Night Study – Maria V. Synder – Soulfinders #2, Study #5 – Harlequin Teen/Mira – Published 25 January 2016
Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s life 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 realise it’s far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.
Epic, heart-stopping and so much fun, this next instalment in the Study series is just as awesome as all the other Study books, and yet the romance, tension and plots just keep building.
Night Study picks up exactly where Shadow Study left off with Yelena revealing her big news to Valek. Yelana still does not have her magic and the danger in both Ixia and Sitia is mounting. It is up to Valek, Yelana and their friends to uncover the extent of what threatens their futures.
Rejoining Valek and Yelana is like slipping under a cozy, familiar blanket. But there is nothing relaxing about this book. Tense moments follow action scenes, broken up by sweet moments between our favourite heartmates and playful banter between Janco and anyone who dares to engage him.
There is a lot going on with each group dealing with their own set of troubles, most of which connect back to the growing danger in both Ixia and Sitia. In addition to Janco and Valek’s point of views we also have the new addition of Leif’s, which allows the reader to stay abreast of the whole group as they separate and play keys parts in the ongoing action. Along with the traditional first-person chapters from Yelana, these alternating view points certainly build the tension, leaving one drama-filled moment to pick back up on another.
Yelana and Valek’s little, as Janco dubs it, eclectic family is ever growing. It’s so much fun to reconnect with familiar faces and meet some new ones. The villains remain as devious and annoyingly persistent as usual. There are some great surprise twists and a few unexpected new developments. And it just keeps getting better and better. Well, actually it got pretty agonising towards the end there. Don’t the good guys ever get a break? But while there is no cliffhanger, everything is poised for one epic showdown in the next book. While I would happily read about Valek and Yelana’s adventures forever, it would be nice if they got a quiet, well-earned and peaceful happily ever after – though they would probably get bored.
Night Study forms a part of three series, Study series book 5, Soulfinder book 2 and Chronicles of Ixia, including the Glass series, book 8. They all flow on from each other, and I recommend reading the complete set in order to keep the characters and events straight (and because they are all awesome, fantastic, amazing books).
So basically, Night Study is brilliant. It carries the action on from Shadow Study and perfectly sets up Dawn Study, with fantastic fantasy, romance, action and thriller rolled into one. Can’t wait for the next book.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Themes: Magic, family, love and romance, politics.
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: Vaguely implied sexual scenes. Violence, fighting and killing. References to rape.
Published: 25 January 2016 by Harlequin Teen/Mira.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 448 pages.