Parents' Guide to

A Fierce and Subtle Poison

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Teens will enjoy mix of magical realism and mystery.

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Like a gathering tropical storm, this offbeat thriller crackles with suspense, depending more on mood than on action to keep readers turning pages. With A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON, debut novelist Samantha Mabry conjures up an unusual mystery, mixing in elements of magical realism to her tale of missing girls and deadly family secrets. The main character, Lucas Knight, is not especially sympathetic at the start, but he gradually reveals his better qualities as he's pushed to unravel the mystery of the vanished girls.

The novel's climax is powerful and emphatic. There's little chance of a sequel, and it's impressive that Mabry has accomplished so much in a stand-alone volume.

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