Monday, 6 June 2016

Review: A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

Author: Samantha Mabry
Genre: YA, Magical Realism
Publishers: Algonquin 
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the seƱoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.
Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers--and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.
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A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON starts off with Lucas describing the myths and stories about the island he lives in. The house at the end of the road is surrounded by mysterious and dreadful stories, and one of them is that the girl living inside the house is a goddess and grants wishes. Lucas and his girlfriend, Marisol throw wishes to the cursed place and the very next day, Marisol is missing and found dead later. Lucas is determined to investigate the moving figure he sees inside that house and is agitated by the truth he came across; THE MYTH IS REAL. Soon his life also turns upside down, when he is announced as the prime suspect in Marisol's and other similar murder cases. There is none who can help him to prove the innocence, but the girl of the cursed house.

Half-way into the story, I thought this book was going to be a top read in my list. But few more pages in, my brain was addled with all the mysteries happening in the story. I had completely lost the interest and had to force myself to finish reading it then (which I don't like at all).

A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON has all the elements a good book requires but miserably elaborated. The writing is gorgeous and is the best part of this book. The choice of words is perfect, it easily draws up the scenarios in front of your eyes, and can grab your attention as well. Even so, the lack of details and explanations makes the whole story so blurred and leave the readers puzzled.

This book can definitely be categorized under the magical realism, as it had so much magic-related things going on; though I'm unsure about what they were clearly. The plot includes a murder investigation, disappearance cases, mysteries, myths and a love story (kind of). It's creepy and intriguing, but jumbled. Wouldn't recommend it, unless you are looking for a fabulous writing.

Happy Reading!
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