Title: Poison Princess
Author: Kresley Cole
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Series: The Arcana Chronicles (Book 1)
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages
ISBN-10: 1442436646 (Simon Pulse)
ISBN-13: 9781442436640 (Simon Pulse)
Reviewed by: Michelle
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…
Quick & Dirty: A compelling post-apocalyptic tale that will either leave you wanting more or leaving it, period.
Opening Sentence: She’s so lovely, so fragile.
Kresley Cole, better known for romantic gestures and immortals in the dark, explores the Young Adult genre with Poison Princess, the first book in the Arcana Chronicles. The Poison Princess is a post-apocalyptic story, told through the eyes of our heroine, Evie. Poison Princess is chronicled by both Before Flash and After Flash, separating two different worlds, each with distinct tones and settings.
The beginning of Poison Princess begins with the eerie and enigmatic prologue, voiced through a male voice that the reader doesn’t know. Luring a young girl into his house, we meet Evie. Evie tells her tale, and starts Before Flash. Evie’s former life was one of popularity and privilege. Regardless of belonging to a prestigious family, she didn’t belong to one group, and was friendly with others. She soon meets Jack Deveaux, a bad boy from the other side of the tracks. Evie is mesmerized. But Evie has secrets and believes she suffers from mental instability. She soon hallucinates, warning her of something big, but unsure of what. And After Flash, when the end of the world seems to have arrived, Jack is the only one who can help her.
Evie wasn’t someone that I instantly connected with. I struggled to understand her, her hallucinations, and even her surroundings. I felt like I was reading a lot of detail to get to know her. A connection wasn’t instantaneous, nor was it easy, and that hindered the rest of my reading experience. Evie’s constant insecurities were sound and justified, but she didn’t have a real sense of pride. Maybe this is what Cole was aiming for, but when I can’t trust the heroine, I have a problem. Evie is slightly different After Flash, and is basically the only reason why I continued the story. She changes and grows strength, something that I thought she should already have had.
Jack was smooth and easy, described as someone from Cole’s adult fiction pages. It was Jack’s personality and characteristics that allowed me to continue reading, but After Flash, I felt he changed. There are two different personas, not just for Jack alone, but for Evie as well. I felt like Jack drove me crazy, confusing me with where he was going, as a character. His personality is frustrating, coated with charm that just adds another layer of frustration.
Cole’s world was interesting and different. The imagery was great and I loved it enough to finish. While I didn’t understand some of the characters, I longed to know about the others. The premise of the story is unique, one that I haven’t read about before. I just wish there were more that I could connect with and more that I could gush over.
He met my gaze, his eyes dark and intense. “Don you ever tell another, no. You can’t imagine what people would do for those crops. You hear me?”
Shivers slipped up my spine. “No one but you, that is?”
“I need to know how you got them plants to grow, Evangeline.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Silver bells and cockleshells.” Blood streams and freaky dreams and dizzy maids all in a row.”
The corners of his lips curled. “You and your secrets. Ah, peekon, just when I think I’ve solved one mystery about you, up comes another one. I will figure you out one day. En garde, cher. Consider yourself warned.”
The Arcana Chronicles:
FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Poison Princess. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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