Monday, October 8, 2012

Gone in a Flash: POISON PRINCESS by Kresley Cole

POISON PRINCESS (Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole
YA Post-Apocalyptic
384 pages, hardcover
Available now (October 2012)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster for Young Readers
Review copy provided by author

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…

Positive: Creepy world. Pre-Flash, life is...life. Teens doing their thing. Parents doing their thing. Post-Flash, life has reverted to the Dark Ages, pretty much. It's a struggle to survive. Nothing is growing. Supplies are limited. There are cannibals and slavers and scavengers willing to kill you for a can of food. Militia-type groups form and roam the country searching for women and supplies. Life is short and brutal. (Me, I'd be dead within a week. Tops.)

Positive: Inventive mythology. Using the Major Arcana of a Tarot deck in such an creative way? Oh, I knew there was a reason I worship at your feet, Kresley Cole (see, it's not all about the hot smexiness of your adult novels! Plot counts. Of course.). I've always been intrigued by Tarot and love how Cole used the Major Arcana cards (The Magician, The Fool, The High Priestess, etc.) to represent important characters, those who will meet to do battle against one another. There's so much more to it but I'd be here all night talking about it!

Wish-ish: That Evie weren't quite so whiney. Granted, it's entirely understandable. Pre-Flash, she's set. Money, family, plenty of toys and clothes...pretty much anything her little heart desires. (Well, except for that time her mama locked her up in a mental institution because of her "visions". So add "slight mental instability" to her reasons to whine.) Post-Flash, her life is wiped away. She has to cope with a complete reversal of fortune, one she's not trained for or able to cope with at first. But she prevails, using her smarts to fend off scavengers, make do as supplies dwindled and rise above her circumstances. Oh, and the visions are back--and they're worse than ever. Still, less complaining, more sucking it up, Evie, 'kay? (or is it just me being whiney? Hum...)

Wishy-washy: That Jack weren't quite such a jackass. Ahem. So he's not always a jackass. At times, he's incredibly resourceful, good to have along when times get tough and flashes some sweet possibility and potential. But when that ass-y side emerges...whoo, buddy, watch out. He's got a whiplash tongue that can flay skin, an extremely short temper and the near-inability to trust, especially those who he hated Pre-Flash (*cough* Evie *cough*). Tisk, Jack.

Overall: Absolutely loved the world and the story--was a little disappointed the characters didn't rise to that level, though my disappointment stems from their very real and understandable reactions to the massive changes in their world and circumstances. No matter. There's no way I'm missing the next book in this series. I have to know what happens and if Evie "wins" and if Jack becomes the man he has the potential to be. POISON PRINCESS is a creative, creepy and ridiculously intriguing story that's practically impossible to put down.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

13 comments:

  1. Always when I see this book I have to remember how saw you were when you had to leave BEA and didn't get a copy!!! ;(((
    I loved this book!! It had a phenomenal worldbuilding and I actually liked the characters. I do get though why you had some problems with them.
    I had more problems with the language sometimes...

    I cannot wait for the next book!

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    1. I know--I almost cried. But Jenny was awesome enough to send me a copy and then Kresley Cole sent me a signed one just about a week ago *dies*

      Really did love this story and this world!

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  2. I am so glad you finally got to read this! I know it was high on your wishlist and maybe next book Evie won't be so whiney (I am crossing my fingers for ya)!

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    1. Very high up on the wishlist! Evie toughened up near the end--can't wait to see what happens next!

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  3. No, no! ANYTHING BUT THE WHINE! That really has me groaning. Though the world building has me very, very intrigued.

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    1. LOL! Kind of a typical teen reaction, though. You've GOT to pick this one up for the worldbuilding alone!

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  4. I definitely wished Jack wasn't quite a jackass at times as well, I struggled a bit with their relationship even though I thoroughly enjoyed the book overall. He was just downright cruel at times, I couldn't quite get on board, especially since Evie never stood up to him either (at least until way later in the book). If she had been a bit stronger, I think the three of us would have gotten along better. But, BUT, the world was amazing, and the ending? *dies*

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    1. Jack could be such a prick! Evie definitely needs to stand up to him more in the next book. LOVED THE WORLD!!! And that ending...ahhhhh!

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  5. The world sounds really good! and I like the idea of the Tarot cards playing a part, reminds me a little of Vision of Escaflowne (anime, really cool), I hope the character rise to the level of the plot, but I'll definitely check out this book - with the warning about whiney and jackassery I might be able to stomach it better.

    Thanks for the review.

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    1. I really should read more anime--it seems a lot of inspiration comes from those amazing stories. Story is totally worth your time!

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  6. I'm dying to read this book. I actually enjoy reading about love interests who are complete jackasses. I don't know why, just find them more interesting sometimes. Not sure about the whiney heroine though. i usually hate that, but Evie still sounds pretty cool :)

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

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    1. Ooh, I think you'll totally love it then! Evie does whine but she evolves into a pretty spectacular character.

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  7. Totally agree with you! If Evie hadn't been whiny and Jack a bit of an ass this would have went in the EPIC category. Still was a crazy emotional ride for me though and I'm dying for the next one!
    This book also urged me to get busy on our post apocalyptic supplies box... we're closer to being ready now.

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