A Fierce and Subtle Poison

A Fierce and Subtle Poison

by Samantha Mabry


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616206987
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 05/30/2017
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 846,931
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Samantha Mabry credits her tendency toward magical thinking to her Grandmother Garcia, who would wash money in the kitchen sink to rinse off any bad spirits. She teaches writing and Latino literature at a community college in Dallas, where she lives with her husband, a historian, and a cat named Mouse. She is the author of A Fierce and Subtle Poison and All the Wind in the World. Visit her online at samanthamabry.com or on Twitter: @samanthamabry.

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A Fierce and Subtle Poison 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book for a book club. I really enjoyed it. Definitely worth the read.
JollyRogerBooks More than 1 year ago
Well, let's just say the scenery of this book was 5 stars all the way, the plot (for the most part) was 5 stars. The MC...not so much. If this book had focused around any of the Natives then maybe it would have been ALOT more interesting. Instead this book, that takes place in a beautiful tropical island with it's litttle old ladies and poisonous tropical plants has potentially the worst type of MC imaginable, a teenage white boy. Who apparently, after living there all summer every year and has a mother who's native here, DOESNT SPEAK SPANISH AT ALL! LIke he barely understands it which makes almost no sense. As much as I like that the book was then all in English (because I dont speak spanish and i've read a book where 1/3 of all conversations were in a different language..thanks for that assignment teach) and I could understand it, Lucas could have been ALOT better. This book had such an interesting idea and plot behind it that sounded original to me. A girl that can grant wishes that locals had all sorts of myths and local legends about, awesome. Even though Lucas was such a flop, Isabel and the plot were what kept me going. I enjoyed reading it and I would have loved it if the whole book was in a different POV like maybe Isabel's. The book could have been a different but still really interesting story. It made all of the culture and scenery almost feel a little died down because we were seeing it all through the eyes of a teenage boy who wants to basically live like a hermit when he's older. I guess this is the type of book that has one of those unreliable narrators. Oh well. While i dont "unrecommend" this book to anyone, I will say just be ready for a lot about Lucas and for Puerto Rico to kind of take the back burner in this. Even the ending wasn't all that special, the epilogue was kind of a snoozer and Lucas sure didn't change at all that much by the end of it.
MorrisMorgan More than 1 year ago
“A Fierce and Subtle Poison” is a wonderful tale of magical realism and fantasy based heavily upon the stories and superstitions found in Puerto Rico. If you’re looking for a book with typical romance, this one is not for you. The focus is more on the mysterious nature of a girl and a boy’s search to find himself. I absolutely loved the look into how Puerto Ricans view the rich Americans who are taking over and destroying the natural beauty of their homeland. For his part, Lucas, the main character, does have a love of the place and the people. It’s nice to see hope for change. The characters are very well-developed, and the book reads at a fast and easy pace. It’s easy to get lost in the world and believe in magic again. I can’t say much else without giving away some important things, but I can say the ending is satisfying and leaves room for a sequel without needing one to make the story feel complete. It’s a really fun ride. “A Fierce and Subtle Poison” does have some themes that might not be appropriate for younger middle graders, but anyone older who loves a good fairy tale will enjoy this book. I highly recommend it. This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
EmilieSG More than 1 year ago
A Fierce and Subtle Poison was an engaging book with characters who drew the reader in. A mixture of fantasy, mystery, suspense, and romance, this book takes the reader to a tropical paradise where seemingly innocent everyday objects can turn menacing. The two main protagonists are almost sparsely described, yet the writer causes the reader to care about and feel for them, as well as the secondary characters. The threads of mysticism in the island's culture create an atmosphere of heavy swirling undercurrents, almost like the humid air of Puerto Rico. And even though the ending is a bit ambiguous, the reader is left satisfied. Older teenage readers would be the perfect audience for this book. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to others.
Rosemary-Standeven More than 1 year ago
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review This book intersperses reality and fantasy at will, in a style that is reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Weather plays a great part in this book, and the sweltering, oppressive heat of Puerto Rico fairly steams off the pages. You don’t so much notice the words that you are reading so much as feel the temperature and the environment that is being depicted. The main protagonist, Lucas, is the teenage playboy son of a detested American hotel developer. He desires the acceptance of the local Puerto Rican community, but understands that there are many barriers to that happening – not in the least his hedonistic behaviour. He savours the myths and gossip of all the old ladies on the island, and when there is a possibility of meeting one of the mythical inhabitants, he literally dives in head first. Although his actions at first are motivated by curiosity and a hankering for new stimulation, it soon becomes apparent that what is most important to him, is being able to help people – whatever the cost to himself. As the story goes on, Lucas turns into a real hero, and the book becomes an ever more absorbing adventure/mystery tale – and the weather becomes more and more violent and expressive. A great read, and I do hope there will be more writing like this from Samantha Mabry.
JessicaCoffee More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars First of all, I'd like to thank Algonquin Young Readers--I won this in a Goodreads giveawa). A quick summary of my feelings about AFaSP, because it's been a while since I read it and I still am not quite sure what to say about it: The storyline was okay, the plot didn't seem slow to me, and the characters were all right. Lucas, his friends, his dad, and the help were easy to differentiate and visualize. It was the other part... the mystery and "how is all of this connected" part that strung me along. In fact, up until the 3/4 mark, I kept waiting for something big to drop. (Not that you don't end up finding something "big"-ish out, but...) There *is* a bit of magical realism, but I think the first paragraph of AFaSP's blurb kind of misleads the reader, giving it a more lush and fantastical feel than is actually carried through the book. However, that's not to say that, at times, you couldn't tell where Ms. Mabry was going--I loved the plant descriptions, and would have loved to read more about everything in the garden--but I think that part of the blurb set up expectations that, ultimately, left readers with a sort of lackluster reading experience. Speaking of descriptions, I'd say the setting was the best part about AFaSP: Ms. Mabry's descriptions of Puerto Rico were lush, and (seemed to be) spot on. There wasn't a time when reading setup or location that I couldn't picture the setting. I could feel the humidity, see the beach, hear the mosquitos. That was what sealed the deal and made this read enjoyable. So. With all of that said, if you're looking for a mystery with a tropical setting and dash of magical realism thrown in, you'll probably enjoy A Fierce and Subtle Poison!