Monday, August 15, 2016

Poison Princess ~ Kresley Cole (earc) review [@kresleycole @SullandPartners @simonteen]

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
October 2, 2012
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

If you've already read Poison Princess, don't forget that Book 4 Arcana Rising is out today!

#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 Derveaux.

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...

This book absolutely pulls you in from the beginning. I loved that the prologue is something happening after the main storyline. Not only does it give readers a nice (but not too detailed) glimpse at what the world is like later, but it introduces to Arthur. Oh but he's creepy and unsettling and just . . .

That the prologue, Arthur, just what's going on there, why - and how - Evie's there is unknown is fantastic. It really throws you off to start with that prologue and then go back to the start, to normal (or normal-ish) life for Evie in Sterling, Louisiana. Not quite 'average' though as Evie has hallucinations and spent her summer in a mental hospital, both facts she's trying to keep secret. I liked that she was the rich cheerleader with the senior boyfriend . . . but then there was all she was keeping hidden.

Now, I shouldn't have liked Jack. He's way more alpha male than I usually like - especially in YA - but I did like him. He can be rude, he can be a jerk, he likes to declare things (and expect people, ie Evie) to go with it. He's big on thinking girls need protecting and 'belong' to their boyfriend. But the brashness is tempered with a sweeter, maybe kinder side to him and how his past and family play into who he is. Yes, he was still very frustrating, maybe infuriating, at times but I liked him.

I liked not knowing what to expect for the 'apocalyptic event' so I'm not including thoughts on that in this review except to say that it all worked well together. It was something different than usual, but with a few familiar bits. I really enjoyed discovering more about what the world turned into, what the dangers were and discovering more of the truth about Evie.

(Also? They needed Mark Watney in their world. For one very specific, if spoilery reason.)

Poison Princess does a great job introducing us to the characters, to the new reality of the world, having its own sort of mythology. Evie is quite a different character at the end of the book than she was at the beginning and I'm hoping we can figure her out more and see her grow more in the next books. (Plus, I want more of Jack and the other characters and more answers!)

digital copy received for review thanks to Sullivan & Partners, LLC

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