- Night Study, Maria V. Snyder
Rating: * * * * *
Series: Chronicles of Ixia #8 (also Study Series #5 and Soulfinders #2)
Publisher: Mira Ink
Publication Date: February 2016 (UK)
Goodreads synopsis: Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.
Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realize it’s far more sinister that they could have ever imagined.
Shadow Study was one of my favourite books of 2015, and Night Study, the next installment, is just as good, if not better!
One of my favourite aspects of this series is the relationship between the main character, Yelena, and her heart mate Valek. Their relationship is built on mutual respect, trust, admiration and love, and they regard each other as total equals. For me, they are one of the best partnerships in YA, and there are some very emotional and exciting moments between the two of them in this novel.
I also love Yelena’s friendship with Janco and the witty exchanges between the two of them, especially the way that she teases and corrects Janco at times like this:
‘Janco crept from a shadow. “She’s a tough clam to pry open. I’ve a feeling, though, once we do, we’ll find a pearl.”
“Pearls form in oysters.”
“Oysters, clams…” He waved dismissively. “It’s all seafood.”‘
Additionally, I really like the speed and familiarity of Yelena’s response to this action of Janco’s:
‘Janco stole a piece of bacon from her plate.
She stabbed him with her fork.
In Night Study, there are chapters from Yelena’s, Valek’s and Janco’s POVs, as in the previous novel, but we also hear a new voice – Leif’s. It is fascinating to see more of Leif’s ability to smell certain scents and relate them to different things – for example, whether a person hiding the truth or disclosing it. It is also fun to witness his love of food firsthand!
Night Study has a detailed and very well developed plot line. The many twists and turns, as well as the cliffhangers at the end of chapters, keep you hooked, and the novel sets the scene for an action-packed and emotional finale in Dawn Study.