Title: Poison Princess (Book 1 of The Arcana Chronicles)
Author: Kresley Cole
Format: ebook 344 pgs.
Rating: 4/5 Hey Nows
Poison Princess was the first book on my November Reading list, and I’m glad that it was. Firstly, the book is the first foray into YA Fiction for Cole whose other books are mostly in the adult fiction, paranormal romance genre. You can see this writing style in Poison Princess, there are semi-chaste moments in Princess that are hotter than some romance novels that have full on sex scenes.
Princess centers around Evangeline “Evie” Green a wholesome, popular girl from a small town who has a big secret; she can hear voices and has foretelling visions of the apocalypse. Everyone, including her mother think she’s crazy, and Evie gets sent away to a mental institution so she can get better, but even with her medication the visions don’t stop. When Evie gets home all she wants is normalcy, but with the visions and whispers haunting her and the new bad boy in school that just doesn’t seem possible. After her visions, seemingly begin to come true and the event simply known as “The Flash” happens Evie, with the help of bad boy Jackson are on the road looking for her estranged grandmother who foretold the events that would come to pass. Evie soon realizes she is part of The Arcana, doomed to kill her own kind, with help from other Arcana that she meets along the way she must save the world or be consumed by it.
Poison Princess is the type of book that has it all. It’s got mystery, a good heroine, a great anti-hero and a romance to root for. It took me a little bit of time to fully get into this book, when I first started it I surely was intrigued by it, but that is due to Cole’s fantastic prose style writing, and the commanding, yet nieve female voice she gives Evie. The first chapter might be a bit confusing as well until you realize what’s actually happening, but all and all it was a fun ride from beginning to end.
Evie is a strong female character, although there are times you are annoyed by her naiveté and just want her to kick some serious ass you can’t help but still love her. By the time Evie finally gets her claws out it’s a little late in the book but you still are rooting for her. Evie is the Empress, one of the strongest cards in The Arcana she controls life, she can feel the trees, plants and vines all around her so when The Flash rids of that it also weakens Evie. It takes some time for her to actually start being badass again but she does it wonderfully and will for sure make her final show down with Death a whole lot of fun.
Jackson is absolutely brilliantly written. I have both wanted to slap him and hug him all at the same time. Jackson is a man out of the Bayou, but a tough cookie. There is a mystery to him that I find to be very charming and fresh. He drives Evie crazy with his Cajun wit and his do or die attitude and in exchange I feel the same about him. There is a scene with him and Evie and that is so hot, I swear I was reading an adult novel.
The first installment in The Arcana chronicles definitely leaves us wanting more. It resolves as much as it leaves open and the cliff hanger is not as much of a cliff hanger as it is a leg for the next installment of the series which should be out sometime next year. Overall Poison Princess is a fun ride, and great look into the world of the Tarot. It’s a stand out in the floded post-apocalyptic YA genre and definitely a good read.