Poison by Chris Wooding

July 14, 2008
In the gothic, page turning style of writing, author Chris Wooding has created another wonderful book known as Poison. The British writer is known mostly for his books The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray and Storm Thief. However, Poison isn’t like his other stories. It is a “twisted fairytale fantasy” about the life of a young girl and how she strives in attempt to find her sister after a surprising abduction.

Deep in the Black Marshes lives a family, the family of a young girl known as Poison. After the death of her mother, Faraway, her father decides to remarry, making a completely horrid world for Poison to face with her baby sister, Azalea. But when Azalea is kidnapped by a Scarecrow, Poison has no choice but to search for the baby. Poison goes through many complicated situations, meeting new (and a bit odd) people, but soon comes to think of them as her allies. Soon she realizes that her sister has been taken by the Faeries, creatures considered evil and twisted in many ways. However, this doesn’t stop Poison for trying to get her sister back. Throughout the novel, there are many different twists and turns that keep the reader turning pages and trying to learn what happens to Poison and Azalea. It was truly interesting, a story able to keep a reader in the book for hours upon end.

The characters of Poison were given realistic personalities, (though the thought of a Faerie man may not be too logical) and they cause the story to have more depth in their own ways. Poison is a dark haired, violet-eyed teenage girl with a stubborn attitude and often a scowl to match. She and her stepmother shared a mutual hatred towards each other, and since at a young age, the people of the Black Marshes can choose to change their name, her stepmother said “You’re poison to this family!” in anger, thus making her change her name from “Foxglove” to “Poison” to spite her stepmother. Bram is Poison’s guide around the Realms, as Poison doesn’t know her way around, and it’s her only way to find her sister. He’s kind and caring, though he can at times get aggravated with Poison’s loud attitude. Peppercorn is a young girl that Poison meets in the home of the Bone Witch. She is quite the optimist, always pointing out the wonderful things in a situation.

Though Poison is never given a real time period, you can either conclude that it takes place in the deep future or the further past. There is not a designated setting area, though it does often switch with the moving of the characters. The first setting is the land of Gull, and in Gull is a place known as the Black Marshes, a dark, eerie place that has bugs crawling around in the nighttime. According to the author, you must never walk around the Black Marshes without shoes on. Next is the spooky house of the Bone Witch where the people who go in almost never come out alive. Over time, the story comes to where they arrive in the Faerie Realm, the place where Poison believes her sister is. The whole story creates an eerie mood, making the reader not only worried for the characters, but possibly a bit frightened.

This was honestly one of the best novels I’ve ever read. Chris Wooding outdid himself with this novel, and I believe he should get praise for it. Though it may not be as popular as his other books, it is still creative and gruesome in a way that only he can make it. That is, with the help of the imagination of the reader. I recommend this book to people who enjoy gothic-style literature and can appreciate the disturbing situations faced by Poison and all of the others.

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MichaelAdams20 said...
Apr. 13, 2012 at 11:52 pm
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Lucille said...
Sept. 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm
 let me know the message behind this story as I believe I know, but am not certain.  You seem to have several messages mr. Wooding. One, is perhaps being satisfied )(Fleet tells Poison she dosen't really know her town) with what we have and ye you make it seem like one should not be satisfied with poverty,etc. and another theme about 'writing our own story--we our master of our own fate.  Did I miss the mark?
slayerette0 said...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 9:47 pm
Its a shame this book isn't more popular. It would make an amazing movie.
SarahTeri said...
Nov. 21, 2008 at 5:17 pm
your book poison is really good. It is really fasinating and suspencful. I wish i could be an author like you someday, hope you write more,
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