Title: Night Study (Soulfinders #2) (Study #5)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Page count: 444 pages
Released: February 25th (UK)
Genre: High Fantasy
“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.”
First thing’s first – don’t even attempt reading this unless you’ve read the Study Series first. Although this is part of the Soulfinders series, there would be so much confusion if you started here! Plus, the Study series is the reason I exist, so you should read it regardless. 😉
As hinted in the title and similarly to the previous book,Night Study focuses hugely on Valek. I think that’s the biggest difference between the Soulfinder series and the Study series. As much as I definitely adore Valek more than any book boy (book man?) ever, and was super crazy excited to read from his POV again (looking back at how excited I was about those tiny excerpts from his POV in the Spy series makes me laugh now!), his thoughts are considerably different from Yelena’s and I did miss having her as a constant. The book mostly alternates between Valek, Yelena, and Leif, though it sometimes switches to Janco or Ari, which was refreshing. Learning even more about Valek’s life was wonderful, and who knew that I could love him more than I already did?
At the beginning of the book I was slightly confused, having barely remembered the finer details of the last one, but it didn’t take long to get back into the swing of things. It also didn’t take long for everybody to get back to their usual antics of killing and getting captured, and nobody writes a kidnap like Maria does. The second half of the book was my favourite, as the pace picked up and old and new characters were introduced.
So many crazy things happened, and there are a million spoilers to avoid. But I have to say, the Yelena and Valek moments in this book… they triumph all others.
However, this is the first book by Maria that I haven’t given a full 5 stars to. I have a rule about not writing reviews for her books because they’re so ridiculously biased, but I had to for this reason! I felt it wasn’t quite the same, and as I’ve been noticing in her other books, seemed slightly rushed. But I guess with a story like this, you’ve gotta cram it all in. Who am I to know. I still loved it!