Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review: A Little Taste of Poison by RJ Anderson

A Little Taste of Poison by RJ Anderson 
Series: Uncommon Magic #2
Published: September 27th, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
368 pages (ARC)
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Mystery
Acquired this book: From the publisher in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

Twelve-year-old Isaveth tries to take down the man who framed her father for murder in this lively follow-up to A Pocket Full of Murder, which Kirkus Reviews called “thoroughly entertaining.”

The city of Tarreton is powered by magic, from simple tablets that light lamps to advanced Sagery that can murder a man from afar. Isaveth has a talent for spell-making, but as a girl from a poor neighborhood she never dreamed she could study at the most exclusive magical school in the city. So when she’s offered a chance to attend, she eagerly accepts.

The school is wonderful, but old and new enemies confront Isaveth at every turn, and she begins to suspect her scholarship might be more a trap than a gift. Even her secret meetings with Esmond, her best friend and partner in crime-solving, prove risky—especially once he hatches a plan to sneak her into the biggest society event of the season. It’s their last chance to catch the corrupt politician who once framed her father for murder. How can Isaveth refuse?

A Little Taste of Poison is a fantastic follow-up to A Pocket Full of Murder. I was amazed by the creativity and world-building in the first book and those elements carried into this book as well.

Even though the book picks up shortly after where the first book left off, a lot has changed for Isaveth and her family. With the money she made from her invention, her family has a slightly better quality of life, and on top of that, Isaveth has been offered a scholarship at a school where she’ll be able to learn a higher level of magic - one it’s clear she’d have an aptitude for. I loved Isaveth as much in this book as the first. She’s smart, resourceful, determined, but she’s also realistically flawed. She’s someone I’d love to have as a friend - someone you know you could count on and who would do anything for you. Isaveth wasn’t the only stand-out character; I still thoroughly enjoyed Esmond and I liked getting to see a completely different side of him. I though the addition of his POV was an interesting choice and it worked well. I loved the theme of strong women in this book, from Isaveth to her sisters to a teacher and a new friend at school to Esmond’s sister. Some of these girls were underestimated for various reasons but came out showing how resilient and resourceful they were.

There are so many true-to-life themes in this book, especially considering it’s fantasy. There are the continued themes of poverty, religion, and bullying, which are relevant in a timeless way and teach so many valuable lessons. I have to give Anderson major credit for working in such complex elements and doing it in a way that felt natural.

Full of action, intrigue, magic, and a hint of romance, A Little Taste of Poison is entertaining, exciting, and memorable. I know Isavath and Quiz will stick with me for a long time.

{Read my review of A Pocket Full of Murder}

{Read my review of Ultraviolet || Quicksilver}

Have you read A Pocket Full of Murder or A Little Taste of Poison? What did you think? If you haven't read them, do you plan to?

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a middle grade fan but more and more of them keep catching my eye. I might have to check these out.


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