A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry.

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Algonquin Young Readers for providing me with a free ARC, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Okay, so this book has been in my TBR pile for *cough* a few year and I’d not gotten around to it. For that I must apologise to Ms Mabry as you deserve better. ‘A Fierce and Subtle Poison’ was a fantastic, well written mystery thriller for the YA/NA genre. It had a nice coming of age feel to it, mixed in with mystery, the supernatural and adventure. A very nice and well balanced mix then coated in some well-described locations and believable characters.

The story was a little hard to get into a first as I couldn’t quit tell when it was set – the year/ era. But that soon sorted itself out and things were smooth sailing for me from then.

I enjoyed the red, raw feel of some of the scenes. There was no sugar coating life or giving everyone a ‘HEA’ – Happily Ever After – and this is the sort of thing more YA/NA books need.

And that ending! Oh, that ending! Yes ‘A Fierce and Subtle Poison’ was all wrapped up nice and neat and mostly gave closure to the story… MOSTLY! But there were, to me, some enticing threads drifting about teasing at further tales to come. Are there? I have no idea. Does there need to be? No, not really, but I wouldn’t say no to reading the next book if it did exist. Though I will state here and now it works perfectly as a stand-alone book and maybe I am just being greedy while recovering from the mild book hangover I received. 😉

All in all it was a well-pace, well-described and perfectly balanced story that lovers of YA/NA supernatural mystery would enjoy. I mean, the supernatural is more a hint that a major undercurrent… but that, coupled with the coming of age, mystery and setting makes it a great read.

A Fierce Subtle poison

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. Definitely a book for lovers of the YA/NA mystery genres. As I keep saying, there was a great balance of everything a YA/NA mystery should be in ‘A Fierce and Subtle Poison’.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I would, but will be honest by stating I still have the free copy I was sent so don’t need to buy it. A terrible thing to say because one should always support a book and author they like by actually buying their books. But still my situation, I have a copy, won’t be buying one in this case. Though I can see myself reading it again in the future as it was just that sort of engaging and entertaining tale.

In summary: An excellent YA/NA mystery thriller, I highly recommend.

Until next time,



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