Review: Nightshade

Nightshade by Maryrose Wood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Again, I came in on Book 2, so I missed the backstory, although I think the author did a good job of catching you up, especially as this is a small slight volume. It concerns a talented herbalist, her father, who is obsessed with poisons and owns a poison garden which he keeps locked up, his journal of poisons and how to administer them, and a young man who loved his daughter, but left her when she lay almost dying in the first book. In this book, we are concerned with her finding her true love, losing herself along the way, as does he – but he does it with a purpose in mind – to find is love. She starts out looking for him but turns to the wrong party for help, and is “captured” by the spirit of the poison garden, who leads her along with promises. The problem I had with the book is that she quickly fell under just about anyone’s spell, and did a lot of very bad and immoral things, for which she is suddenly redeemed?. She had no spine, seemed rather drippy and droopy, and although she might have had a good heart in the beginning, it gets lost in this maze she allows herself to fall into. And the book is very short, and gives little true character depth, just brushstrokes limning who they are. He is one who hears the plants, and uses them to help him in his search. She is a user of herbs for good and bad. The book is left at a cliff-hanger type ending, forcing you to read the next one if you want any resolution. I prefer some resolution and some place to go in series. But the setting is appropriately melancholy and gloomy, and the author does have a nice way with plants. This might have been a 2, depending on the other books in the series.

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