Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Dystopian, Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Goodreads • Amazon
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, killing everyone she loves, 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 trust 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 teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side…
In Poison Princess, New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces a dark and intriguing world, full of unspeakable danger and irresistible romance.
About a week into Evie's sophomore year, the world is all but destroyed by the great cosmic event called "The Flash." The night where the sun shone and the Earth was scorched. After the Flash, life is brutal; civilization is slipping away as people struggle to survive in this barren, new landscape. With no water, no plants, and the zombie-like bagmen that sate their insatiable thirst with human blood, things are looking pretty grim for the once-queen-bee Evangeline Greene.
Sure, she had seen the events of the Flash before they had occurred, had noticed how plants seem to beckon at her command, but she thought she had been insane! With voices in her head and survival on her mind, Evie sets out with the bad boy of her school, Jackson Deveaux, to find some answers.
Will romance blossom in this desert land?
The answer is yes. Yes it will. Be forewarned, my short synopsis does not even begin to cover all of the intricacies of this plot.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I thought the plot was interesting and am eager to see where it goes—I've already lined up The Endless Knight (book #2) for me to read when I get the chance. I know nothing about tarot cards, however, so there may be inaccuracies in the plot. I'm sure the author would fact-check, but you know, sometimes they get creative with known truths.
I do have to say, though, that it took me a while to get into the story. I felt like the first third of the book was filler. Granted, it gave you context with the characters (such as Evie and Jack's standing relationship and events leading up to the Flash), but I felt that it could've moved faster. Also, the way it is written was hard for me to wrap my head around. It had something to do with the syntax, but I can't pinpoint exactly what it was. Maybe it was just the fact that it is narrated by a teenage girl and I am losing touch with my inner teenager? I don't know, BUT, the last half of the novel was really enrapturing! I stayed up until 1:00 AM to finish it (I am a grandma at heart, so my bed time floats around 10:00 usually)!
Now let's get into the characters, because you all know how I love to pick them apart!
This girl has a crap-ton of issues, and I'm not just talking about the voices in her head and her weird powers. Sometimes, I think she is too naive to be true. And it can get super infuriating. But that is the author's call, of course. I understand why Cole wants Evie to be perceived as innocent and helpless, so that her growth as a character is more prominent, but sometimes I think it borders on the irrational. That being said, Evie is probably one of he few heroines that I think I'd be able to tolerate in person. For the most part (again voices and powers aside) she is a normal teenage girl. I can deal with normal teenage girls, just not "the destiny of the world rests in my hands, so let's go jump off of a building" kind of girls. I'm talking to you, Tris Prior. You are dumb
Jack is the classic bad boy that makes all the good girls swoon. Myself included some of the times. Other times, I would slap his backward, sexist ways right out of him. However, I'd like to think that I would be more physically competent than Evie is; so I would be justified in my slapping his beautiful face. Jackson "Jack" Deveaux is an enigma to me. His moods fluctuate faster than his sixteen-year-old girl companion, and it leaves me dizzy at times. I just cannot keep up with him. And neither can Evie, for that matter. So obviously, we both get frustrated with him.
He is a large, competent, and, not to mention, sexy boy, who is wrapped up in so many insecurities around Evie. He seems stuck on the idea that, just because she came from a wealthier family, she is always looking down her nose at him. Which is not true. At all. At least, not after the Flash. I can honestly say that his insecurities are probably my biggest pet peeve. Granted, Evie is not the best communicator. If I were Evie, I would've had a long chat with him a while ago about where I stand and how I feel, but I think that would be too rational of a move for the plot to bear.
She comes in later, and I just have to say this: the reader's perception of her is definitely biased. I actually like her and I just think she is in an unfortunate situation. Both Jack and Evie are unfair to her, and that makes me sympathize with her brusque nature.
Those are the three I wanted to cover, but obviously there are more and they are awesome/not-so-awesome! I am pretty excited to see where Cole is taking this story after how this novel ended, and I hope I can read it soon!
I would suggest you guys read it; just know you have to stick with it for it to get good!
Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Immortals After Dark paranormal series and the young adult Arcana Chronicles. Her books have been translated into many foreign languages, garnered three RITA awards, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists in the U.S. and abroad.
Before becoming a writer, Cole was a world-ranked athlete, coach, and graduate student. She has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. Two of her favorite places to visit include the rain forests of Central America and the Far North Queensland area of Australia (where, by the way, she would not recommend swimming outside of the stinger nets–at night).
Cole lives in Florida with her family and “far too many animals.” She spends any free time traveling and enjoys all things related to boats and water.