Poison Princess by Kresley Cole is one of those books that people either love or hate. I, fortunately, fall under the former because honestly, I thought the book was simply fantastic and brilliantly written. I mean… c’mon! When you think about, it’s really surprising that no one has used this tarot card/Arcana idea yet. It’s so interesting the way the author was able to build Evangeline Greene’s adventure around this mystical concept of characters on occult playing cards. Even I found myself reading up on tarot history and Googling their pictures every time they were mentioned.
All I have to say is: Well done Ms. Cole…well done…
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….
So what made me enjoy this book so much despite a seriously flawed romance? Well…it was action-packed, realistic and the mystery and concept behind the Major Arcana was so intriguing that I just couldn’t put the book down no matter how hard I tried. I’m so thankful that Poison Princess was lengthy because truly I couldn’t get enough of it. It was never slow and never boring, a huge relief after forcing my way through The Diviners. Every word and every page mattered and each time I turned the page, I wanted more, more and more.
Despite being mental at times, Evie Greene pretty much has the whole perfect thing down — right to the pretty blonde hair, rich boyfriend and cliché best friend. I had such a blast reading this story from her perspective. As perfect as she was, the girl is seriously flawed in her own way. Sure…she’ll eventually end up becoming some almighty powerful character down the road, but in the meantime, I really enjoyed seeing Evie as a clumsy girl trying to survive the apocalypse.
What I loved most about this book was the pacing. For just one book (the first of a series), it felt like so much happened. From the beginning to the end, it’s literally like “holy crap!” when you think about all of the obstacles the characters endure. And the apocalypse was simply awesome. Zombies, a psychotic lunatic and resistance groups…it was all pretty cool and real and terrifying.
Almost as epic as AngelFall’s apocalypse. Almost.
But now that I’ve raved about how great this book is, I’ll talk about the part that puts a lot of people in the “hate” category when it comes to Poison Princess. The moment I was introduced to Jackson Deveaux, I knew that the YA community would tear him apart.
Jackson was the make it or break it piece of the Poison Princess puzzle. I guess this is where we see traits of Kresley Cole’s as an adult romance writer – the emphasis of male dominance and well…sex is very apparent. And unfortunately, the YA community is probably the most defensive of all when it comes to that sort of stuff. So yes, the romance wasn’t quite the most romantic romance of all. But somehow, I was able to look pass all of that and enjoy the book for the mystery and action…and not so much the romance. Furthermore, it took me a while to get used to the way Jackson’s accent was written (for some reason I kept picturing/hearing a Jamaican accent which clashed with my vision of our boy). I literally had to watch this clip over and over again to get the idea of what a sexy Cajun accent sounded like.
Regardless, Poison Princess by Kresley Cole was extremely good in my opinion. It’s safe to say that Kresley knows what she’s doing when it comes to weaving a story of fantasy and supernatural beings. I’m eager to find out what’s next for Evie – particularly her soon-to-come dance with Death and budding romance with Jackson Deveaux. Will be picking up the next book of the Arcana series for sure!
Theme Music: World Collapsing by Danny Cocke, Music from the motion picture, Snow White and the Huntsman
Photo: Photo as see on VisualizeUs