Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

April 29, 2013 Reviews 3 ★★★★

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)Title: Poison Princess

Author: Kresley Cole
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Pages: 369, Hardcover
Goodreads Rating: 4.21 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: #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….

MY TAKE

Poison Princess was a really riveting read.  The story hooks you at the very beginning with Evie (our heroine) in an extremely perilous situation.  She has been captured by a post-apocalyptic serial killer who is posing as a good Samaritan and she starts to recount her story to him.  With this, we flash back to 7 days before the “Flash” – the disaster that has wiped out much of the life on earth.  

Evie has just returned from a mental institution, where she had been sent because of her recurring violent hallucinations.  All she wants to do is get back to normal life and make it through her last two years of high school so she can escape her small town.  But, Evie soon realizes that she isn’t quite as cured as she had hoped as her hallucinations return.  Not only that, but she starts to notice that strange things happen with plants when she is near them.  More hallucinations, or could something real be happening?  To make things even more complicated, Evie finds herself in a battle of wills with Jack, a new boy from the Bayou with a rap sheet a mile long, who definitely does not fit into Evie’s mold.  

When the Flash hits, Evie discovers that her hallucinations were really visions of the future and that she needs to rely on them in order to survive.  She also finds herself dependent on Jack, the last person she wants to depend on, as they go on a quest to find Evie’s grandmother, who may hold the key to who Evie really is.  Along the way, Evie finds herself confused by the disconnect between Jack’s fierce protectiveness of her (and obvious attraction to her) and his gruff, demanding (along with sexist, egotistical, dangerous…) side.  As much as she wants to hate him sometimes, she finds herself drawn to him as well.

So, there are a few things that I know some people will HATE about this book and I think I should give you fair warning.  One thing is that Evie is not a strong, self-sufficient female character.  She is extremely dependent on Jack for survival and has almost no survival skills of her own.  I know that many people (especially women) don’t like these types of characters.  I’ll reassure you, though, that Evie changes by the end of the book as she takes a bit more control over her life.

I also know that Jack is going to be a controversial love interest.  I warn you now, he is a true bad boy, often treating Evie rudely or like a piece of meat (he tells her on several occasions that he wants to have sex with her, often insinuating that it’s mostly because she’s the only female around).  This is especially upsetting in a YA novel (Jack is NOT the kind of guy that we want young girls to fall in love with).  The thing that redeems him for me, though is that Cole has made him such a three-dimensional character.   She shows us WHY Jack is who he is.  As more details of Jack’s life are revealed, you can understand him, even when you can’t like him.  What’s more, we see him trying to see things from Evie’s perspective (once he switches out of battle-mode long enough to hear it) and even change for her, even when he isn’t sure how.  Do we want a Jack in real life?  No, not really.  But, he makes for spectacular, heart-wrenching reading and I have to admit that I was hooked.

Overall, the apocalyptic story, Evie’s developing powers and, yes, even the emotional roller-coaster of Evie and Jack’s relationship made for really great read.  4/5 stars.

 

3 Responses to “Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole”

  1. John Smith

    I’ve never really been swept away by the spooky delights of tarot cards, but any excuse for a good fantasy book is fine with me!

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