Book Review: Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Dawn Study (Soulfinders Trilogy #3)

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publisher: MIRA

Publishing Date: January, 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2/10

Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond and a family that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia.

Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person’s resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall and Yelena at bay. With every bounty hunter after her, Yelena is forced to make a dangerous deal.

With might and magic, Valek peels back the layers of betrayal surrounding the Commander. At its rotten core lies a powerful magician and his latest discovery. The fate of all rests upon two unlikely weapons. One may turn the tide. The other could spell the end of everything.

Have you ever come across a book you wish didn’t exist? Unfortunately, Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder, is one of those books for me. Now, I don’t want to be mean, but after investing so much of myself in this series (time, energy, and money) and growing fond of the characters, I can’t help but be angry. Why? Well…

  1. Editing—I can overlook a lot of mistakes when reading books for pleasure, but when the basic editing rules are tossed out the window by a “BIG Publisher”, I get annoyed. I mean, when you find a new character’s name misspelled on more than one occasion (is it Phelan or Phelen? I’m still unsure), that’s one thing, but then you find the word “soldiers” misspelled as “soliders”… Really? Dawn Study is RIDDLED with mistakes from beginning to end. What really irked me, however, is that (I assume) MIRA’s people didn’t even give Maria V. Snyder the assistance of a content editor, because anyone who actually read the previous books would have told her the first 85% of Dawn Study needed to be rewritten. Whoever is in charge of quality control over there needs to up their game and send a serious apology to the author (and yes, in this case the author was not the one to blame).
  2. Schizophrenic Characters—The characters seemed “off”, utterly unlike themselves, and devoid of personality. Even Janco, the comedic relief, was trite and stiff and annoying. Yelena, who was such a strong personality, ran around aimlessly. Valek was a bore. Heavens, I really should have just DNF-ed this book 20% in when the yawning started.
  3. Plotting—I’ve mentioned this before, but the plot really lacked substance. Everyone was running around trying to accomplish something, yet nothing was happening. Aside from a lovely ending, the rest was so anti-climactic, I still can’t believe I wasted my time.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m ripping this book a new one, but that’s solely because I expected more from one of my favourite fantasy series’ last book. When I first read Poison Study, Yelena was such a strong female protagonist (and in a way, she remained that way in this book, but she simply didn’t have that same moxy as in the previous books)… Valek was one of my “book boyfriends” (he had so much personality!)… I wanted to be best friends with Janco and Ari (they’re the big brothers I always wanted)… And then this train crash happened. I have not been this let down since Allegiant. *sigh*

I’m sure some readers may be in disagreement with my assessment, and it’s their right, but I will not be recommending this series to anyone in the future. My sincere apologies to everyone I’ve recommended this series to in the past.


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