Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Series: Study, book 6
Recommend to Others?: Yes
War between Ixia and Sitia appears to be proving more and more imminent as the Cartel’s influence continues to increase. Finding allies is becoming increasingly harder for Yelena, Valek, and the herd. Uncovering intricate and cunning plots and defeating dangerous enemies will take all they have. Survival is now all or nothing if peace is to be restored.
I didn’t know just before I started reading that this was the final novel of Yelena’s and Valek’s story, so I was experiencing high emotions while reading this. It’s hard to say goodbye to characters you’ve grown to love so much. But I made it through all right with only minor disorientation by all the feels I felt – can’t say the same for the state of my aching heart.
According to Maria V. Snyder, this was “a beast of a book, and not only is it longer than my others, but it was also difficult to write.” It shows throughout its 478 pages of non-stop action and intrigue and deception. Because there’s so much content it’s very hard to talk about this book without spoiling anything, but I’m going to do my best to give you my full opinion.
The storyline was amazing and suspenseful. I thought, Holy guacamole! That just happened. and Oh no! and What in the world?! and Please tell me there’s a way out of this. I had no idea what would happen next or how characters would overcome, which made me feel fearful for everyone involved. The strain of it was exhausting but I enjoyed every minute of it. It was an entertaining story.
The biggest surprise for me was the actions of a certain individuals. I didn’t expect them to do certain things based on what you’d normally expect of such characters. So that was a nice surprise.
You know I’m a hopeless romantic and enjoy a good romance. However, I had a problem with the moments of intimacy between couples in this book – the PG-13 kind where you know a couple is about to be intimate with each other but you don’t see it and it’s not described (if you know what I mean). To each his or her own concerning intimacy in books, but for me this level of intimacy happened more than I expected it. In fact, it occurred way more than in any of her other books – which was fine because I understood how deeply in love these couples were.
Most of the time it seemed (to me) to occur at not the right times based on what was happening at the moment and where they were. Like singing in a university library when others are trying to study for finals – sure you may sound great but that isn’t the right place and time to be bursting out into song (I know, a ridiculous example but you get what I’m trying to say). Not to be prude (ironic ’cause it’s obvious what word I won’t say) but it felt overplayed or too much in a way (for lack of better words) – like when a song (good or bad) is on every radio station all the time.
In those moments, I didn’t understand how they could do that considering the circumstances. Yes, there is that sense that this could be the last time a couple can truly be together, but it quickly became redundant.
My other critique is that the resolution of one conflict was a letdown. I kind of don’t trust that things are actually resolved based on everything that’s happened over the course of six books.
I’m sad to see this story/series come to an end but “all’s well that ends well” as the saying goes. I still would highly recommend this series and any other of Maria V. Snyder’s books.