A Little Taste of Poison
Author: R.J. Anderson
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Format: paperback ARC
Source: Simon & Schuster Canada
Twelve-year-old Isaveth tries to take down the man who framed her father for murder in this lively follow-up to A Pocket Full of Murder, which Kirkus Reviews called “thoroughly entertaining.”
The city of Tarreton is powered by magic, from simple tablets that light lamps to advanced Sagery that can murder a man from afar. Isaveth has a talent for spell-making, but as a girl from a poor neighborhood she never dreamed she could study at the most exclusive magical school in the city. So when she’s offered a chance to attend, she eagerly accepts.
The school is wonderful, but old and new enemies confront Isaveth at every turn, and she begins to suspect her scholarship might be more a trap than a gift. Even her secret meetings with Esmond, her best friend and partner in crime-solving, prove risky—especially once he hatches a plan to sneak her into the biggest society event of the season. It’s their last chance to catch the corrupt politician who once framed her father for murder. How can Isaveth refuse? (Goodreads)
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion.*
A Pocket Full of Murder was one of my top books last year and one I didn’t really know too much about until Simon & Schuster approached me to review it. It was one of my gateway books to MG and I’m forever grateful because now I have a huge middle grade obsession.
In the first story about Isaveth, she is trying to find out the truth about the murders her father has been framed for along with Quiz, her new partner in crime (investigation). Shenanigans and and sleuthing ensue (you can read my review here.) It was so fun so when I heard that A Little Taste of Poison was coming I was beyond excited. Isaveth is back with her crew and the story picks up right where it left off. There is a full cast of new characters but also a ton of beloved ones from the first book as well.
I think my favourite part of these books is that the MC is female and she is incredible. Isaveth is smart, resourceful, caring, tough, ambitious. She is exactly the type of role model I want in books for young girls. Things get tough and yeah, she feels like giving up sometimes but she perseveres. You don’t have to be perfect to kick butt! I feel like Isaveth is the little sister I never had but secretly always wanted. I’ll read all the books about Isaveth I can get my hands on!
The story itself was just as exciting as the first as well! With Isaveth now at a fancy magic school, there’s a Hogwarts-eque feel to the story which I loved. There were lots of clues to put together and sleuthing to be done. There was no shortage of excitement, even if it was just the fun of Isaveth getting to learn new types of magic and spells. Of course she gets herself into more than enough trouble along the way and has lots of close calls so make sure you have some tea near by to calm your nerves. Goodness knows I needed it!
I also love the intricacy of the magic in the series and it just keeps getting better. We see the more complex spells as well as the spell tablets introduced in A Pocket Full of Murder. I’m also so intrigued by how they use magic in Isaveth’s world. Instead of it coming from a wand or within the person, its very methodical, based in tradition, and “accessible”. You don’t have to have the magic in you/be born with it. You can buy spell tablets and BOOM…magic. I’ll be honest, I really wish I could buy spell tablets for myself. I need magic. NEED IT I TELL YOU.
A Pocket Full of Murder got me into middle grade and I had very high expectations for A Little Taste of Poison. It 100% did NOT disappoint. I flew through and was ready to read it again as so as I closed it.