Friday, October 5, 2012

Book Shelf: Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1) by Kresley Cole

#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….

More info on Goodreads!


Poison Princess marks Kresley Cole’s sizzling debut into the YA genre, and with is electric romance, constant danger and unparalleled mystery, this post apocalyptic thriller is a far cry from any dystopian novel I’ve read before!

What a fantastic book this was! Considering this is actually my first Kresley Cole novel, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Admittedly I had high hopes and luckily, what I discovered was a harsh, richly, descriptive dystopian with a stunning freshness and idea that stole my heart! Honestly, this book was addictive.

I truly don’t want to give away too many spoilers but the Acarna that Cole explores is such a fabulous idea. Cole’s personification of the Tarot cards was incredibly unique and very clever—I love it when authors strive to give us new ideas! I admit at times the non stop riddles and often strange comments by certain characters confused me but the mystery never let up and as question after question was raised so was my desire to discover the secrets of what was truly going on.

This book was undeniably gritty. While many dystopian’s are, Kresley Coles ability as an adult writer also began to shine through as some of the interactions between our main characters Evie and Jackson had an undeniably “adult” feel, especially on Jackson’s part. The setting was also quite interesting too, with the book starting out with a quite evident Cajun and Louisianan vibe.

I found Evie “Evangeline" Greene to be a really wonderful heroine of this story. Evie fit so well within the story and her voice was such an easy one to follow. From the abilities she’s had for many years and the anguish they’ve caused her to her desire to know what she is as the novel progresses, it’s impossible not to feel for her. While she’s very guarded and not quite ready to trust Jackson with her secrets, Evie handles herself quite well for someone with an upbringing such as herself.

And as far as Jackson Deveaux goes, I really don’t know what to make of him. At times I thought he was a brilliant character and at others I wanted him to get eaten by a Bagman. Of course, in a world where so many male leads seem the same, I certainly appreciate what Kresley Cole has done with him, but at times it seemed like too much. That being said, Jackson was a Cajun boy through and through. From his outright sexy good looks to his accent and his pitiful upbringing, Jackson was rude, crude and just plain mean at times. I must say I got sick of his “me’s” and his “goan’s” real quickly, but there was just something under the surface of him that made me intrigued. He cares about Evie extensively, even if he has a funny way of showing it most of the times, but she’s obviously the most important person to him now.

As the book switches back and forth from before the “Flash” to after, the various time periods allowed for a very detailed look at our heroine Evie’s world. At first it seemed strange to me that we witnessed so much of Evies life before the world as everyone knew it ended but as the novel progressed and the dystopian aspect of the book came into play I really appreciated those glimpses of normality in Evie’s life. It allowed me to see her better as a character, and also witness her growth. It also explained the hostility between Evie and Jackson’s relationship.

I found it refreshing how Cole wrote the relationship between these two. Instead of having two characters meet in the middle of such a disaster and then have them form a straight away dislike of one another, as seen in a lot of books, these two had history from before the Flash. Their relationship was rocky from the beginning, so as they were forced to rely on one another and team up, it added a greater depth to their sometimes rocky friendship and growing romance.

And considering Evie and Jackson could never be more different, I appreciated seeing where they came from to where they were currently at. The wealthy, popular girl and the poor, Cajun hick....these two seem like the oddest pairing, but in the midst of despair, they begin to find something together. They struggled to stay on the same ground quite a bit (which drove me up the wall) and I hated the trust issues Evie had with Jackson considering how hard he tried to earn her trust but in the end they had a chemistry that I really enjoyed reading about.

Kresley Cole mixed dystopian adventure perfectly with romance and excitement in this book. It was the perfect balance and I was thoroughly interested the entire way through. The revelations revealed at the end of Poison Princess seem just like the beginning and as Jackson’s shocking discovery about Evie concluded the first instalment in the Arcana Chronicles, I’m early awaiting getting my hands on the next instalment to see where Kresley Cole will take the series next!

Source: Sent for review by Simon & Schuster Australia. (Thank you Caroline!)
Format: Paperback ARC.
AU Release Date: Available now!
Buy it: Booktopia // The Nile // The Book Depository
Recommendation: This one if definitely for Dystopian fans but also if you're looking for something paranormal but distinctively different!
Cover: Oh gosh, isn't it one of the most beautiful you've ever seen? I just love it!
Will I read sequel/continue with series: YES!



  1. I didn't think I would LOVE this one. I haven't read anything by the author before, at least I don't remember if I have or not, but I ended up LOVING this book. So addictive.

    Fantastic review! Can't wait for book 2! The ending was such a killer!

  2. Ditto. I hadn't read anything by this author before this and while I loved the concept and was hopefully, I certainlly didn't expect to love this the way I did.

    I'm SOOOOO excited for the next book. Especially considering that ending--like you said....killer.

    Thanks <3

  3. I KEEP HEARING NOTHING BUT AMAZING THINGS ABOUT THIS, RACHEL. I AM DYING (READ: DYING) TO GET MY HANDS ON THIS! And that cover is all kinds of tempting. I just love the... FEEL of it.

    At times I thought he was a brilliant character and at others I wanted him to get eaten by a Bagman. *giggle*

    I especially love that romance differs from most YA dystopians, with Evie and Jackson having already met and sharing a rocky relationship. I am insanely intrigued by the whole Tarot inspiration with the characters abilities, that's probably the driving interest in me reading this. Well, that and every 2nd person screaming how incredible it is ;)

    Thanks for adding to my desperate NEED. I can't wait to see how I like it! AMAZING REVIEW.

    Also: I am so, so sorry to hear about your dog :( *big hugs* Sending lots of love and positive thoughts your way <3

  4. Oohhhhhh, all these blogs are posting their review about this book and they are all so raving. I WANT IT. I've been so excited about this one for a while now and everybody seems to love it so much <3 I wish I could snap my fingers; and that the Poison princess would appear out of nowhere :p I love the sound of Evie and the fact that their conversations feel so "adult". The whole setting, the tarot cards, the awesomeness keep growing <3 Wonderful review and I caaaaaaan't wait.

  5. EEEEEEEEE! RACHEL. I'm so glad you loved.
    I keep hearing AMAZING things about this one, and I wonder what's WRONG WITH ME, because I've been trying to read it for WEEKS, and I'm just not getting into it. I think I need to give it more time.

    BUT YES. THANK YOU. Jackson's 'me's and 'doan's and I WANT TO SMACK HIM >:O SO annoying to read on paper.

    ANYWAY. The premise = amazing, and that opening chapter? :O :O :O

    Your review = equally amazing :D

  6. I'm so glad you loved this! I think it's freakin' awesome too. I can't wait for the second book! Excellent review, you have just made me want to reread the book!

    Irene (Pay Dirt)


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