Night Study (Soulfinders #2, Study #5, The Chronicles of Ixia #8)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publication: January 26th, 2016
Publisher: Mira Books
Format: Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal
Read: February 2017
Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.
Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek… secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realize it’s far more sinister that they could have ever imagined.
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This series always manages to be action packed and full of drama. There’s a lot of mystery and suspense in this one as the characters don’t really know what they’re up against. There’s danger and intrigue and you’re never really sure if things are going to be okay in the end. In this book, there’s several plot lines that are coming together in an explosive way that foretells an amazing finale to come.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is fast paced and engaging. It’s addicting and intricate and each of the characters has a distinct voice. It’s detailed and descriptive though it shares a lot of different plot lines and complications. There’s a lot going on and you fly though the book so it might be hard to grasp some of the smaller details.
Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how much I love the entire cast of characters that is a part of this series and the cast just keeps growing and growing. There are several new characters that shake up things a bit for a main character and I just loved seeing that.
Yelena is in a precarious situation. Again haha. She’s out of magic and has a lot of problems that are plaguing both Ixia and Sitia and as liaison between the two countries, she feels like she has to save the day. I love how fierce and determined she is. She’s always looking for a way to keep people safe, not only those she loves, but to help keep the peace between the countries that she’s a part of because she comes from both. She’s practical and cunning. She’s very protective and loving and I just really enjoy reading from her point of view. I’m gonna miss her after the next book.
Valek, surprisingly, has a lot of emotional growth in this book and I wasn’t really expecting that. We learn a lot about his past and see some flashbacks about his life before being with the Commander and how he became the assassin he is. I loved seeing him more emotional and vulnerable. It was a different side to him. Janco is a great point of view to have in this particular trilogy. I love his humor but we also get to see how smart he is. He takes risks and sometimes they pat off haha. Then we also have Leif’s point of view which was an addition in this book. He’s really worried but determined to keep the peace and to have his loved ones safe.
I love this series with all my heart and I’m still blown away with how intense and crazy things are becoming in this particular trilogy.
The plot is full of danger. We follow Yelena and Valek right after the end of the first book. They are in Ixia but it feels like enemy territory and the gang has to get to the bottom of it. I don’t know how but this series continues to be full of drama and action. These books are always packed full of plot lines, complications, obstacles and anything and everything you can think of that makes the plot dynamic and entertaining. However, every time I jump into one of these books I feel like things can’t get anymore complicated and the author always manages to prove me wrong. There are quite a few story lines happening which follow each one of the main characters and narrators that slowly begin to intertwine in mind blowing ways in this book. There are all these things that are causing issues: old enemies, issues with groups of people stealing, some strange hybrids of plants showing up out of nowhere, etc. All of these different things happening at the same and our cast of characters is pretty much in charge of getting to the bottom of everything. There’s a lot of action and a lot of suspense. I never really know where things are going to go in these books, there’s always a plot twists and a surprise within the story that makes everything turn upside down and makes me rethink everything that I had in mind. One of my favorite things about this series, though I’ve never mentioned it before, is the fact that time isn’t skipped over in the narrative. The characters have to travel a lot, a whole freaking love, and they get separated from each other with this traveling as well. These sequences aren’t skipped over like I mentioned but take front and center in the narratives. You actually see the characters having to travel and riding horses and staying in inns and eating at restaurants. It’s refreshing because sometimes these kind of journeys are glossed over in fantasy books and I feel like it takes away from the story itself. The characters fluctuate between triumph and fallbacks during the story which feels realistic in its development and kept me engaged in the story. It’s not an easy journey for them, they have to fight tooth and nail to win. Sometimes they’re ahead of the bad guys and other times they get overpowered and it just makes it that much more entertaining and engaging. One of my problems though is that the author leaves mini cliffhangers at the end of every POV change and it drives me crazy! They just kept leaving me hanging! Just as one story line was getting good, we’d switch POVs and go see another part of the overall story. The ending was really open and I just need to have an amazing finale to finally seal this awesome series.
Yelena is one of my favorite characters of all time but I have to say that sometimes she drives me up a wall haha. She’s awesome. I love her tenacity and her determination, it’s one of my favorite part of her character. However, this also makes her blind to her own safety and she jumps into situations that can really be dangerous for her, which she does in this book. She’s out of touch with a lot of the things that are going on. But I just want her to be her badass self but without dying, you know?
I’ll talk a bit about the side characters. I loved getting to see a different side of Valek in this book. I’m used to seeing him be as assassin, kicking butt and scaring people just by saying his name. It’s his signature, but this book really looked into his past and showed him in an emotionally vulnerable to the readers. I loved learning about his past and how he became the man that met Yelena all the way back in Poison Study. His back story has always been something I’ve wanted to know about. Learning about his family was also something that definitely was great to read about. I want to see more. One of my issues now has become that there are way too many side characters. This cast of characters has always been huge and with every book, you add more and more people since it’s such a huge series. But now it’s become too many to remember and too many to be able to tell apart. There’s a few that have a bigger role in the story than the others but its those little ones that have names but aren’t around for more than one page that leave me confused and wondering who the heck they are. I wish in that specific part of the narrative that there wasn’t such careful detail payed to it because it made it much harder for me to remember. Besides that, I’m a huge fan of the side characters in this series and I’m glad that we’re able to see more points of view from key members of the crew so we can see the development of the plot from all different kinds of angles.
Overall, you all know that I love this series. I’m getting really sad that I’m about to get to the final book ever. The plot of this book is addicting and entertaining. It’s full of action and suspense and it’s never a story that I can anticipate or predict. I love the characters and I am so glad that we got to see different perspectives as well as different facets of characters that we have met and loved before.
So that’s it for this post! I would love to know if any of you have picked up this series because of me because I feel like I’ve talked about and raved about it so much that maybe someone might have heard my pleas haha. Maybe don’t take my reviews very seriously since I love this series with all my heart, but maybe just give it a fair shot? I’d love to know what you think. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!