Publisher: HarlequinRelease Date: December 18th, 2012
Series: Healer #2
Blurb from Goodreads: 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 Avery is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.
Review: I've been frustrated with Maria V. Snyder lately. She's one of my favorite authors, and yet I am finding that I'm not loving her work as much as I used to. I enjoyed Outside In but not quite as much as I expected to, and now this one. First of all, I didn't love Touch of Power as much as most bloggers did. I still liked it, but I didn't feel it stood up to the standard of her previous work. I was hoping there would be an improvement with Scent of Magic. And in some ways there was, but mostly I was just disappointed.
So I am going to talk about the good things first. This author excels at writing characters and that has not changed here. Avry is even more awesome than she was last time, and she is determined to fight and be a strong woman who takes care of herself. I usually love Snyder's female characters because of this. They truly CAN take care of themselves. I get so tired of ya heroines that have to be rescued by the men. But Avry rarely needs that. She is intelligent and has great instincts. Sometimes strong female characters end up being unlikable. But not Avry. The other characters are all strongly developed as well and can stand on their own as side characters with their own individual personalities.
The story in this book is also one I very much enjoyed. I think I even liked the plot of this one more than I did the first book. I just felt more INTO the storyline. It connected with me better and pulled me into its pages. I did not want to put this book down. The plot is very much a continuation of the first book, and it's weird because sometimes it feels like nothing is happening and yet it's still suspenseful. And if I think about it, not all that much happened in this book. And yet I could not stop reading it. Isn't that strange? In some ways this book was just a bridge to the next one. But it did help the characters quite a bit, I think. I didn't care much one way or another about the characters in the first book, and now I do. So that's something. I'm not going to summarize the plot. I think the blurb covers it pretty well, actually.
So where did I run into problems? It was the writing this time. Too much infodumping and summarizing in the beginning kept the story from connecting with me the way it could have. I just felt it was handled in a very obvious and amateurish way. The infodumping was IN your face. Like no effort was made whatsoever to hide it. I actually prefer when the author leaves this out and lets me figure things out on my own. If I want a summary of the last book, I will just reread the last book! I don't mind as much when it is sprinkled throughout the book in bits and pieces, but it''s not like that here. That would have been a huge improvement if it had been. And then the ending. It was abrupt, happened too fast, there was little resolution, and I felt the cliffhanger was cheaply handled. Of course I cannot talk about that without there being spoilers, but you should know that I am okay with most cliffhangers. This one just made me roll my eyes and say, "Okay then." It pissed me off.
So will I read the next one? You betcha. Overall, I still really liked this one. And I love Avry, Kerrick, Belen, and everyone else. There are some new revelations in this one that will have you biting your fingernails until the next book is released. It may not be Snyder's strongest effort, but it's definitely still enjoyable.
To purchase a copy of Scent of Magic from Amazon.com, click the following: Scent of Magic.