Monday, July 10, 2017

Poison's Kiss by Breena Shields

Young Adult literature is very big on its kissing, isn't it? I can't go much farther than that so for those two lovebirds to finally share that oh so wonderful first kiss just makes any romance, doesn't it? That's why this concept is so brilliant. You kiss this girl and you die. Let's see how it plays out.

Marinda is poisonous. Since infancy, she's been raised and used as a weapon for the Raja, assassinating anyone in his way with nothing but a kiss. Marinda hates the job and wishes only to protect her little brother and keep him safe, but those she works for constantly threaten him so she is forced to obey. When one of her targets is a boy she starts developing feelings for, Marinda risks everything to make sure he doesn't die. But the cost of betrayal is steep and there's no telling just how far her handlers will go to keep their control on Marinda.

One thing about this book that was actually pretty good was the setting and mythology within the story. It's set in the India-esque world of Sundari and feels very much alive in that regard. From busy markets and spiced dishes, you can feel that this world has a distinct culture. The legend surrounding the story is actually pretty well developed, with the tiger, crocodile, bird, and snake (I know, it's a little familiar but I'm willing to let it slide) and how they're basically deities and those who worship them, it's all really clever way to establish the mythology of the world. While I like it more of an idea instead of "there really is a literal giant snake that lives underground and accepts human sacrifices", it's interesting regardless.

The main character is pretty good too, but she has her flaws as well. She fights to remain a good person even though she has a kill count. This can work in a character, it really can. You can make a character who kills people still really likable, but the book kind of softens the blow and I wish it hadn't. Luckily, we got to like her long before that happens. She's backed into a corner, has been abused and controlled her entire life, but refuses to become like those who created her. That gives her a sense of inner strength that would have kept us liking her even if they didn't try and take away her edge. Also, she's special enough with being someone who can kill with a kiss. Did we have to throw "princess" in there as well? Overall, though, she turned out okay.

Most of the other characters are hit and miss. The main villain is despicable enough but there's also this woman Marinda has history with who has so little impact I honestly forgot about her. Marinda's accomplice, Iyla, is a very interesting person who gains the trust of the targets before Marinda kills them. Why Marinda couldn't do this part of the job herself is a mystery, but you do get to see the toxic "frenemy" relationship between these two girls and just how hard their lives are and why they do what they do. Our love interest, however, isn't quite as impressive. He's just kind of generically nice. Not much in the way of personality. He's just nice. That's it. That being said, the brother is a good example of a little child character who manages to be capture bait but still likable and his being there really does help with Marinda's development as a character. He was never annoying and I wanted him to be okay just like the story wanted me to. Guess that makes him a success.

Final Verdict 
This book was a nice, easy read. Fun but a bit flawed. Some of the flaws bothered me more than others but for every con there was also a pro so it never got to the point where it became a burden to read. It kept me invested and wondering when the sequel would be out so in that sense, go ahead and read it but maybe wait for it on paperback.

Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. Have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation? Contact me on goodreads at

Next Time: Come with me...and you'll a world where everything's trying to kill you!

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