by Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Publication date: 02 October 2012
by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 369 pages
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She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.
But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?
Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side…
Poison Princess is the first book in The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole about teenagers with supernatural abilities representing the Major Arcanas in tarot card decks. The book depicts an apocalypse & describes the world both before and after, although focusing more on the latter.
The protagonist, 16-year-old Evie Greene is living life as a rich, popular girl(but not mean, mind you) in Sterling, Louisiana. However, she also have her own dark secrets that she does not want anyone, including her wild child best friend & perfect boyfriend, to know about. On the first day of junior year in high school, she meets this new ‘bad boy’ named Jackson & damn, the sparks literally flew between them! So basically, after the apocalypse, Evie discovered her special abilities & decides to travel to Atlanta in search of her grandmother, who was sent to an old people’s home for informing an eight-year-old Evie that she needs to kill other kids. Along the way, she meets many friends & foes which would ultimately lead to the explosive ending, which I shall not say any more about to prevent spoilers.
All in all, I don’t think Poison Princess was on par with Ms. Cole’s usual standard. I’ve read her adult series, Immortals After Dark, and it was a lot better. The starting of the book was really draggy but maybe Ms. Cole just wanted to show the contrast between pre-apocalypse & post-apocalypse? Anyway, the action picks up around chapter 20 and the amazing ending is definitely worth the boring start.
As for the characters, I do like Evie at the end of the book but found myself quite frustrated at her at some points. She needs to think less and do more really. Oh, and perhaps try to at least be a tiny bit excited over her powers? Because I think anyone would at least find that slightly thrilling. Next, Jack… Ms. Cole did a wonderful job with this swoon-worthy male protagonist. He literally had me guessing what in the world he was thinking throughout the book. Which makes him a very, very realistic guy & not your typical fictional Romeo. I think Evie & Jack’s relationship is a very ‘opposites attract’ sort of thing, what with them being so different both before & after the apocalypse. The side characters in the book was also well developed, everyone of them very obviously have their own background which is something many YA books lack.
In conclusion, I did like Poison Princess but not as much as I would’ve hoped. It needs more action and emotions & I really do hope the next few books in The Arcana Chronicles would be better. The idea of the series is definitely fresh as I’ve not seen any other YA books about tarot cards. Fans of paranormal topics & dark, brooding male protagonists would most probably like this book. I’m looking forward to seeing this series progress & do look forward to the next book!
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