Review: Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

 #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.
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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….

(Description from Goodreads)

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book was one heck of a roller coaster ride. Right from the beginning, this book pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the end; even then, you’re left wanting to know when the next book is going to come out. I wasn’t expecting to like this book that much, due to the content being iffy (Tarot cards, zombies, etc.) but it interested me in how it would play a role. After reading about it some on Goodreads, I decided to download it on my NOOK and get to reading it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I even found myself experiencing all kinds of emotions, something that doesn’t usually happen to me when I read; I may find myself connecting with a character or situation, but I rarely experience a range of emotions.

Even though I give this book a 5 out of 5 rating, I still was disappointed by one thing: the characters. For those who have read my other reviews, you know that characters are a big deal to me, so if I’m disappointed by them yet still give a book a high rating, the book must have been darn good. I found myself wanting to shake almost all of the characters in order to get them to be better. Evie, the main protagonist, is a teenage girl who has spent the past few months in place that was supposed to help her overcome the voices she was supposedly hearing, as well as the demented visions she would have. Even though she was released in time for school to begin, the voices and visions started back up. Little did Evie know that her visions were actually depictions of the future…of what would be known as the Flash. Evie had a great boyfriend, great friends, and an all around great life, despite these voices and visions. Enter Jack, a Cajun boy who is the opposite of everything Evie knows. After the two are paired up as History partners, their relationship spirals downhill. Without giving a true plot summary of the book, both Evie and Jack are thrown together after the Flash and must help one another survive. Now, I liked the characters. HOWEVER, their emotions were all over the place! Yes, they are teenagers, so their emotions are running rampant as it is. But their emotions were different…one minute they would be all over one another, the next they were on the edge of screaming at the other about various things. Numerous times throughout the book, Jack would ask/tell Evie to trust him and Evie would tell him she couldn’t right now until she found out more about herself. Okay, we get it. There’s no reason to say it 6+ times throughout the book. Another character that got on my nerves was Selena, though she didn’t really show up until a little past halfway through the book. She just fell…flat, at least in my opinion. I really hope her character is more dimensional in the next book.

Through all of this, I will cut the characters some slack in the sense that they have to go through quite a bit. After the Flash, zombie like creatures start roaming, as do “slavers.” Evie is not only bombarded with voices and visions, but she also must find a way to survive while finding out more about herself. She lost everything from the Flash, so I can understand where her rampant emotions would come from. This book was seriously nonstop action. I stayed up twice until around 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning in order to finish or at least find what could pass as a decent stopping point for the night; there were literally no good stopping points, as the book was that intense. While the book was full of fantasy with the idea of teenagers portraying the Major Arcana Trump Tarot cards, there was also typical teenage drama, making the book that much more interesting and fascinating. I rarely knew what was coming next with this book. I often found myself thinking one thing would happen and then bam! something else did that I was not expecting at all.

As I already mentioned, the book focuses around 22 teenagers that represent the Major Arcana Trump Tarot cards. In this book, we’re introduced personally to The Empress, The Fool, The Moon, The Magician, and The Hermit; through Evie’s dreams and visions, we also see Death, The Devil, Judgment, The Tower, and Temperance. In the first book alone, 10 out of 22 are introduced; of course, the first book is also the last book some of these “cards” will make an appearance in it seems. I won’t give away spoilers, but as the book picks up, battles begin to rage between the cards, making it more and more difficult to answer the question: who is good and who is evil?

The author, Kresley Cole, has this video about her inspiration for Poison Princess. Really interesting, so if you’re interested in reading this book, watch the video I’ve posted into this post. Watching it has me excited for the second book!

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