Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder suffers second book syndrome

16129491Scent of Magic (Healer #2) by Maria V. Snyder 

Genre: YA, fantasy 

Published: This edition published January, 2013 by HarlequinTEEN Aus

Format: Paperback

Source: Bought second-hand. 

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

I don’t know how to feel about Scent of Magic. I was excited to read it, and I DID enjoy it, but by the time it ended I was left with an overwhelming “what even happened” feeling. It lacked a plot, lacked meaning and depth, and I still have a problem with the lack of description. I call second book syndrome! 

I couldn’t quite place why I was having this disappointed, I expected more feeling, until I re-read my review of the first book. Then It all became clear.

What did I love Touch of Power so much? It had goals, plot, motives, meaning, lesson’s, life questions and deep, meaningful messages and themes. This is everything that Scent of Magic lacked.

Warning: there may be some spoilers from the previous book

One big, big problem I have with Scent of Magic, is that it is missing a goal. It is missing a straight plot. It has plenty of catalyst, things that made me want to keep reading, but nothing concrete I could follow. Whereas Touch of Power did have – a quest to save a prince.

Due to this, the book felt clumsy. There were slow and fast moments. There were times when I had no idea what the intensions were of the main characters. There were barely any confliction of emotions or dynamics, because there was nothing to conflict against, as there was no goal. It didn’t feel like a whole, composed story. It sorta just floated along and going with the flow. The best way to describe it would be a space filler – something to connect it with the third book. I don’t know this for sure, however, because I haven’t yet read the third book.

Another problem? There was no meaning or themes or conflicting emotions or growth! What I LOVED about Touch of Power is the growth Avery goes through as she sifts through what is worth sacrificing herself for. What is worth dying for was a huge theme in the previous book.

Did this book have a theme, or underlying message? No, it didn’t. The characters were just going through the motions. It is basically a lead up to the ending and just creating issues and conflicts for the following story.

What did this mean? I didn’t see an ounce of character growth or development. The characters mostly stayed the same (bar a few side characters) and didn’t change, learn, grow, develop. Nothing. Nada. I wasn’t taken on an emotional roller coaster, either. I felt flat for most of the book – besides a few, choice moments.

I would mention the few side character’s that DO show some development, but that would be giving away too much. Let’s just say I was OVERJOYED and SO SO HAPPY I CRIED at one certain character’s reappearance. Snyder did something right!

I feel really bad for mostly bagging this book out. I did still enjoy it. I especially liked how the book started right where it left off. I liked the distance between Kerrick and Avery, and how the story didn’t focus on them but the ruined state of the realms. I still love Poppa Bear and the Monkeys. I love how the mysterious power of the lilies is fleshed out even more. I loved the inclusion of the “Tribes” and the new material it brings.

I also have the same problems with this one as with the last one – the lack of description and background is killing me!

That said, I do feel like I have a better understanding of this world and society. I just need MORE than what’s given.

Despite my earlier negative comments, I breezed through this book quickly and still enjoyed it. After I got passed that shocking ending, I felt a little flat by the rest of book – leaving something to be desired. Otherwise, I still really want to finish the series and read the last book, Taste of Darkness.

 

myrating

asoftbreeze

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6 thoughts on “Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder suffers second book syndrome

  1. Pingback: Breezy’s Bookish Week (7) Mega book haul! | Breezy Reads

  2. I think what you said about the book having no purpose is quite true and it’s something I hadn’t thought of. Mostly I think that Snyder has made it a little bit too BIG – there’s too many characters, too many countries and too many sub plots going on and it’s been made very difficult to tie them all together and, as a reader, to invest the amount of passion and interest each one should deserve. Unfortunately, for me, things didn’t improve in the third book at all. Things just seem to fall further and further apart.

    It has really made me want to reread her Study series though, because that’s where I fell in love with her work and I’m hoping it will soften my disappointment in this series. I’ll be interested to see your thoughts on Taste of Darkness.

    • Yes, BIG is something that I hadn’t really considered, but it’s true. It’s becoming a bit messy juggling all those plots.

      So many people have recommended reading her Study series, but I’m hesitant. I’ve had to DNF one of her books before, so that has made my judgement a little harsher. But who knows? Maybe I will. (L
      Also, I should be reading Taste of Darkness, soon. I’m excited to see how it pans out!

      • Think of it this way, Snyder had SIX YEARS to perfect Poison Study…most of these books I don’t think she’s had anywhere near as much time. But I have got six people invested in her books based off of my love for Poison Study. Even so, I hope you have a better time with Taste of Darkness than I did 🙂

      • I actually just finished Taste of Darkness, and even though it was a bit rushed and convenient at times, I really liked it! I got so involved in this one, much more than Scent of Magic. Sad that you didn’t like it!

        And woah. Love author’s who commit to books like that! Six years is a long time!

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