Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)

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Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 02, 2012
ISBN
978-1442436640
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#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….

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(2)
 
(3)
 
(2)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.2  (7)
Characters 
 
3.7  (7)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (7)
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Almost a new favorite
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I say almost because I liked so much about this book, but I didn't love, love it. I still gave it mostly four stars because I enjoyed the read. I was just very underwhelmed by the female lead. Evie is great in so many ways, but there is something about her that just misses the mark for me. She could be stronger. She could be A LOT smarter. She could be a great example to youg readers. She could be, and has the potential to be, so many great things...but she just isn't. I find myself reading this series because of the main male leads, and the extreme creativity of the world Cole has created. (It's refreshingly fantastic! And another reason I gave it four stars.) But, I don't want to read a YA book for the secondary characters and the undoubtedly creative, refreshing world. Those are a great bonus, but I want to read a YA book because the main female is dynamic, strong, and a great example for readers to be inspired by. In the end, I liked this series, in spite of Evie.
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Addictive
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Loved this book. So addictive!
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Stick with it!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Yes it drags on in the beginning, but trust me it picks up in a major way!
Good Points
Ooh-La-La! This is a good book, although slow in the beginning it picks up towards the middle. Liked the whole tarot card influence in the plot! Struggled in the beginning, but now I'm definitely waiting for the next one!
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Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1) by Kresley Cole
(Updated: February 23, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
4 out of 5 stars.

Poison Princess is the first book in The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole about teenagers with supernatural abilities representing the Major Arcanas in tarot card decks. The book depicts an apocalypse & describes the world both before and after, although focusing more on the latter.

The protagonist, 16-year-old Evie Greene is living life as a rich, popular girl(but not mean, mind you) in Sterling, Louisiana. However, she also have her own dark secrets that she does not want anyone, including her wild child best friend & perfect boyfriend, to know about. On the first day of junior year in high school, she meets this new ‘bad boy’ named Jackson & damn, the sparks literally flew between them! So basically, after the apocalypse, Evie discovered her special abilities & decides to travel to Atlanta in search of her grandmother, who was sent to an old people’s home for informing an eight-year-old Evie that she needs to kill other kids. Along the way, she meets many friends & foes which would ultimately lead to the explosive ending, which I shall not say any more about to prevent spoilers.

All in all, I don’t think Poison Princess was on par with Ms. Cole’s usual standard. I’ve read her adults series, Immortals After Dark, I would know that. The starting of the book was really draggy but maybe Ms. Cole just wanted to show the contrast between pre-apocalypse & post-apocalypse? Anyway, the action picks up around chapter 20 and the amazing ending is definitely worth the boring start.

As for the characters, I do like Evie at the end of the book but found myself quite frustrated at her at some points. She needs to think less & do more really. Oh, and perhaps try to at least be a tiny bit excited over her powers? Because I think anyone would at least find that slightly thrilling. Next, Jack… Ms. Cole did a wonderful job with this swoon-worthy male protagonist. He literally had me guessing what in the world he was thinking throughout the book. Which makes him a very, very realistic guy & not your typical fictional Romeo. I think Evie & Jack’s relationship is a very ‘opposites attract’ sort of thing, what with them being so different both before & after the apocalypse. The side characters in the book was also well developed, everyone of them very obviously have their own background which is something many YA books lack.

In conclusion, I did like Poison Princess but not as much as I would’ve hoped. It needs more action and emotions & I really do hope the next few books in The Arcana Chronicles would be better. The idea of the series is definitely fresh as I’ve not seen any other YA books about tarot cards. Fans of paranormal topics & dark, brooding male protagonists would most probably like this book. I’m looking forward to seeing this series progress & do look forward to the next book!

Anyway, this review & more are available on my book reviews blog, http://apageofheaven.wordpress.com too!
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A Fun, Frustrating Story
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
I wanted to read Poison Princess because of the tarot aspects of the world. Kresley Cole’s interpretation of the Major Arcana as people is pretty interesting and generally satisfying. I was slightly dismayed that the person representing The Fool is autistic, but overall that character is interesting and important to the plot.

Evie was not my favorite main character from the beginning; mostly I was intrigued by the visions she has and her struggles with learning who she is (The Empress), but I did not especially like her as a person. Her relationship with Jackson is pretty annoying, in my opinion. Although he seems loyal, he is pursuing her purely for her looks, and seems willing to withstand anything for a chance to have sex with her one day. Jack constantly gripes about how useless she is (and she agrees, and does nothing to change this), yet both of them seem mesmerized by the idea of him “owning” her eventually. Not really my type of guy or relationship.

I liked some of the storytelling, and the tarot world intrigued me, but I wasn’t very fond of any of the characters in this book.
Good Points
unique world inspired by tarot
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Full of danger and desire!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Release Date: 10-2-2012
ARC received from Simon & Schuster at ALA
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:
Copy of How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It: $11.56 on Amazon
Survival Kit including backpack, water, liquor, energy bars: $39 on Amazon
Trekking across a post-apocalyptic wasteland with a gorgeous Cajun: Priceless

Words cannot describe how amazing-ness of this book! It is by far my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE of 2012! And…I get to meet her at ATBF next week! *Dances around the room singing You know you make me wanna SHOUT!* Prepare yourself for an insane amount of gushing.

I just loved Kresley Cole’s world—bathed in desire and passion, filled to the brink with unknown forces, and laced with poison and death; Kresley’s post-apocalyptic world won’t just bring you to the edge of a cliff—it will throw you right over, straight into a game of chess. A game where checkmate means much more than game over.

I have never read anything like Poison Princess. This book centers around the end of the world, but its not global warming or an alien invasion or the like that caused this catastrophe. No, it’s much more than that…and it’s happened before! That’s all I’m going to say about the “apocalypse” because you’ll have to find out for yourself. But what’s even more unique is that certain characters are the embodiment of tarot cards. Yes, that’s right—you have Death, the Empress, the Magician, The Fool and so many more! I just love that she has brought these cards to live—given them a driven purpose—one that will drive them all to complete and utter desolation.

The prose was perfect! I wouldn’t change a thing. Kresley was poetic when she needed to be, yet rugged and grotesque when the moment required. My absolute favorite part of the book was when someone said (I won’t tell you who), “The last two monarch butterflies are thousands of miles apart and flying away from each other.” ARC pg. 280. I just love this quote because it shows how delicate our world is—how one decision, which way to fly, which road to take, which boy to kiss—can destroy you, or save you.

Evie, the heroine, is probably my favorite ya heroine! At first she’s this little rich girl who is slightly curious about the rugged Cajun that just enrolled in her school. But as the world quickly goes to hell, she builds a rugged shell and becomes the tough, in your face, Empress she is destined to be. It was so much fun to see her grow into a warrior. Kresley does such an amazing job using words to mold her into something more than a girl—an Arcana. Forever changed by loss, immersed in a world full of secrets, and forced to come to grips with her heinous future; Evie’s journey to truth will sweep you away.

And
The
Cajun.

“At that moment, I was dying for the Cajun boy to kiss me…I had to know what the look in his eyes promised.” ARC, pg. 75

Jackson is so unbelievably rugged. Translation: HOT!!!!! Another translation: Heart-breaker. Another translation: Savior? He shows us just as Evie’s world plummets into an abyss, and he manages to drag her up and out of it. His raw sexuality just oozes off the page, and there were so many moments when I wanted to snap my fingers and trade places with Evie! He is charming, not so romantic, but 100% pure bad-boy. His body language is smoldering with heat, his words are dripping with sex, and his actions are obsessed with protecting Evie. He’s perfect—in every way!

Have I gushed too much? Don’t judge me! Just a bit more.

And
Then
There
Was
Death.

One of the many “evil” Major Arcana make their appearance in this book, and I’m sure the rest will show up in Book 2. I loved Death—revenge, hatred, anger, passion, darkness—all rolled into the ultimate killing machine who has only one goal: KILL THEM ALL. He will send a shudder down your spine and your heartbeat with quicken whenever this Arcana is near. And now—Death’s vengeful eye is fixed…on Evie. And let me tell you, this makes for some amazing scenes and visions! And his words—laced with threats and hints of what the future holds! He’s such a great villain, and I love that he’s not the only one!

So….I’ll wrap it up! This book had the most unique concept I have ever come across in YA. Every chapter held a new surprise and the ending left me speechless. But not for long—within a day of reading it, I had loaned it to my neighbor (who LOVED it) and then my mother (who also LOVED it). The ending is a cliffhanger, but not one that will make you angry or frustrated. It’s one that will make your pulse quicken with excitement for what’s to come.

This book was perfect! Perfect I say!
Good Points
This is my favorite read of 2012!
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Unique
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Originally posted on http://wordsareinnermusic.blogspot.com

Poison Princess starts out two hundred and some days after the Flash. The world is not what it used to be and Evie is searching for a way to survive. When she stumbles into an occupied house, she sits down and tells her story. She takes us back to her high school, introduces us to her friends, and then tells us what happened before and after the Flash. Through the story we find out exactly who she is and what role she’ll play in the world. Set off to find her grandmother after the Flash, Evie is joined by an unlikely ally in the form of her old high school nemesis Jack. Together they begin a journey that will change their lives forever.
This was my first Kresley Cole book. I know she writes a well loved adult series and while I’ve wanted to read it, I just haven’t gotten around to it. Poison Princess was a different read for me. There was so much going on throughout the whole book that I had to stop and reread parts just to keep up with the story. Kresley is very talented in creating a realistic and terrifying world. Her imagination definitely takes you on a ride!
Evie wasn’t my favorite character. I know usually the main character is the one you love, but I didn’t really feel much for Evie. Well, I wanted to slap her a few times. I liked her well enough, especially when she tried to become more than she already was. I have to give her props for all the things she did for her mom, and how she tried to learn to be a better person. Once she started maturing a little bit, I starting cheering her on.
Jack is not a typical hero of the story, which I kind of enjoyed. I can’t say that I loved him either but he had some interesting qualities about him and I liked how Kresley portrayed him. His whole fascination of us against them when it came to money kind of annoyed me a lot though. I mean after the Flash, does it really freaking matter Jack? Does it? You’re all just trying to survive! Get over it already and go kiss some Evie face or something. I really did enjoy parts of their relationship, especially when they got over themselves and became a little more like the characters I knew them to be!
Overall, while I didn’t love Poison Princess, I did enjoy it. It was a crazy read, with a world created to blow you away. I’d be interested to see where this goes. The last few pages really kept me glued to the book, and that ending? THAT ENDING! I can’t believe I’m going to have to wait forever for book 2!
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