Mira Ink

Length: 458 pages

Huge thanks to Netgalley for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.
But there's a more immediate threat: The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.
Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.

I’m going to be honest, this is my third attempt at reading this book, but third time is apparently the charm because whilst the first two tries I only got a few chapters in before I lost interest and gave up. This time however, my interest held, which was great because I have been looking forward to the climax of this series for about two years now…

It was good to finally have a resolution to the story. There were a lot of loose ends tied up neatly, but there were also a whole host of things that were left unresolved. You just have to pick and choose what was important to have wrapped up, so some people will be really pleased with the ending, and others will feel frustrated.

There was also a lot of good character growth and development for some characters – mainly Flea – whilst others were relegated to secondary flat one trick ponies (I’m looking specifically at the Monkeys here) which was a big disappointment given how much potential for growth the story offered.
There is such a huge cast of characters that it felt like some were really short changed, others were thrown in for conflict or reasons unknown and some were left to be cardboard cut outs masquerading as fully formed people. Considering one of the things that I loved so much about the first few Snyder books were her characters and their development, this was a big let down.

The plot was a bit mixed. On the one hand there were some great action sequences (although you really had to suspend disbelief and logic for some parts) and it was great to finally get to the big battles we’ve been building towards (although again, not as much big epic battle as I was expecting for a war…) but it felt very oddly paced. Like lots of little stories building up into the big climax, which in some cases worked and others didn’t. It felt a little like peaks and troughs of emotion and stress where they would go and do a daring rescue, followed by a lot of walking/camping/several days of just checking on patients and sleeping. Which may be accurate and true to life, but doesn’t make for brilliant reading.

I also got slightly frustrated that after all the deaths in the first two books, everything was taken back. I was so excited in the first book that this series wasn’t afraid to kill off loved main characters, and then it felt a little pointless. Suddenly death stopped meaning anything at all.

My final frustration was the imprinting/bonding thing. Maybe it’s just that I need to go back and re-read the first two books again, but I don’t remember this coming up before. As a result it just felt really random and thrown in there and I wasn’t really sure I understood what it was and what it was supposed to mean and how that altered things.

Those grumps aside, this was a good end to the series. It was good to get some resolutions and see how it all worked out. Snyder’s ability to build interesting and intriguing worlds has always been what keeps me coming back to her books so it was great to see how this world was going to try and get back on its feet again. However I am nearing the point where the negatives are starting to outweigh the positives in each new book, so I’m going to tread carefully with the next book she releases.


  1. Replies
    1. I shall just have to go back to the first books she wrote and read them on repeat! :)