POISON PRINCESS (Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole-a review
POISON PRINCESS (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole
POISON PRINCESS is the first storyline (October 2012 release) in Kresley Cole’s new YA Dystopian series The Arcana Chronicles. Focusing on Evangeline ‘Evie’ Greene, the storyline follows a young 16 year old Louisiana high school student told in flashback as she recounts, to a stranger, the hell and the apocalyptic nightmare she has endured before and after the ‘Flash’. While the voices in her head continue to cryptically talk about the future, it is the people and things she encounters on a daily basis that will make the biggest impression in a world haunted by nightmarish creatures and a young man who pledges to protect her with everything he is.
The storyline begins as Evie is drawn to a mysterious stranger and like something out of a dream she retells her tale of horror and loss. As she embarks on a new school year following a stint at a psyche facility Evie’s only hope is to blend in and fade into the background. But the voices in her head and visions pull Evie into another direction- one where she will become the center of a centuries old war between Death and the others. Evie has always had some special abilities that she has never shared with the world, but now those abilities will manifest stronger with each near-death experience she encounters.
Jackson Deveaux will become Evie’s protector and guardian but not before the build up of animosity and hatred between the pair threatens the forced and unhappy alliance. As an outsider at school, Jackson is both frightening and threatening, but his attraction to Evie can only be explained as the forbidden fruit. But 6 days later, enemies and friends become one when the earth is suddenly thrown into a catastrophic fireball that had all but been foretold through Evie’s strange visions and sights.
Along the way, Evie encounters ‘other’ voices that continue to direct and lay out a foundation for the future. A face will eventually to put to each voice as Evie and Jackson trek across the vast wasteland in search of Evie’s grandmother who may or may not be alive. And the threats against Evie will come from another source as it is revealed that only a handful of woman survived the Flash.
As the size of their small family unit increases, so do Evie’s powers and foresight. But the vision of the ‘Tarot’ will turn frighteningly real, when Evie’s nightmares come into fruition and she no longer recognizes herself as the person she once was. And her feelings for Jackson will be tested on many occasions when another young woman forces doubts into everyone’s minds.
Evie is a strong protagonist, but like many young adult storylines, her tunnel vision and one tracked mind will place everyone in danger. Knowing that at any moment she and the others could become victims to cannibalistic humans and zombie-like hordes, Evie stays focused on reaching her goal, without any thought to the safety of herself or the others. It was frustrating at times knowing that reaching her grandmother, as altruistic as it is, was still the proverbial needle in a haystack. And the relationship between Jackson and Evie, once again, ran the usual young adult course, with the pushing and pulling away that most storylines involve. And we can’t forget the requisite love-triangle knowing that jealousy and mistaken beliefs will push one or both over the edge into the abyss of a broken heart and shattered soul from which they may never recover.
POISON PRINCESS is a well-written and interesting storyline from the desk of Kresley Cole. If you are a fan of her IAD series, do not expect the same style of storyline or HEA. Like all Dystopian series, there is no HEA only unanswered questions and broken hearts. The ‘Flash’ or apocalypse is never fully explained, but a major premise of the storyline will focus on Evie’s grandmother’s affinity to the Tarot which will, in itself, act as a portent or warning of things to come. The story is told from Evangeline’s POV although there are a few ‘introductory’ paragraphs and chapters told from the stranger ‘listening’ to Evie recount the events that brought her to his door. If you are not paying attention, the POV can be confusing in a couple of spots. And in the end we will discover that Evie was drawn to the stranger like she was to everyone else. Poison Princess is a welcome addition to the young adult storyline phenomenon.
Copy supplied by author.
Reviewed by Sandy