Audiobook Review - A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

A Fierce and Subtle Poison
Written by Samantha Mabry
Narrated by Graham Hamilton
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Date Read: June 25, 2016
Length: 6 hours 51 minutes
Source: Early Reviewer - LibraryThing

In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison.

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers--and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison beautifully blends magical realism with a page-turning mystery and a dark,  starcrossed romance--all delivered in lush, urgent prose.

My Review

This audiobook didn't really work for me.  I really wanted to like.  I tried really hard to enjoy it...but it just was not for me.  I was really excited about this book from the start since the summary sounds really good and that title.  Too bad that it didn't live up to my expectations.  I actually thought about just stopping this one a couple of times but I had to spend a couple of days in the car so I pushed myself to continue.  I really should have went with my first instinct.

I had a hard time connecting with the story at any level.  I went in think that this was be a really unique and interesting piece.  A story set in Puerto Rico with a girl filled with poison had all of the makings of a book that would be really exciting.  It held my attention for the first part of the story as everything was being set into place but as the story moved forward, I found that I was losing interest.  The mystery of the story just didn't feel as exciting as it really should have.

I didn't care for any of the characters.  Lucas was a rich boy who was more than a little spoiled.  Things seemed to go his way no matter what.  Isabel just seemed strange to me.  I didn't feel bad for her even though she had lived an isolated life.  I really just couldn't get myself to feel anything for any of the characters.

I have to say that I am kind of on the fence regarding the narration.  Graham Hamilton will not be making my favorite narrators list for this performance but I don't think that his narration took away from the story.  I would have liked to hear a bit more emotion in his voice as he read the story but I thought he did a decent job.  I would be willing to listen to this narrator on another work in the future.

I am not going to be recommending this book to others.  The characters and plot just really fell flat for me.  It was a really imaginative idea that just didn't seem to work out in the end. 

I received a review copy of this book from Recorded Books via LibraryThing Early Reviewers program for the purpose of providing an honest review. 


  1. This hasn't been receiving the best reviews, to be honest. So it never made my radar. It looks like there's a valid reason for that. I find that apathetic characters is one sure way to kill your appetite for a book and it sounds true with this one. Good luck with your next read!

  2. Oh that's too bad! This does sound like it should be fantastic but a plot that doesn't sound like it quite comes together and unlikable characters are two elements that are hard to get past. I think I'll pass on this one.

  3. I put this one off for a while, since there were a lot of reviews popping up that didn't like it. I had it on my holds list, ready to read as soon as it became available. I just may never read it, anyway now.


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