Good evening, everyone!
On the 27th of May I completed Night Study by Maria V. Snyder and unfortunately I was a little disappointed.
Night Study is the 5th book in Snyder’s Study series or other wise known as the 2nd book in her Soulfinders series which is a spin off from the Study books. Shadow Study was written before Night Study and I absolutely loved it! It was filled with everything I desired from action to romance to humour. Shadow Study was unbelievably captivating which led me to have high hopes towards Night Study yet it greatly lacked in drawing my attention.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love Maria V. Snyder because her writing is amazing yet I must break it to you that this book did not leave me satisfied. Instead it left me feeling ‘eh’. Despite two books in the series disappointing me I’ve fallen in love with this world Snyder has created between Valek and Yelena which has influenced me enough to want to finish the series especially knowing that the last book, Dawn Study, is rumoured to be coming out next year! I can’t wait!
If you have not yet read this novel I recommend that you do despite my negatives. You may find that you have differing opinions to me and may actually enjoy it a lot more then I did. We all have different likes and dislikes which distinguishes what works and what doesn’t for us which is why it is important for everyone to take a leap of faith and venture on a journey that can lead to the unknown. You never know what that journey will bring you. You may find something you never knew you were looking for which is why I still think you should read this book. Enough of my motivational rant chit chatter!
Without further ado, I am going to dive right into spoilers. You have been warned.
Shadow Study left us on the edge of our seats as Yelena nervously stated, “I’m pregnant!” This plot twist heightened my curiosity and my excitement to grab the next novel in the series. My expectations were high due to finishing an amazing book by Snyder which tops as my favorite out of the series. My predictions for Night Study involved thinking that the novel was going to begin by showcasing the birth of Yelena and Valek’s child or at least for the book to involve this scene yet I was disappointed when neither happened. Finding out Yelena is going to have a baby was something I thought would be more heightened and developed in this novel yet I felt like that major fact was put to the side.
Early in I amused myself reading Night Study as I noticed this line come up on page 31, “Janco rubbed the scar where the bottom half of his right ear should be.” I remember writing in one of my previous blog posts about Shadow Study saying “this mannerism of [Janco’s] has appeared numerous times… Is this Maria’s favorite line or something?” and again I was left thinking the exact same thing.
I remember falling in love with the fact that Snyder chose to split these books into the point of views of Yelena, Valek and Janco yet Night Study introduced a new character to the p.o.v mix which I was not entirely happy about. My first initial reaction was “Oh god no! Not Leif!” In my opinion the development of his character has not been strong. Leif has almost become off putting and annoying which caused me to be unpleased by his reappearance and involvement in the book.
A cheesy yet beautiful moment which was revealed in this book was on page 106 where a miny plot twist became known to the reader. “Valek cut a backward C shape into his skin right next to the other, linking them so they resembled a heart” before asking for Yelena’s hand in marriage! I was expecting Valek to propose to Yelena in this book yet I found it incredibly moving how Valek was able to develop a sense of strength to disobey the Commander’s loyalty to develop a new and committed relationship with Yelena.
As well as this relationship, it was wonderful to get a little insight on Mara, Leif’s wife, on page 113 who I believe has been a subtle yet delightful addition to the story yet I would of liked to have seen more of her in this novel. Snyder beautifully describes Mara as she writes, “[Mara] was always more beautiful than [Leif] remembered. Kinder, gentler, patient-perfect. She filled all the hollow spots inside him…making him a better, stronger man.” Just ahh. So beautifully said. I remember thinking that I would be devastated if Snyder chose to kill her as a major plot twist due to glorifying her through that short paragraph. It would be an absolute shame yet would spark major curiosity to discover what would happen next.
I also had a desire to see the relationship between Onora and Janco flourish as there were multiple moments in this book that led me to say out loud, “PUT THEM TOGETHER ALREADY, MARIA!!” There was a little flirty moment between them on page 121 as Janco highlighted how a death by hug interested him in a joking manner as he announced, “I love it.” Onora replied to his comment saying, “Explains why no one wants to date you” which I found hilarious because she totally wants to! I can feel the sexual tension from here!!
I discovered that the two plot twists that I did enjoy was hearing that Hedda was alive and how all along Zohav and Zethan were Valek’s siblings. I enjoyed finding this out and discovering more about the siblings as their relationship with Valek grew.
There were other moments that I disliked further changing my view on where this book is heading. I found that most events happened without explanations for example on page 319 when Janco found Yelena in a box. That was completely random as we weren’t able to identify how she got into the box in the first place. It just felt like the chapter had been rushed. Another minor error that really grew to annoy me was how Yelena was unable to speak to horses due to losing her magic yet near the end of the book she somehow was able to speak to humans with her mind. If she lost her magic, how on earth would she be able to speak to anyone with her mind? That really confused me.
Leif getting shot was also in my opinion a stupid twist. I thought it was incredibly random as they all discovered him in the aftermath. I would of preferred to have seen the event from the point of view of someone else witnessing the shot rather then all of them discovering Leif on the floor. It came off as an unnecessary twist as there wasn’t any sympathy connected towards the event which could of been a clever way to draw me in to begin to respect Leif yet I still don’t. The only part I enjoyed in this scene was how Valek was able to bring Leif back to life due to gaining magic. It was a thrilling image due to how Snyder described it.
All in all, Night Study dragged on way too much for me and in my opinion it didn’t lead anywhere. The whole time I was reading it I was waiting for something to happen or a massive plot twist to occur out of nowhere. Reading this book took a very long time for me which I do not approve of. I want to be on the edge of my seat the whole time and I am upset that I was not which is why I rate this book 3/5 stars. There were moments I liked yet all in all the negatives became the majority overruling.
For now, I hope you are enjoying your day and are indulging yourself in the addiction that is books. Devour. Devour. Devour.