Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Scent of Magic (Healer, #2)So sorry that we haven't posted much these last few days! Our annoyingly stressful school stuff is finally over now though, so we can really get on with reviews. This is one of the reviews we wanted to post earlier, but didn't get to. Reviews for Legend and Prodigy both by Marie Lu, as well as The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead are work in progress. You can expect them sometimes next week.

Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder
Steph’s Rating: 4 stars
Dani’s rating: 5 stars
Overall rating: 4.5 stars

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: December 18th, 2012
Pages: 414

Goodreads Synopsis:
    Hunted, Killed—Survived?
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.
Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.
War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible... again.

Steph’s Review:
    Maria...Maria...this could’ve been so much better. I fell absolutely in love with the Healer world after book 1, Touch of Power. The characters were amazing, the plot was stunning, the romance was smoky. Perfect! I just have to say that I love book 1 a lot more than Scent of Magic. Book 2 left me a little disappointed.

    Scent of Magic starts off right where T.O.P. left off, when a Peace Lily saves Avry from almost certain death. The world thinks she is dead, since there has never been a survivor of the lethal plague. Avry finally gets the reprieve she’s longed for, sort of. She can move around much more freely than before, as long as she hides her infamous healer face. Using this to her advantage, she splits with Kerrick and goes to infiltrate Estrid and Jael’s army against Tohon, while Kerrick returns to his own kingdom to rally his army.

    Rewind. She splits with Kerrick. This is one of the points that made Scent of Magic disappointing in my opinion. I don’t mean they broke up or anything, but they aren’t seen together for almost all of the book. I missed the sarcastic banter and sweet romance between them. It was one of the things that absorbed me into T.O.P. so much. The original gang I loved is in shambles. Flea dead, Belen, Loren, and Quain are in one direction, Kerrick in the other, and Avry in yet another! 

Scent of Magic is told in dual POV’s by Kerrick and Avry. There are basically two plots going on, one with the main character Kerrick, and the other with Avry. They’re on two completely different agendas, which kind of irked me off because I wish they had some show time together. If you haven’t read S.O.M. yet, you might be squealing your head off right now hearing about Kerrick POV. I know I was. Yes, he is one swoony boy, but not exactly the best narrator. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I actually was dreading to read Kerrick POV sometimes because all of the interesting stuff happens in Avry’s story. His narration was actually quite dull in comparison. 

Okay now onto the good stuff. As I said before, all of the interesting stuff happens in Avry’s POV. She infiltrates Jael’s army, who is her arch-nemesis, and it’s really interesting watching Avry trying evade Jael finding out her true identity! There were lots of close calls that honestly left me shaking a little. I especially liked how Snyder basically ended each Avry chapter with a mini-cliffhanger! I think she has earned herself the title: 2nd Queen of Cliffhangers (after JLA of course :D). It made me want to read the next chapter so badly, which is probably why I found Kerrick chapters bland. Along with trying to fit in, Avry is trying her best to win her sister Noelle over again (I do not like that girl). There was a huge twist in the plot right at the end, and I did not see it coming! Actually there are several twists, but there is one biggy that left me completely reeling for the next book. I’m also wondering about Tohon’s feelings for Avry...real? Or just ambition? Scent of Magic is full of intrigue, and will keep your mind spinning in all directions! 

While this was a little disappointing, I will continue to read this series. The final installment, Taste of Death will be out at the end of 2013, and I am eager to see how Maria V. Snyder will conclude this series!

Dani’s commentary:
    I disagree with Steph on some of her points. I didn’t find Avry and Kerrick’s separation terrible to read about because of the amazing plot. I didn’t find Kerrick’s half of the plot bland at all. I loved to see the world from Kerrick’s perspective and laugh about all the people and things he found annoying. One of the funniest parts in the entire book is when he is bickering with his brother! It was so cute and romantic when both were pining and dreaming about each other in consecutive chapters. Kerrick constantly calculated the amount of days it would take to travel from his current location to where Avry was. <3

To elaborate about the “amazing plot”, both embark on similar yet completely different quests. New characters and new information are introduced. Avry finds new companions in a Estrid’s army and Kerrick meets “the tribes”, a new people with different culture, rituals, and a completely new type of MAGIC. I don’t think that “all the good stuff happens in Avry’s POV” as Steph said. Um, Steph, is torture (in Kerrick’s POV) boring to you?

I do agree that Snyder is the Queen of Cliffhangers. There’s not much that I can say about the plot without spoiling anything, but I will say that in Scent of Magic we readers learn so much more about the Peace Lilies and Death Lilies! These giant lilies are the most unique and complex creation that I have ever read about! *Applauds Ms. Snyder*

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