I read the Study Series a while ago and I was utterly gripped and compelled - especially with Poison Study - so when I got wind of the fact that another series was going to come out, I couldn't wait - I've never felt so excited about book releases since Harry Potter ... but I wasn't as fascinated with Storm Glass when it came to reading it.
Firstly, I find the main character Opal rather self-pittying and irritating. I just want to shake her or tell her to get over herself. I know she's lost her (younger???) sister, I know she's been through a lot already, she's going to find it hard to trust people, blah-blah-blah. She just doesn't seem to appreciate anyone and she makes judgements without even making an effort herself. She's sulky and, I think, if I was at the Keep with her, I'd just ignore her aswell and get uppety with her - I don't think I'd go as far as treating her like Pazia does, but I wouldn't have much time for her.
I wasn't interested in the story. I actually struggled to find a story - it was just like a load of scenes thrown together - which is fine in its way - but I think there is a story in there somewhere and it would be nice to see it properly. Also, I don't really approve of the idea of 'sleep with the guy now or you'll regret it' - which is basically one of the issues and ideas portrayed throughout the book. But then I'm not a big lover of romance at the best of times so that might be just a personal thing. Also, I think we were all spoilt with Valek, so the love-interests in this series have a lot to live up to and, in my opinion, they all fail.
The action was plentiful and I was intrigued with each and every action scene - Snyder seems to have this knack of pulling you straight into the centre of the action - but ... I began to get a bit bored and now, in reading Sea Glass, I find it funny, with everyone either jabbing or getting jabbed in the 'Solar Plexis' - it was like Snyder had just discovered that this body-part existed and decided to make good use of it in every fight Opal encounters.
The other characters - like I said - big sisterly advice 'sleep with the man or you'll regret it' seemed a bit out of order to me. Opal should have felt able to make that decision herself and should have only made any advance when she was ready - make her own choices, show some strength of character etc. I found Opal's sister a bit thin on characterisation at the best of times and just found no interest in her at all and didn't care much for the opinions and attitudes she threw about. The male interests - one big, fit and brooding, the other dark, handsome stranger - a bit cliché in contrasts and I found Kade a bit too brooding - but I warmed to him. And I am secretly delighted that, so far, Opal has gone for him more - even though it might be because the other guy betrayed her. I was looking forward to seeing Yelena and Lief again - but I just cringed for some reason. Yelena's 'little friend' the bat and her constant banter with Lief - it just didn't do anything for me except to make me roll my eyes and think 'ohhh dear'.
Snyder still has the lovely smooth writing-style - it's not clumsy, it's not trying to be anything its not so it clearly brings everything to life and doesn't smother the events in the book - but in the Study series she can make you fret, she can make you laugh, bite your nails and the story flows wonderfully with it - but, although her style was still elegant in Storm Glass - it lacked the emotions and it was just as though I was reading a text-book - explaining the events rather than telling the story, which again, I just couldn't find.
Something must have gone right. Despite my criticisms - I loved it. And I don't know why - I can't think of anything in the book that I found really compelling or that drew me closer to the characters or sparked any interest, and, as I've mentioned, I found plenty of flaws, but I couldn't stop reading and I'm currently reading Sea Glass - which is taking me a bit longer - It's presently on my table with a bookmark half-way through it, which is where it has been for maybe a couple of weeks - but, I think I'll be reading Spy Glass.
I've given it three stars because of the things I didn't particularly like, but something obviously worked for me and, I still stand by my original thoughts of SNyder as a writer - she has a rare gift and before I read Poison Study, I thought I'd lost my enthusiasm for reading altogether and Maria V. Snyder brought it all back - sometihng I'm grateful for. I would reccomend her to anyone and she is still one of my favourite authors. I just hope Spy Glass or her next series of books brings back her full potential as a writer because she deserves it.