Date of Publication: September 24, 2013
Series: Midnight Thief Prequel
Source: Review copy from the author. Thank you!
James is skilled, efficient, and deadly, a hired blade navigating the shifting alliances of a deteriorating Assassin’s Guild. Then he meets Thalia, an alluring but troubled dancing girl who offers him a way out—if he’ll help her kill a powerful nobleman. With the Guild falling apart, it just might be worth the risk. But when you live, breathe, and love in a world that’s forever flirting with death, the slightest misstep can be poison.
Poison Dance's strength resides in its world building. Despite the restriction of approximately 50 pages, Livia Blackburne managed to create a great visual of the world. I was interested to read about the Assassin's Guild and their past. I now have a beginning image of the world Blackburne is creating and I'm liking what I'm seeing, especially the trade caravans, which I thought were a very cute and enriching addition.
The novella has a very simple plot and we are introduced to it from the first chapter. Thalia wishes to obtain James, an assassin's, help with someone. Of course, problems ensue but because of the length I found the story to be lacking depth and it was too predictable at times. This led to me not understanding some of the characters' actions, especially Thalia. I didn't like her much and I didn't see what James saw.
James, on the other hand, I really liked. He was calm and calculating, as I would expect an assassin to be. I definitely want to see more of him, especially after the ending. I saw it coming, but I also didn't see it coming. I'm in between.
Overall, Poison Dance is really quite short and light but, it was exactly what I needed. This book isn't meant to be analyzed. It was fun, quick, interesting and gave a taste of what was in store for us in the novel. I enjoyed it.