Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Review: Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1) 
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles
Pages: 384
Genre: YA
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.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.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Poison Princess is the first book I have read by author Kresley Cole and introduces The Arcana Chronicles, a post-apocalyptic YA which was filled with gripping action, mystery and romance.

16 year-old Evangeline ‘Evie’ Greene lives the privileged life in Louisiana, but she also suffers nightmares and disturbing hallucinations which resulted in a stint in a mental institution, something none of her close friends or boyfriend are aware of.

After release, Evie goes on with life, trying to ignore what she is hearing and seeing in her dreams but when an apocalyptic event decimates her hometown her new reality is realizing her visions have come true and in order to survive she needs to work out what abilities she has and the role she will come to play in an ancient prophecy. 

The plot is complex and confusing so trying to explain it is difficult but it does follow the twenty two cards of the Major Arcana Tarot and a group of teens who represent the deck and hold a different power, Evie being the Empress with the ability to control all things that root or bloom and the card which death covets. In order to get answers about her visions she decides to travel to see her grandmother, who she is convinced is still alive. To protect her is Jackson Deveaux.

Jackson is a bad boy from the bayou who was known for being a trouble-maker, he was crude, harsh, ruthless and moody but also resourceful and intelligent; it took me a while to connect with him, but learning more about his past and his dreams slowly endeared me to him as did his protection of Evie but he isn’t a character I actually loved, his bad boy behavior and arrogance I found to be a tad too OTT.

Evie started off as a spoiled, pampered brat but post flash she really came into her own and showed a strength I wouldn’t have expected initially from her; I am really curious to see how she embraces who and what she is in the next installment.

I enjoyed the secondary characters and the roles they played, Matthew with his foresight was cryptic, Selena I think knows a lot more than she lets on and I enjoyed Finns illusions but the most intriguing was death himself. I am definitely eager to learn more about this group in the next book and how good versus evil plays out.

The story is told from before Flash and after Flash perspectives, the events which led to the post-apocalyptic world they are fighting through as well as the occurrences after the actual event which I quite liked, the world-building is intricate and I found myself really having to concentrate to understand who was who and what was going on.

The first half of the book I felt was slow paced and difficult to get into, I would have rated it lower than what I did but when it picked up it was full throttle and filled with gripping action where the characters are fighting not only for survival but also against bagmen (zombies), militias, slavers, cannibals and doomsday cults.

Kresley Cole has crafted a dark and unique world with characters you won't soon forget and a storyline full of intrigue and mystery. Her writing is engaging and the concept of tarot cards representing a group of people was fascinating. I am definitely eager to read the next book in The Arcana Chronicles.



  1. I've never read anything by Kresley either so I was hesitant to pick this up because I know this is her first YA but it actually sounds pretty good from your review! I like the idea of incorporating tarot cards and agree that Jackson sounds like a bit of an idiot!

  2. I've heard really good things about Cole, and this book. I love books set in Louisiana since I used to live there. I may give this a try. Great review, Sharon. I'm glad you enjoyed Poison Princess.

  3. WOW! What a fantastic and in-depth review, Sharon! I have been super excited to read this one, so of course now I'm even MORE so. It sounds like a complicated book, but also a really enjoyable one. I just know I'm going to like the characters you mentioned.

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  4. Oohhhhhh, all these blogs are posting their review about this book and they are all so raving. I WANT IT. I've been so excited about this one for a while now and everybody seems to love it so much <3 I wish I could snap my fingers; and that the Poison princess would appear out of nowhere :p I love the sound of Evie and the fact that their conversations feel so "adult". The whole setting, the tarot cards, the awesomeness keep growing <3 Wonderful review and I caaaaaaan't wait.

    Irene (Pay Dirt)


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