Sunday, August 28, 2016

Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Book: Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles
Genre: YA post-apocalyspe
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 369
Release: August 19th, 2014

#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 Derveaux.

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...

If you want a story about a seemingly perfect girl with a scary secret that is far from normal and watches her end-of-the-world hallucinations become a reality, pick this one up. This book is one that starts off completely normal, minus a few oddities in the characters, and then turns everything on its head. Oddities become what make these characters normal.

Evie has it all: wealthily family, handsome boyfriend, and is friends with practically everyone. All except for the fact that she has hallucinations, hears voices, and was almost kidnapped by her tarot-card obsessed grandmother. Secretly sent to a mental institute for the summer by her mother, Evie returns home determined to finish high school without letting anyone know where she really was during her summer vacation, and that her hallucinations never actually stopped. Until one day her hallucinations become reality, and the world as she knows burns. It doesn't take long for Evie to realize that the end was just the beginning of a game: along with twenty-one other teenagers, they make up the physical embodiment of the twenty-two major arcana tarot cards. The game? Last one standing wins.

At first, Evie being one of "those girls" threw me off a bit, but as time went on, it really showed just how much she had to lose, and how much she actually did lose. One of the best qualities about Evie was her stubbornness; she never went down without a fight, never caved into anything until she exhausted every other option. After the Flash, her reluctance to leave her mother and instance to brave military, Bagmen, and cannibals to find her grandmother showed her desperation to survive. Any opportunity she had, she took. Evie was incredibly loyal to family and friends, going to great lengths to find and save them.

Jackson was quite an interesting character. His speech was speckled with French, which made me smile, since I recognized the words. Both before and after the Flash, Jackson demonstrated his fierce protectiveness for the ones he loves. His living circumstances before the Flash were far from desirable, but he did what he could for his mother. Similarly, after the Flash, he stuck with Clotile, and remained haunted after their experiences with the military. His drive to protect those he still could--protect those who still remembered him from before the Flash--including Evie was a powerful aspect to his personality.

As if surviving the horrendous environment wasn't bad enough, Evie had to somehow find a way to grow into her powers. The concept of the Flash occurring just to set up a game of life-and-death for the major arcana was really creative, and drove home the point that the apocalypse, in some way, was partly Evie's fault. But when you think about it, the only way for Evie and the others to be able to begin the game of hunt-or-be-hunted was to be relinquished of social obligations. Without school to attend, laws to abide by, or government officials to lock you up for having unexplainable powers, the arcana was able to trek freely across the continent without any social consequences, hunting down the other arcana with their own unique powers. After all, in what other circumstances would you be able to travel large distances by foot or thievery of transportation just to kill kids possessing powers like yours? I highly doubt modern society would let that happen, let kids roam free on a hunting spree after other kids. This provided the perfect excuse for them all to learn their powers without fear or risk of discovery.

When I think of Tarot cards, I think of fortune tellers. However, after reading this book, I'm looking at them with a completely different pair of eyes, picking out small details I always skimmed over. Did you know there are motifs in the cards? A lot of them have flowers on them, and I'm sure there are tons of other little details I have missed. This book definitely makes me want to brush up on my Tarot card knowledge!

Death (the Tarot card) was quite intriguing. I feel like he's not quite the villain, but rather a very complex character with questionable morals. There was very clearly some kind of history with him and Evie, whether Evie remembers it or not. I'm certain we're going to get to explore more of their relationship in the future books, especially since Death has a unexplained personal fascination with Evie...

We were only introduced to a few of main Tarot cards and their abilities. It's a vast cast, with even vaster powers, and I can only guess at what abilities the other eighteen may have. I'm preparing myself for them to all pick sides, and to begin one epic battle!


  1. Okay wow, I used to want to read this book before losing interest because I thought it's just another NA post-apocalyptic novel (it has the typical na couple on the cover). But now my interest is piqued again! I don't know that it's about tarot cards, death, and superpowers! This one sounds much more interesting than what I initially thought :D

    1. I had no idea it was about Tarot cards when I picked it up too, but let me tell you that it's definitely a fantastic concept! It's so neat how they represent each of the cards :) Hope you'll give it a read one of these days!

  2. I picked up this on at Half Price Books and I'm been meaning to read it but for some reason I keep putting it off and I don't know why. I love the idea, tarot cards, this author, so yeah after reading your review, this may very well be the next book I pick up! Great review!

    Carrie @The Butterfly Reader

    1. Thanks! Hopefully this review will be enough to convince you pick it up and start reading it :D

  3. This book sounds really interesting, I can't believe that I've never heard of it until now XD Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Lovely review ^_^

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. You're very welcome! I'm glad I could interest you in reading this book. It's definitely very different, and nothing like I've read before!

  4. I've been wanting to read this book for... a very long time now.
    But then I decided to wait for the last book in the series to come out. I thought it was the fourth book, but apparently there is a fifth book coming next year!
    So now... I don't know. I think I'm going to cave and read it. Especially now, seeing you really liked this book (:

    1. Haha, I can totally related to that! There are so many series where I've wanted to read them, but then just didn't. And then I kept telling myself I would read them when in time for when the next book came out, and still didn't read it!