Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Title: Poison Princess
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Author(s): Kresley Cole
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Zombies, Psychic Abilities, Magicians
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardcover, 369 Pages
ISBN: 9781442436640
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Source: Book Depository
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle // Hardcover // Free Preview

Tagline(s): She could save to world--or destroy it. But she can't do either alone. Who can Evie trust?

Summary: 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.

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?

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 begins with Evie meeting Arthur, a young man with a hidden (from Evie, at least) agenda, and recounting her story from 6 days before the Flash to 246 days after the Flash. There are a couple of things that make this dystopian tale unique. One is that we get to see the events leading up to the apocalyptic event. We see Evie's life before the Flash and the horrific end-of-the-world visions she has. Then the actual event itself that changes the world irrevocably. The other is the use of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. This is something that's never been used before. Evie is a part of a group of teens that represent one of the 21 Major Arcana and have the powers of that character. Evie is the Empress Card. So while there are a few general dystopian elements in Poison Princess, there are many that make this novel utterly unique.

As the Empress Card, Evie has power over plants. She can control them, use her blood to grow them, and she has thorn claws that are poisonous. Though she had visions of the coming Flash, that was not her power, but another Arcana's who wanted her to be ready. Evie is the Card that doesn't attack outright, but beckons her enemies to her and waits for that perfect moment to strike. One thing to watch out for if the Empress's connection to the Red Witch. It's important to Evie's development as the Empress.

Death is an enigmatic Arcana. Not much is known about him. He's very old, 21 centuries to be exact. He's the most beautiful boy Evie's ever seen. (Death always turns out to be incredibly gorgeous, though, doesn't he?). Now this is where is gets a little unclear. The Empress is the Card that Death covets the most. How exactly does he covet her? The relationship between the Empress Card and the Death Card can be confusing at times.

The other Cards that join Evie on her quest are Selena, the Moon Card; Matthew, the Fool Card; and Finn, the Magician Card. Aside from these three Arcana, Evie has met only one other in person so far, the Hermit Card. I won't say who the Hermit is so that it's not spoiled for readers. Out of these four, Evie is closest to Matthew. She only just met him in person, but feels are very strong bond with him. Besides Evie, Matthew is my favorite Arcana so far in the series.

One thing I'm really curious about concerning the Arcana is what the rain does, how it's supposed to affect them. According to Matthew, the rain weakens Evie, or the "good" Cards, and strengthens the "bad" Cards, like Death. Clouds on the horizon are a bad omen for Evie and her group.

Outside of all things Arcana is the relationship between Evie and Jackson. Before and After the Flash, they are at each other's throats. But as they struggle to survive in the newly dangerous and ruthless world, they learn more about each other and slowly grow closer. But when you think that they are finally going to take that last step and be together, something or someone comes between them. Evie and Jackson have a very bittersweet relationship that seems doomed from the start in this first book in the Arcana Chronicles. It'll be interesting to see where things go after the events at that end of this book.

I absolutely loved Poison Princess and I believe that it's a must read for any fan of dystopian fiction looking for something different from the usual in this genre. Kresley Cole did an amazing job writing her first Young Adult series. The Arcana Chronicles is a series that I'm going to be keeping a close eye on.

About this Author:

Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series and the young adult Arcana Chronicles. She has also written five award-winning historical romances.

Since her first novel was released in 2003, Kresley has published nineteen books with Simon & Schuster and has seen her releases translated into more than eighteen foreign languages. 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 Queensland area of Australia.

Cole’s trademark action, sensuality, and humor are exemplified in her popular Immortals After Dark Series, which revolves around the Lore, a secret stratum of hundreds of immortal creatures--ranging from Vampires to Lykae, Furies to Shifters, and Fey to Valkyrie--that each have their strengths, weaknesses, and age old prejudices against the others. Though they secretly live among humans, they constantly war among themselves, which gives her a lot of material.

In 2007, Kresley won the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for best paranormal for her novel A Hunger Like No Other, and in January 2009, she became a #1 New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller with her sixth IAD installment, Kiss of a Demon King. In 2010, Kiss of a Demon King earned Kresley her second RITA award. 2011 brought Cole her second #1 NYT bestseller with Dreams of a Dark Warrior.

She lives in Florida with her husband and far too many animals. She spends any free time traveling and enjoys all things related to boats and water. You can learn more about Kresley at


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