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Guest reviewer for Paranormalhaven.com. Goofy and gregarious, although mostly sensible. Love to chat about books! :)

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Scent of Magic

Scent of Magic - Maria V. Snyder First off, let me just say this, if you haven't read a Touch of Power, this may not be a good place to start. I read a Touch of Power close to a year ago, and I struggled to remember some of the characters from the first book while reading a Scent of Magic. (I could theorize that my memory pretty much sucks and that wouldn't be an unfounded criticism)I LOVED a Touch of Power. I thought it had angst, self-discovery, and both of the main characters did a fair amount of growing into the people whom they're destined to be.The book undergoes a couple of stylistic changes from book 1 of this series. It switches between Avery's 1st person pov to Kerrick's 3rd person. I honestly don't mind books that have POV switches from characters to characters, but in the majority of the books, they keep it within the same type of POV. To my mind, this interfered with how smoothly the story flowed. You'd get to a bad situation, then the next chapter would be the other persons' pov and you'd have to wait til the next chapter to see what had happened. Kerrick's chapters were kept quite a bit shorter for the most part, and again, this broke the flow of the story.The book opens up with Avery and Kerrick together trying to hatch out a plan on how to defeat the villain, Tohon. Part of my not liking Scent of Magic very much stems from how easily Avery steps into the role of soldier, assassin, and spy. We saw her struggle and learn in book 1 to her just having complete and total control of her abilities and she was perfectly competent at everything she's been taught. Snooze alert.Almost at the beginning of the book, Avery and Kerrick split up so they can accomplish the task of defeating Tohon... My first hint that I was going to have an issue with this book is that within 30 pages of when it opens, Avery has her hair dyed and is given a BOTOX INJECTION. Seriously? That's how she's going to infiltrate an enemy camp? Gee, how can she fail? Look, the book doesn't lack for action/adventure. It's pretty much go,go, go from page 1. The emotional component for me was not there at all. I'm never worried for or about Avery in any way. She's too good at her jobs and she's too valuable as a healer to have anyone kill her (and this is brought up ).. so there goes that tension. Kerrick, I worry for a little more, but he has bought young kids along with him, so my concern stems from him having to protect and fail to protect the kids under his charge.Ms. Snyder does a very good job in crafting a villain in Tohon. He's pretty creepy, but also smart and tactical. When he enters on the page, while I didn't enjoy him per se, I liked how strongly he evoked emotion, from the few brief scenes he's in.I'm not a fan of torture. This is just a personal preference.. but both main characters are put through the ringer, and while it's not described in great detail, it's just another part of the book that I didn't particularly care for. There are much better ways to demonstrate dominant strength and will. Avery and Kerrick spend 98% of the book away from one another.. and the way things end.. well, ties up a little too neatly for me.ETA : While the ending does neatly tie up some issues, it also ends on a cliffhanger which I found to be rather ho hum.