Author: Bridget Zinn
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
Source: from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
I was tremendously excited to read Poison the second I heard about it, undoubtedly from a fellow blogger's Waiting on Wednesday post, as it seems everyone I know wanted to read this book. Not only did the cover of Poison draw me in, but the title itself was enough to ensure that I would be reading this book. However, I was also deeply saddened to learn that Poison was to be published posthumously, as the author succumbed to a long battle with cancer in May of 2011. It's disheartening to know that she'll never see her book out in the world, never write another book, but let's guarantee that her life and her work meant something by spreading the word. You can find more details on the author's website.
I don't really know where my fascination with poisons stems from because I detested chemistry in high school, but I can't get enough of characters who dabble in them. Even better if the characters are using their knowledge of poisons for seemingly nefarious purposes. I know, I know...one might think I could be a criminal mastermind, what with my love of villains and poisons and murder plots.
Another thing this novel had going for it was the fantasy elements. Aside from poison and potions, witches and magic play a big role in this novel. Poison has all of the components that make a great fantasy novel, but it never takes itself too seriously, as most high-fantasy novels are wont to do. Yes, in answer to your unspoken question, this novel is fantasy-light. It is much closer to a fairy tale than an epic quest, but it is more enjoyable because it doesn't strive to be something it is not. In fact, one of my favorite aspects is the humor and banter between the characters. That, and the too-cute pig.
My only complaint, aside from the fact that I wished the story had been longer as I was not yet ready to part with these characters, is the fact that so many of the twists were obvious to me. Even if they had not been, the way in which the secrets and mysteries were revealed was a little unsatisfactory, especially in the way the characters handled them. The shock and awe factor just wasn't there, but it did not detract much from my enjoyment of the story overall.
Fast-paced, fun, and highly entertaining, I think everyone can find something to enjoy in Poison. With clever, whimsical characters and an engaging plot, this novel has the potential to appeal to fans young and old. The author's warmth and joy shine through in this story, and it is with a heavy heart that I realize I'll never again get to visit Kyra or Rosie or Fred, let alone any other characters and stories Bridget Zinn would have bestowed upon us.