Friday 2 March 2012

Book Review - The Pain Merchants

Title: The Pain Merchants
Author: Janice Hardy
Series: The Healing Wars (book 1)
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
Release Date: 6 Jan 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0007326792

Nya has a secret she must never share…
A gift she must never use…
And a sister whose life depends on both.

Fifteen-year-old Nya is one of Geveg’s many orphans; she survives on odd jobs and optimism in a city crippled by a failed war for independence.
Nya has a deadly secret. She is a Taker, someone who can extract pain and injury from others, but with unusual differences. Her sister Tali and other normal Takers become Healer’s League apprentices and put their extracted pain into enchanted metal, pynvium. But Nya can’t dump pain in this way. All she can do is shift it from person to person.
When Nya’s secret is revealed to the pain merchants and the Healer’s League she is flung into danger. Then a ferry accident floods the city with injured, Takers start disappearing from the Healer’s League and Nya’s strange abilities are suddenly in demand. Her principles and endurance are tested to the limit when Nya’s deadly powers become the only thing that can save her sister's life.

My Review
This book was transferred to our library about a month ago and as I was putting it into stock I found my eyes drawn to it. Book 2 was also there and the two covers together looked really good and I couldn't resist having a closer look. I read the synopsis and realised it sounded like something I would really enjoy, sort of like Maria V Snyder. (I'm not comparing the two here as they are of course very different authors)
I put it in my tray and forgot about it as I was in the middle of another book, but yesterday at work I finished a book and I wanted a quick read to get me through the rest of the day so I pulled this one out and I'm glad I did. I immediately got absorbed into the story and couldn't stop reading.
Nya and Tali are sisters and orphans, Tali is doing well, she has been accepted into the League as a healer, has a room and food bye Nya is not so lucky, she finds work and food where she can, having not made it into the league she must try to fend for herself, but then Nya realises that she has a special power, one that could be dangerous if used by the wrong people. She tries to ignore it, but when she learns of a plot that could risk her sister's life, she has to make a choice.
Nya is instantly likeable, I found myself laughing at her misdeeds and wishing she would be ok in the hard times. Although her situation is quite bad she won't give up and she is willing to fight for things she wants, I like strong female characters like this, someone willing to do what has to be done to survive.
I liked the way the world was set up and it was well written, I could picture the halls of the League, and the streets of the city. Each character was like a real person and it was like I was following them around, i could see them all.
The pacing of the story is also good, I read it all in about 2 and a half hours total, not long at all, and I am now looking forward to book 2. I want to know what happens next.
It's easy to read and full of magic and mystery. Very enjoyable. It's not complex or too involved which some fantasy books can be, I wouldn't say it was the best one I had ever read, (it would have an awful lot to live up to) but it is definitely worth a read and I think fantasy fans would enjoy it, even people that aren't massively into fantasy would probably enjoy it too to be honest,

My Rating

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