Author: Kresley Cole
Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers
Publish Date: Oct. 2nd, 2012
“#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…. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads”
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole is a goooood book. And I don't mean that like, "It's a good book, you should read it." I mean it as in, it's now in my top five favorite books of all time! It's like an epic mix of the contemporary, post apocalyptic, romance and paranormal genres that will certainly be a favorite with many. The way Cole introduces us to the main characters before the apocalypse, lets us see their world in detail, makes the devastation of the Flash that much more real. It's something many post-apocalyptic novels don't bother with but it made me enjoy Evie's story so much more.
Evie Greene is a strong character right from page one. Even though Evie is portrayed as a good girl she's not a saint like many heroines who are portrayed as being good. She's a sixteen year old girl and she can be as big of an idiot, or coo-yôn as Jackson would say, as anyone. But she steps up when she's needed. She chooses good over evil and tries to make those around her happier. She has this deadly power growing inside of her, yet she holds back, trying to remain normal. I know, I know. Another paranormal heroine who denies her power because she wants to be "normal". Cliche, except in Poison Princess it doesn't feel cliche. It feels like Evie struggling to remain Evie and not become a monster. After the cliffhanger at the end, I can only imagine how Evie is going to grow and change in the upcoming books.
Let's talk about Jackson. (If I could talk about Jackson for the next three years I'd be totally fine with that.) Jackson Deveaux is the boy who put the bad in bad boy. He's a hot, motorcycle ridin', crossbow totin' Cajun with a chip on his shoulder and he's the only protection Evie's got against the world post-Flash. And what protection he is! As Evie says, as long as Jackson's got his crossbow, he's the bogeyman that everyone should steer clear of.
Jackson... Well, I'll just come out and say it. Jackson can be an all-mighty douchebag from time to time. If you've read Jennifer Armentrout's Lux series and thought Daemon Black was a jerk, Daemon's a cuddly, little kitten compared to good ole Jack. But, he's got his reasons for being a jerk to Evie. (I mentioned that chip on his shoulder, right?) I love me a bad boy with an attitude problem, so Jackson was my kind of guy, right from the get go. But if you had a problem with Daemon from the Lux series as I've heard some people have (I don't understand it, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion), than I can almost guarantee that you'll want to reach through the pages of Poison Princess and strangle Jackson. You might want to do that even if you like him. He's sort of strangle-able.
The way Poison Princess was structured was very interesting. I can't remember ever reading a book where you're introduced to the main character through a random, evil secondary character. The prologue begins with Arthur, a young man who is trying to catch Evie in a trap in order to do horrible experiments on her. Getting her to tell him her story so he can remember what it was like before the Flash (while really he's taking a patient history—yeah, this guy is really sick). It was very unique and had you wondering what was going to happen, since the entire time Evie's telling her story you know that it's somehow leading her right into this psycho's lair (his word, not mine—told you he was sick).
I will admit, the only thing I wasn't truly a fan of in this book was the way the scenes with Arthur seemed to condescend to the reader. It's written in a way that basically says, "This is a bad guy. He's evil. You should hate him." I know that Arthur is a very condescending douchewad all on his own, but still. It could have been a little less obvious. Really, even though he plays an important role in Evie's character development, he's not a huge part of the novel itself, so this isn't a major complaint.
Arthur and his figurative "I'm an evil-doer" neon sign was the only thing about Poison Princess that felt obvious to me. I couldn't seem to ever guess what was going to happen next. When I finally reached the last few pages of the novel I was shaking with anticipation. The end is a huge game changer for Evie and I couldn't help but be anxious for her. I'd love to talk more about this (like have a full-on drool fest and then a good whine about certain events) but I don't want to give away any spoilers, because you'll want to discover the secrets of Poison Princess all on your own.
If you're a lover of contemporary but are a little iffy when it comes to paranormal, I'd recommend giving Poison Princess a try. It's written so realistically, easing you into the apocalypse and all of the magic elements, while at the same time not watering it down for fans of paranormal. With a spunky heroine who's equal parts strong, funny and deceptively deadly everyone is sure to fall in love with this story. Plus, there's a hot Cajun. That alone is enough to read this book, trust me.