So I generally hate reading the first book of a trilogy - something about how I finish and want to keep reading. Instant gratification at its best/worst. The thing is I really really do like Maria V. Snyder. I couldn't put down Study series, it was fantastic and I really wanted something that was an easy read, but not a boring read (and I mean this in the best possible way). Snyder reminds me a lot of Tamora Price - strong characters, solid plotlines, great pacing and romance that doesn't make you roll your eyes and go "Really?"
All that held pretty true to form for this book. For lack of a better term this is a lovely book. There are twists and turns and adventure and while there are a few gaps in the flow of some background information, I'm pretty sure that will come out in the next two off the series. There's also a lovely bit of whimsy - human eating plants make a surprisingly fantastic plot point. Who knew? Generally it's just a very very readable story - I'm sparing you the summary because it's *everywhere*. So here's the deal. I'm a librarian. I was turned onto Snyder by someone who works at a bookstore. So it's not that I know everything, or even that she and I know everything. But what we DO know is books. With exceptions for personal tastes, two people who know books say go read this writer. I *personally* liked her Study series a bit more, but that being said I read the whole Study series, and not just the first book.
So go, read it. Trust me, I'm a librarian.