Based on a Concept By: The Duchess of Northumberland
Series: The Poison Diaries, Book One
Published: 27th May 2010
Number of Pages: 240
Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Paranormal, Magic, Mystery, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Death, Poisons
No Alcohol, Drug References
Check out My Giveaway of Nightshade - the second in the series!
IS A POISON
Jessamine Luxton’s father, Thomas, is a botanist, a healer. He collects rare plants, and uses them in his potions. Jessamine has seen all of his gardens, except one. The garden locked behind a heavy iron gate. She has never been inside, but she knows it holds her father’s rarest and most powerful plants. One day, a man shows up at their house, saying he has a gift for Thomas. He reveals a boy – young man really – who he claims has healed the mad in his care. Thomas Luxton takes the boy in, desperate to find out what this strange boy called Weed knows. For Jessamine, Weed offers an escape from her solitude. Only, Weed has a secret, one that will reveal the evil behind the iron gates… But will he be too late…?
I love historical fiction – always have. But my favourite kinds are the ones with paranormal twists. And this twist? Epic. Unlike anything I’d ever read before – historical or not. And, may I just say, the historical setting was pretty amazing itself: wonderfully thought-out and written. I just loved this book. I was completely addicted from the word go, and was left wanting more.
Jessamine Luxton was a nice girl, a good heroine: very lonely, kind and caring. She was just someone I liked straight away. The poor girl seemed to be on her own a lot, (hence the lonely) – and I just felt really sorry for her. She was so great with plants, poisons, and she wanted to be a healer, just like her father. She wanted to know more about plants and healing – truth be told, so do I, after reading this! I just fell in love with her voice! It suited the time zone, but had a reasonably snarky twinge. Awesome! Jessamine was independent and stubborn (like father, like daughter), but at times I could feel how vulnerable she truly was. Her weakness and strength together made her just a very likeable character. Plus she was rather funny!
Weed was an orphan, quiet, thoughtful, funny and rather odd. He was good with plants and potions. He’d had such a hard life: his first carer was a drunk monk, and the second used him as practically slave-labour. He was all alone. Which is why his cheekiness really made me smile! At times, he was rather like a child: naïve and vulnerable, always keeping his thoughts to himself. But, he was also strong willed and minded, romantic and just plain yummy, for lack of a better word! And when he got his confidence… wow. He just didn’t know what it is to be truly human – he lived in a whole other world. He was special, and raised the whole: “mad or unique” line of thought…
Thomas Luxton, Jessamine’s father, was away a lot; a quiet man, a healer: the one everyone turned to when they were ill. He was more trusted than the doctors, and considered himself a “man of science”. What he had with Jessamine was wonderful: a really sweet bond. But what is he hiding from her? What is the book he is looking for? Why is he so desperate for monky knowledge? Those were the questions that plagued me as I read. And once I got to know him, my whole view changed. He was a real scientist: quite withdrawn, stubborn, driven, rather cold… He was obsessed with knowledge, but what knowledge?
The relationship between Weed and Jessamine was amazing. Jessamine had been alone for so long, and she was over the moon to have someone to talk to. Weed had never had anyone, so I think having Jessamine was what he really needed and wanted. Their friendship was special. Plus, I could so feel the chemistry. Weed trusted her enough to tell her his secret. She was the first one to believe him. He thought no one would ever believe him…
Poison, healing, death, life. I loved how everything blurred, how a plant that poisons in one dose can in heal in another. And the way Weed laid it all out… amazing. It was brilliant!
The writing was beautiful, lyrical, almost poetic, and so Jessamine. I especially loved hearing her describe her garden and the seasons. And then, I loved how it was split between Jessamine and Weed. Even if most of what Jessamine said then was rather… um, odd. It could get a teeny bit confusing, but the two did actually sound different. And, I loved that, even though it’s a historical novel, there were kisses. And that Jessamine wasn’t too perfect-daddy’s-girl-esque. She could be rather snarky. Even if it was in her head. Plus, there were the kisses.
I loved all the plants, but even more, I loved learning about them. Angel’s Trumpet: caused hallucinations. Hemlock: killed you from the feet up. And then The Secret… Whoa. It intriguing, interesting, brilliant and oddly, darkly funny. And scary. Very, very scary.
And the plot: amazing. I am kicking myself for not guessing! The twists were just amazing. I didn’t see them coming. One I completely ruined by reading a Goodreads blurb, but the others stunned me. I love twisty-turvy plots, ones that have me guessing and wanting more. Poison Diaries? So one of those.
Love, hate, poison, murder… This book honestly had everything. The historical setting was absolutely stunning, the romance completely believable (with some kisses thrown in free) and overall it was just so addictive. Loved it! I am just desperate, desperate to read Book Two!
4 Out of 5
4 Out of 5
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