Thursday, February 14, 2013

Posioned With Good Intent

Expected Publication: March 12th, 2013
By: Bridget Zinn
ISBN-13: 9781423139935

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

     Kyra has only ever wanted to be a potions master, and ignore her other special qualities - especially the spark of Sight she has in her that she keeps quashing down.  That is until the Sight shows Kyra a vision of the kingdom brought to utter ruin by the marriage of her best friend.  So when the only solution seems to be to kill her friend, Kyra makes the hardest decision of her life to go through with murder.  Oh yeah, and her friend Ari just happens to be the Crown Princess!  So when Kyra's attempt fails, she is forced to go on the run with the Royal Army chasing after her.  Kyra knows she has to try again, and with the help of charming wanderer Fred and a tracking pig named Rosie she might succeed.  But does she really know the whole story?  Or is something far more sinister brewing in the Kingdom just under the surface?  Disney-Hyperion is a mixed bag for me as a reader.  They usually tend to publish YA that is either too melodramatic for my taste, or too young.  So I went into this book not knowing what to expect at all.  I ended up loving it for the sweet, funny piece of fluff that it was.  Poison is almost the baby, Bieber-obsessed sister of Graceling by Kristin Cashore (but in the best possible way)!  I thought that Kyra was not very developed as a character, but that the majority of the focus was on the plot so it didn't distract me too much.  Fred was sweet, funny and sounded like just the kind of boy every girl wants to fall in love with.  I loved the conflict with the notorious thief who has his own agenda for the Princess' death and wants to make things as hard for Kyra as possible.  Rosie the pig and Fred's dog were too cute for words.  But this book also has an undertone of snark and more mature humor (nothing to deter parents of the younger set unless they're really strict) such as allusions to marriage and lingerie jokes.  My one complaint was that while this book reminded me of the childhood novelty of books like Ella Enchanted, the plot was lacking true, defined structure.  The plot was original and the start of the book with the heroine already on the run was something not often done.  But there were a lot of things told and not shown, which gets a little bland after awhile (and that's if the author is a really good writer - otherwise it gets boring and truly angering).  A lot of the plot twists were pretty predictable and the resolution of the book came far too fast for my liking.  The loose ends were tied up too neatly, with not enough real struggle.  Also, the romance felt extremelt paint-by-numbers, with both Hal AND Fred.  Which kind of defeated the purpose of Fred being more 'exciting.'  The last revelation about Kyra's parentage was one that I never saw coming and I definitely give Zinn props for that ides.  Overall a read that felt like it didn't quite know whether to be middle-grade or YA to me, but worth it all the same.  It made me smile and laugh, without resorting to cheap tactics.  That's a rare and precious thing these days.
VERDICT:  3.85/5  Stars
*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. It will be available for purchase on March 12th, 2013.*

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. :) This is the first I've heard of this one.


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