So it's no real secret I like Maria V. Snyder. I blogged about her here and here and Scent of Magic didn't disappoint. I've said it before, and I'll say it again too: I'm constantly shocked and admittedly a lot impressed with what Harlequin MIRA and Harlequin LNA are putting out on the market (no, they didn't pay me to say that. Actually I'm pretty sure they would pay me not to say that). I remember after reading the 500 Kingdom's books by Mercedes Lackey I was baffled that they were put out by Harlequin - so bravo Harlequin. You should hire me to be a librarian, or something. So all that being said, Snyder is great, and her books are solid. Generally.
More specifically this is a great part 2 of the trilogy - character building is solid, there are the expected twists and turns and it's all in all a fun read. I really like where Snyder is taking the book - the whole Death Lily/Life Lily is a really interesting discussion point that it's entirely possible I'm reading too much into. Snyder's writing doesn't fall into the romance trap - a lot of the book is spent with the two main love interests apart from each other, and while Snyder carefully keeps them thinking of each other, they aren't wrapped up in a (usually tiring) "missing" of the other one. I was admittedly a touch annoyed at the alternating between Avry and Kerrick in the first and third person points of view - and that each portion ends with a cliffhanger gets to be a little overdone. That being said, the adventure is exciting, and arguably most important the plot is plausible and realistic. Blah blah blah it's fantasy-ish, but Snyder builds her books on a realistic fantasy. Is that a thing? My review, so yes. Yes it is.
As a bit of an aside, I think one of the things I like most about Snyder's writing is the attention she pays to the secondary characters - she really builds a world and it's clear she focus' on each character in a way that shows a lot of thought to their growth, change, and adaptability.
Overall thoughts: I really enjoy Snyder's writing, characters and plot development and this is pretty much exactly how I personally think a teen/YA romance/adventure book should be written. The cliffhangers? They were a bit much by the end.
*** Review is based on an advance copy from NetGalley. Blah Blah this didn't affect my review. Promise.