Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder
Release Date: January 3, 2014
Source: Publisher (NetGalley)
Star Rating: ★
She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.
Okay, so this entire series has been one giant letdown for me. I am a huge fan of Snyder's Study and Inside series, but the Healer series has been disappointing me the whole way through. Why did I keep reading? I hear you ask. I hoped it would get better. Like I said, the previous two series of Snyder's (that I have read) were fantastic. Poison Study remains one of my all time favourite books. I couldn't not try.
But my attempts didn't work. I just really dislike this series as a whole. There was no epically grand finale to pick this series up, and the book itself fell flat.
Something about Avry's voice just isn't engaging. I haven't been able to relate to her much of the way through this series, and sometimes that's not a problem if a character can pull me in. Avry did not. She was likeable in the first book, somewhat okay in the second, but in this one she just sent me to sleep.
It didn't help that I'm not a fan of any of the characters in this series, not just Avry. I feel like they're a rehash of the characters in Snyder's Study series, and there was nothing to make them unique. I especially hate Kerrick, who was an abusive arsehole in the first book, and who certainly didn't improve once we got a look inside his head. I will not forgive a man who beats a woman. Full stop. Period. The end.
Another problem I had with this book was that there was little action in the beginning. After the somewhat thrilling ending of book two, I was expecting a lot more to be happening at the beginning of this one. But no, the characters traipsed around the forests and caves and whatnot, talking to Lilies and ... that's pretty much it. On top of the less than thrilling characters, this plot was a bust.
I wouldn't recommend this series, especially if you're a fan of the Study series since the characters are giant rip-offs and none of them feel developed. I felt no connection to any of them, let alone sympathy or emotions towards them. I was hoping for a grand finale, instead I fell asleep while reading it. If you're looking for a good fantasy series, I would recommend trying the Study series by Snyder, the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo, or Graceling by Kristin Cashore instead.