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Poison Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books; 1st edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439755700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439755702
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10–Pale and thin, with long black hair and violet eyes, the sullen, moody girl named Poison is an appropriate heroine for this over-the-top gothic horror fantasy. The 16-year-old has never been out of the Black Marshes, one of the remote backwaters settled by humans in a Realm ruled by phaeries and inhabited by a cast of foul creatures that includes trolls, daemons, and a particularly nasty Spider Woman. When her baby sister is kidnapped and a changeling is left in her crib, Poison sets off for the Realm of Phaerie to rescue her. Her old friend and confidant, the elderly Fleet, who is acquainted with the world outside the Marshes, equips her with directions and money. But her greatest asset is her knowledge of old stories from the books in his library, for her quest leads her into adventures that seem to repeat familiar fairy tales. By the time she confronts Alethar, Lord of Phaerie, Poison has picked up an appealing cast of sidekicks who lighten the relentlessly horrific situations. As thunder and lightning crash, and rain pours down, the plot twists and turns toward an ending that may not surprise careful readers. Suffice to say that Poison is definitely the hero of her own story. Her destiny serves as a fitting metaphor for the self-absorbed alienation that accompanies adolescence. Poison's story should please crowds of horror fans who like their books fast-paced, darkly atmospheric, and melodramatic.–Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. Although Wooding's second stand-alone youth fantasy has its share of violent deaths and other terrifying episodes, the title refers not to a deadly toxin but to its eponymous violet-eyed heroine. Quick-witted, fierce, and fed up with living in a community where residents view misfortune as inevitable, Poison fights back when her baby sister is spirited away by "phaeries." She faces obstacles both physical and mental. In one pivotal scene, she meets her own creator, an all-powerful storyteller whose revelations prompt ruminations about self-determination and the nature of reality. Some readers won't appreciate the shift from familiar quest-story action to quiet, more metaphysical upheavals, and Poison doesn't emerge triumphant in the way that many will expect. Still, Wooding's serpentine plotting and lush, imaginative writing have something to offer to both the more mature audience of The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray (2004) as well as slightly younger genre fans. Try this on readers who enjoyed Angie Sage's Magyk (2005). Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I also really like the eerie book cover.
|Karma|
It's written for young adults but I think that even adults like myself would enjoy it.
S. J. Waldemarsen
As the story progresses it ends up being about so much more.
Karissa Eckert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By LemurKat on October 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
I loved this book, it's a fairy tale, more-or-less, which I have a fondness for from the start, but it's also one of the fairy tales you feel is actually parodying them. Poison lives in a little village in the swamps, with her father and stepmother (who is not so much wicked, they just don't get along too well) when her little sister is kidnapped by the Phaeries. So, Poison sets out to rescue her, venturing into worlds the likes of which she's never imagined and facing intrigue and prejudice and witches that like to eat bones and then has her whole world turned upside down when a startling revelation is pushed upon her.

I found myself laughing with glee as several points to the plot materialised. Just brilliant and deserves better recognition then it appears to be getting. Read it in one sitting, more or less.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ariel Wetzel on November 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Chris Wooding's ability to build suspense and keep the plot twists coming make "Poison" an engaging read and Wooding a memorable author. Wooding doesn't take himself too seriously and pokes fun at fairy tales while crafting an entertaining one himself.

Poison is an easy character for young adult readers to identify with because she feels out of place in her village and does not get along with her step-mother. Although she possesses some cliches (such as her violet eyes and refuge found in books), she's a proactive character with convincing motivations and relies on her wit to solve problems.

I gave this book four out of five stars because at times the writing seemed poorly polished and it made it a little more challenging for me to get into the novel. There was a point of view shift in an early chapter I found jarring, and at times I felt things were explained (such as over-described speaker attributes) that had already were clear through dialogue and action.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is brillaint for teenagers.it is about a girl who lives in the marshes and her baby sister is taken away by the Phaerie Lord so she is forcerd to make her dad and her stepmother to look after a ugly clone whilst she goes on a breathtakingly exciting adventure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Veronica Milton. on June 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the best book I have ever read. I got it from the library but I will be buying a copy. Its worth every penny - its a parellel universe. Wooding is soo talented! I found it hard to believe it wasnt true and its about phaeries - its that good!! Yep and Im 45!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By terryannlibrarian on December 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
poison is absolutely fun. very labyrinth-esque (i kept expecting David Bowie to pop in), this is a tale where a girl truely comes into her own. poking fun at no less than 9 different `phaerie' tales (i am sure i missed several), the book keept me entertained from start to finish.

poison's rebelious teenagerisms are fantastic, realistic, and i thought her companions were comforting not just to poison but to me as well (especially andersen!). even the peripheral characters, from the trolls to the weird disembodied floating thingie are fascinating.

the evil phaerie lord is the perfect antagonist and the hierophant is a concept that I just love in literature (especially the 'who's created whom' mind bender questions).

another easy booktalk i can't wait to take into schools!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miss Rose on October 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
When I first bought this book I thought it ws going to be just like The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray. But, when I started reading it I thought I made a mistake. It wasn't nearly as fast paced as Alaizabel Cray. But, once I started to get into I realized it was just as dark and spooky as Chris Wooding's first book. It's about a girl who lives in the marshes, but longs for adventure. She finally gets her chance after her sister is stolen from her. She travels with a scared girl, a enchanted cat, an old man, and a life-long friend. With their help she battles pharies, giant spiders, a scarcrow, and her own destiny.

I highly reccomend this book. It shows the battle of the heart, mind, and soul. Even if it was slow paced at the begining it speeds up adn become a tale you'll always remember
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
The fantasy genre owes Chris Wooding a huge favour. In a genre awash with sad Tolkien knock-offs filled with magic swords, plucky heroes, wise wizards, princesses-in-distress and other tired clichés, Wooding continues to churn out exciting and intriguing stories that contain a rare force of imagination. Even though "Poison" is not quite as successful as some of his earlier efforts (especially "The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray") it certainly deserves credit for its skill, style, fast-pace and clever ideas.

Which is ironic considering I was rather concerned on reading the first chapter. A young girl named Poison lives in the gloomy swamplands of the Black Marshes, together with a woebegone father and a nasty stepmother. An outcast in her own village (she chose her own name, which should give you some idea of her attitude) she dreams of adventures outside her dismal existence. Despite Wooding's snappy prose and deft hand at forming such a grim atmosphere, I couldn't believe the predictability of the opening. Yet perhaps the typical fairytale beginning has a purpose...

It so happens that Poison's baby sister Azalea is kidnapped by the Phaeries, and Poison commits herself to the quest of tracking her down again, seeking out the Phaerie Lord himself to demand her sister be returned to her. Collecting a motley crew along the way, Poison finds her way into the Realm of Phaerie - there are some snags along the way of course, predominantly the horrifying Bone Witch, whose home serves as the gateway between the human and Phaerie worlds. But things get even stranger when she reaches the Realm of Phaerie, filled with rules and quirks (and breathtaking beauty) that baffles even the headstrong Poison.
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