Tag Archives: Maria V Snyder

Book Reviews
February 5, 2013 posted by Kiona

Scent of Magic (Healer #2) — Maria V. Snyder

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.

At the end of Touch of Power, Avry and Kerrick were forced to separate. In Scent of Magic, we pick up with Avry infiltrating Estrid’s army and Kerrick returning to Alga to finally deal with his own country. The separation is brutal. The two were finally together, only to be immediately torn apart. While Kerrick readies his troops and seeks allies for battle against Tohon’s army, Avry prepares Estrid’s troops by teaching them how to move silently through the forest and how to kill Tohon’s dead soldiers. Keeping her identity a secret becomes impossible when she’s reunited with Prince Ryne, Quain, Loren, and Belen. When Tohon finally mounts his attack, he once again comes for Avry and, again, she finds herself alone.

Let me start off by saying I thoroughly loved and enjoyed Scent of Magic; it’s an excellent sequel. With that in mind, I had difficulty with the first third of the book. I think the difficulty stemmed from Avry’s separation from Kerrick. I just wanted the two to be together and my frustration mirrored Avry’s on every page. This only proves how excellent Maria Snyder is at creating characters we care about and relationships that jump off the page. But the frustration was very tough to deal with and often led me to put down the book after a few chapters, just to pick it up again in an hour.

After I got used to the separation, I was impressed by a lot of the elements Snyder incorporated into this book. The plot is continuously fast-paced; each chapter advances the conflict. The plot is intricate and completely unpredictable, with multiple cliff-hangers that forced me to speed through the pages. I especially appreciated the inside look at war strategies and tactics. Watching Avry become a part of Estrid’s group was one of my favorite aspects of this book; she’s so tough and willing to put herself in the line of danger over and over again. In my opinion, she’s one of the most admirable female heroines in YA right now.

I also enjoyed seeing Kerrick take on more of a role as King of Alga. It’s interesting to watch his relationship grow with Danny, as we get to see more of the kind, caring Kerrick that previously only existed with Avry. Speaking of developments, we also see new sides of Quain and Loren, which just further characterizes them as realistic, believable people. All of Snyder’s characters feel like people you could potentially or already have met. They’re just so vibrant.

Of course, Snyder once again delivers a fair share of heartbreak, but she doesn’t wait until the very end to do it. This book is full of a lot of hard moments and Snyder doesn’t sugarcoat the consequences of war. Tohon is as frightening and despicable as ever–a true villain. Snyder further explores the mystery of the Death and Peace Lilies with surprising results–this aspect of the plot never fails to completely capture my attention; I’m completely enthralled by the Death Lilies and, like Avry, I really want to figure them out. As with her previous novels, Snyder’s writing is poetic, concise, and utterly enrapturing. The Healer series is just as compelling as her Study series and worth every minute spent reading. Fans of Snyder will not be disappointed.

Pages: 414
Publication Date: December 2012
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Source: NetGalley
Rating : ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote:
“We don’t take orders from you, Sergeant,” Quain said. “Your man tried to assassinate–“

“He isn’t mine. My man has eyes that change color with the seasons.”


Waiting on Wednesday (12)
Waiting on Wednesday
August 8, 2012 posted by Nichole

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Published by Harlequin MIRA

To be released on December 27, 2012


Hunted, Killed – Survived?

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avery 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, Avery 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, Avery 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 Avery is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible … again

Touch of Power (Healer #1) — Maria V. Snyder
Book Reviews
December 20, 2011 posted by Kiona

Touch of Power (Healer #1) — Maria V. Snyder

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life…

For fans of Maria V. Snyder, especially her Study series, Touch of Power is a must read. Avry is one of the last remaining Healers in the Territories — perhaps, even, the very last. Healers, once respected and revered, are now hunted as they are blamed for the inception of the plague the has left so many dead. But there are some who still need Healers, like Kerrick and his merry band of rogues. Kerrick needs Avry to heal Prince Ryne, who is being kept in a magically induced stasis to prevent the prince from dying from the plague. But there are many who will do anything to stop Avry from healing Ryne. Little do they know, Avry doesn’t even want to heal Ryne and she makes it absolutely clear that who she heals is completely her own decision. With such high stakes, it is imperative that Kerrick convince Avry that Ryne is worth saving, which proves difficult as Avry and Kerrick hate each other.

Snyder transports us to yet another new world in Touch of Power. Her descriptions are crisp and powerful so that her words really bring this world to life. This book covers a long period of time, which means Snyder has plenty of time to explore the Territories and the politics surrounding each aspiring ruler. Each persons’ motivations behind wanting to rule is fascinating. The would-be rulers all have flaws. Major flaws. This makes it easy to sympathize with Avry’s conflicting thoughts and emotions. She doesn’t know what the right thing to do is, but she feels pressure from so many forces to do something. I admire that she refuses to compromise her beliefs throughout the entire novel. A huge burden rests on her shoulders and she takes it very, very seriously, despite some chances at an easy way out.

This book is full of intrigue and suspense. The mystery of the plague gripped me from the very beginning and I was dying for answers up until the very last page. Then there’s the mystery of Kerrick — why does he so wholeheartedly believe Prince Ryne is the best hope for the future and what secret is Avry hiding that sets her so against healing Ryne? Even as questions are answered, more and more crop up, leaving you frantically flipping pages until you reach the last one, at which point you want to shake the book up and down, hoping for more pages to fall out. That’s how powerful this plot is. There’s just so much to it — you’ll get so caught up in the intrigue of this world that the characters’ problems start to feel like your own. You won’t want answers, you’ll need answers. Luckily, this book provides just enough that you won’t feel jilted at the end, though you will be dying for the sequel.

As far as protagonists go, Avry is supremely likable. She’s such a genuinely good person, stubborn, sassy, and uncompromising in her beliefs, though still willing to listen to reason. As a Healer, she puts others’ lives before her own, which is why she refuses to be coerced into healing anyone. When she heals, it’s her decision because it affects her life. I also love her stubborn streak. She isn’t afraid to stand up to literally anyone, which often gets her in trouble, but also works in her favor. Half the time. Maybe. She’s a heroine I respect immensely and probably my favorite of Snyder’s characters to date.

The supporting cast is absolutely amazing. Kerrick is a complicated, captivating character. His relationship with Avry is tumultuous and unpredictable. Every conversation between the two of them held my complete attention. Kerrick’s best friend, Belen, is instantly lovable and completely deserving of Avry’s nickname of “Poppa Bear.” He’ll defend his friends, or “cubs,” until his dying breath. Flea, Quain, and Vinn make up the rest of Kerrick’s group of rogues, and their charming and hysterical in their own ways. Each distinct personality brings something new to the table and makes you feel as if you’re becoming part of a family the entire time you’re reading. The light campfire conversations will bring an unconscious smile to your face.

Touch of Power is full of action, mysterious, intricate plots, and exciting new characters. It’s a wonderful addition to Snyder’s repertoire and, in my opinion, one of her best books so far. I can’t wait to see where this series goes.

Pages: 392
Publication Date : December 2011
Publisher: Mira
Challenge: N/A
Rating : ★★★★½

Teaser Quote: Kerrick flung me at him. “Watch her. Quain, you’re with me.” He pulled his sword and left with Quain right behind him.

In the tense silence, Vinn studied me. “I’m watching. Are you going to do any tricks?”

Guest Reviewer: Maria V. Snyder
Guest Reviews
May 11, 2010 posted by Ivy

Guest Reviewer: Maria V. Snyder

Maria V. Snyder is the author of the popular novels, The Study series, The Glass series, and most recently Inside Out, which also happens to be our Book of the Month right now.  We recently asked Maria to review one of her favorite YA novels.  She chose Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready.   Enjoy!

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Award winning fantasy author, Jeri Smith-Ready has dipped her toe into the young adult market with her recently released fantasy book, Shade.

The premise of the book is quite intriguing – On the day of Aura’s birth a Shift happened and all children, including Aura born after this Shift can see and hear ghosts. It’s sixteen years later and the world has adjusted to life with ghosts that only kids can see. Aura would like nothing better to ignore them and hang out with her rocker boyfriend, Logan Keeley. In fact, Aura would like to find out why the Shift happened and how she could undo it.

Jeri has created an unique world with Shade. And she answered all the logical questions a reader would ask about what’s it like to live with ghosts (thank you Jeri!). For privacy, she invented black boxes that keep ghosts from entering certain rooms like the bathroom and schools. People wear red to repel them, and there’s a shady government agency (of course) dedicated to studying and policing them.

Just like in her urban vampire books, Wicket Game and Bad to the Bone, Jeri’s love of music is once again a main theme throughout this book. Aura’s hot boyfriend is the singer in an Irish-flavored rock band in Baltimore named the Keeley Brothers. In the beginning chapters of the book, we learn it’s the night of Logan’s 17th birthday and record company reps are listening to their gig. After the gig, he’s offered a recording contract. Basically, it’s the best night of his life, but unfortunately it’s his last.

Now don’t yell at me for spoiling this little surprise. Just read the back cover blurb or the write up on Amazon.com and you’ll know all about it, too. And the kicker about those back cover blurbs is – the author doesn’t write them. It’s usually the editor or marketing, hoping to hook a reader’s interest. After I read the blurb, I assumed that Logan’s death happened before the start of the story (don’t know why – I just did). That when I opened to chapter one, it would be a few months later or even a day later, but no, there’s Logan happy and full of life. He’s a great character and so are Aura and the band members (Jeri excelled with creating very likable characters).

Unfortunately for me, knowing he’s going to die makes it really hard for me to read the first three chapters (the reason – I’m a mother of a 15 year old boy so I don’t think this would bother the target audience as much). I kept putting the book down, but I wanted to review the book and I loved Jeri’s other books, so I kept with it. But as soon as I made it past the tragedy, I flew through the rest of the book in a day.

This is a great book you need to read. Logan returns as a ghost (so he’s not gone gone) and another potential and very much alive suitor, Zachary Moore arrives with his secrets and sexy Scottish brogue. The characters and world are rich and well developed and the ending hinted at more books to come. Which I just found out, the second book, Shift is due out on May 2011.


Read also Maria’s review of Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer here.

Visit Maria’s website for more info about her and her books.

May 10, 2010 posted by Ivy

Inside Out Giveaway Winners

Without much further ado, the winners of the Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder giveaway are:

5 US and Canadian winners:

Kelsey F.
Desiree T.
Morgan M.
Jacy H.
Abigail B

1 International winner:

Nelda F.

Congratulations guys!  Expect an email from me soon.

We had over 300 entries in this giveaway. Thanks so much for participating everyone and stay tuned for more book giveaways.

Read Katie’s review of Inside Out and Maria’s Interview.   Also watch out for Maria V. Snyder’s Guest Review tomorrow.

Author Interview with Maria. V. Snyder
Author Interviews
May 5, 2010 posted by Katie

Author Interview with Maria. V. Snyder

Maria V. Snyder is the author of extremely popular series such as The Study Series and The Glass Series and various short stories to name a few. April celebrates the release of Maria’s new young adult novel Inside Out and as it is our current book of the month, Maria was kind enough to answer some of our questions for your reading pleasure. I should warn you, there are a few spoiler-ish moments. Enjoy!

Trella has had an interesting childhood, one that has left her with very little trust for anyone else around her, yet it was those people who ultimately Trella needed to survive. Was it a conscious decision to have Trella start from this place of no-trust to slowly understanding why she needed the people around her?

MS: Yes – I did try to have Trella start out basically hating her world and the people in it—except for one person. Then as she learns that not every thing in her world is as she had thought, her view changes with time and experience. I’m like to put my characters in difficult situations and see how they change.

Where did the idea for Inside Out come from? I’ve read it was a dream, but was there any other events that inspired the setting? I’m particularly curious as to how the concept of ‘weeks’ and ‘centiweeks’ came around.

MS: It was from a dream. But I created some of the details in order to turn the idea into a story. The idea to use weeks actually came from my daughter. She was mad at my son and told him she “wouldn’t talk to him again for a million weeks.” Then she paused and asked me how long was a million weeks. So I calculated it out and came up with 19,000 years. I tucked this little nugget of information away and then when I needed a way for the Insiders to keep track of time, weeks sounded better than years. Centiweeks is just like centimeters – my world uses base 10 for everything so centi and deci all worked well.

Originally Trella and Riley are lead to believe that there are vast differences between Upper and Lower lifestyles, largely stemming from lack of knowledge. How important was it to need the Uppers and Lowers to work together to discover a solution to their problems?

MS: It was very important since the uppers controlled all the mechanical systems. And also the Pop Cops encouraged the lack of knowledge between the uppers and lowers so they would not trust each other and wouldn’t compare notes and see how they both suffered under the Pop Cop’s rule. I was trying to show how making assumptions about people because of their race or religion is not the right way to go about it. That you need to learn more about another person before you judge them.

The harsh methods taken by LC Karla to control the scrubs and Uppers were eventually her downfall. If there was more understanding between scrubs and Uppers, would life be better for everyone?

MS: It would be better, but still having that division of people – uppers and lowers and different set of rules for each will make people unhappy.

Favourite holiday destination?

MS: I enjoy spending a week at the beach – any beach will do as long as I have sand, sun and an ocean to swim in :)

Can you tell us anything about the next instalment, Outside In?

MS: I can’t tell too much as I don’t want to give away the twists of Inside Out, but it continues Trella’s story and how she and the Insiders deal with a new threat – one from Outside.

All time favourite novel?

MS: This is a really hard question for me to answer. I have so many favorites and each is a favorite for a different reason. Since Inside Out has a strong female protagonist, my favorite girl power novel is The Gate to Women’s Country by Sherri S. Tepper.

What is currently in your To-Be-Read pile?

MS: It would probably be easier to list what isn’t in my TBR pile :) Right now I have a bunch of young adult books in my pile, Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins, Fire, by Kristen Cashore, the last two books of the Percy Jackson Olympians series by Rick Riodian, Ink Exchange, by Melissa Marr, Bad to the Bone, by Jeri Smith-Ready, How to Make a Wish by Mindy Klasky, and I’m eagerly awaiting Rachel Caine’s newest Morganville Vampire book, Fair Fight.

Any quirky writing rituals or habits?

MS: When I sign books, I like the color of my pen to match the color of the book’s cover. Right now, I take 5 different color pens with me and they have to be Uni ball’s vision elite pens :)

Any last thoughts to share with us?

MS: I like to add that because the layout of Inside can be hard to imagine, I posted maps of all four levels of Inside on my website.  Here’s a link: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/maps.php I was hoping my publisher would print them in the book.  But they are excited about the book and have created a website just for it: http://www.whatsinsideout.com On the website is a personality quiz to see what type of scrub job you’re suited for, and a video book trailer for the book.

Inside Out is available now at all good bookstores.

Inside Out – Maria V. Snyder
Book Reviews
April 21, 2010 posted by Katie

Inside Out – Maria V. Snyder

Keep your head down. Don’t get noticed. Or else.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A Nobody.

One of thousands who work in the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? Not like it’s all that dangerous – the only neck at risk is my own.

Until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

I should have just said no…

Trella’s life is a never-ending pattern. Work the even shifts, 10 hours on, 10 hours off. Cleaning the air-ducts with her cleaning troll. Turn troll on. Follow troll. Turn troll of, move to the next duct. It’s a life that she has known for years. One that has made her hate the scrubs around her. It’s in the ducts that Trella can get her peace. No one else around, just her and the metal. And when you have a life with no friends, it’s easy to see why Trella chooses the ducts over the taunts and hostile glances of the other scrubs around her. All except one – Cogon. Everyone is friends with Cog, and it’s impossible not to be.

Cog had been looking for Trella. He has a new prophet he wants her to meet. An Upper who did something so wrong that he was cast into the Lower levels to be forgotten. Yet Trella has her suspicions. This Upper knows too much about her, is asking for too much and promising too little. Yet it’s the kind of thing Trella can’t resist. A chance to prove why she is the queen of the pipes. For the prophet claims he has information on the location of Gateway. The portal to Outside. Yet, they are hidden. In his old apartment, which just happens to be in the restricted section of the Uppers. Scrubs aren’t meant to access the Uppers, and Trella is probably the only who has found a way around.

Against her better judgment, Trella goes looking for the prophet’s disks, knowing that if she is caught, she has no hope of ever returning to the Lowers. Yet as she continues to delve further into the secrets of Inside, she realises maybe everything isn’t exactly as they have been told. After a chance meeting with an Upper who doesn’t turn her in, Trella embarks on a path more dangerous than anything she has tried before. Along with Riley, Cog and the prophet, Trella embarks on the path to discovering the true location of Gateway. A location that every scrub has heard of, but few believe exists. Yet there is a cost, more deadly then Trella could ever imagine.

As more and more scrubs and Uppers alike start to become involved, it is only a matter of time before one of them will be gone forever…

Inside Out is the start of a new series from bestselling author Maria V. Snyder. I have been a large fan of Snyder’s work, and was interested to see how Inside Out would live up to her, in my opinion, most well known work, the Study Series. From the first chapter, the writing and perspective of Trella captured me. Trella was a character that was so clearly defined that I knew we were on for an adventure. Trella develops from a girl who doesn’t trust anyone around her, into a young woman who is confidant in what she needs to do to protect those around her. Trella goes through her rough moments, her self doubts and battles her inner demons on why is she helping to do something she swore she didn’t believe in? Yet without the help of Cog and Riley, Trella would not have been able to achieve anything. For Cog teaches her how to see those around her for more than just mindless scrubs, and Riley convinces Trella that not all Uppers are the same, that there are people who she can trust.

The development of the social constructs of Inside is completely thought out and impeccably detailed. Each and every aspect of society is there, rules that must be obeyed or fought against. Social hierarchy, illegal activities and the ever alluring promise of Outside. The world is complete in a way that lets you get completely lost in the actions of Trella and her friends, lets you believe that their situation is possible. Extremely well written in a way that leaves you needing to read the next page, Snyder has constructed a work that I see as the beginning to a new and fantastic series.

Publication date: 2010

Pages: 315

Rating:: ★★★★½

Teaser quote: My heart dropped into my stomach and ran laps. Lieutenant Commander Karla and three Pop Cops followed my supervisor. The LC’s smug expression and the terrified fury on my supervisor’s fact told me all I needed to know.

Without hesitating, I ran.