Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Release Date: October 1st 2012
Series: Arcana Chronicles #1
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Publisher for review purposes
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Thank you, thank you, thank you to the lovely people at Simon and Schuster for sending me an ARC of Poison Princess. Though I was sent a copy, all opinions and views that are expressed are my own!
The first book in a new series revolving around the cards of a Tarot Deck. Sounds interesting right? I don't know a whole lot about the cards of a Tarot deck but it has always intrigued me!
Let's start with this cover. GORGEOUS. It's all dark and mysterious, somewhat dystopian looking location. Is it weird that the thing I most enjoy about this cover is the jaw line of the guy? Seriously though, look at it! I know the picture above isn't the best quality and even still you can see it!
I don't know what it is about the name Evangeline, but I just love it. It's so angelic! Right? Anyway on to the actual review...
As I have already said, I am not very knowledgeable about Tarot cards. So I will do my best to try and explain this... There are 22 Major Arcana cards in a Tarot deck (eg. Alchemist, Death, Empress etc.), In Poison Princess, Kresley Cole has taken these cards and made them real people, kids in fact. Each of the kids has a special ability that is relevant to their Arcana.
So we have Evie, AKA Evangeline (the coolest name ever). Her parents think she is crazy, her doctor's think she is crazy, even she starts to think that she is crazy but her Gran knows she isn't. Only her Gran isn't in the picture anymore, Evie is being kept from her.
Evie has hallucinations, often, about mass destruction and death. Over her summer break she is taken to CLC, which is a mental hospital, to try and force her out of these habits. She is back at school and everyone wants to know where she was all summer. She doesn't want to tell them, they will think that she is crazy and she is determined not to be labeled.
Once she is back at school strange things start to happen. She starts seeing the plants and flowers do weird things around her. She thinks she is hallucinating again, only they start interacting with the people around her. She meets Jackson Deveaux, the new kid at school. Label? Bad boy (my favourite hehe). They don't hit it off very well to start, and this sets the trend for the book.
When something positively awful happens to her town, Evie becomes more confused than ever. Her 'hallucinations' have come true. Evie pictured and drew that this would happen. Most of her town is wiped away and the people with it, including her best friend. Somehow Jack survives and finds her. They start the journey to find Evie's Gran, to help Evie figure out who she is. Though Jack is in the dark about the reasons why, he promises to protect her and get her to her Gran.
Along the way they meet challenges and hurdles they need to overcome. Jack and Evie constantly bickering. Always with the bickering. Of course as time passes they get to know each other. Evie sees past the jerk that she once thought Jack was and Jack starts to see past the spoiled brat that he thinks Evie is. But life is never that easy.
I really enjoyed Poison Princess, I stayed up until 1am on a night that I really shouldn't have stayed up so late. That just goes to show that I couldn't. put. this. down. There is so much that I could talk about in this review. From the starting at the end from the point of view of another character, Arthur, who has no real significance until the end and who I won't say much about.
Evie is a complex character, with her history of being 'crazy' she has never felt right. She may be part of one of the richest families in her town, but that does not make her bratty. The entire time that her and Jack are fighting for their lives, salvaging food wherever they can, she never once complained.
Jack on the other hand is polar opposite to Evie. He has a police record, but it's not what you think. He would do anything to protect his mum, and that is what it came to. I found Jack to be very hot and cold throughout this book. One minute he dug Evie, the next minute he is ripping into her. I couldn't keep up and I just wanted them to work it out!
I like Evie and Jack together, I won't say much more than that because I don't want this to get too spoilery.
The secondary characters: Matthew, Selena and Finn, were all great additions to the story. Though I hate Selena a little bit (more than a little bit) for taking Jack's attention away from Evie.
Kresley Cole has done an incredible job with Poison Princess, I was very impressed with how she incorporated the Major Arcana into the story, a very unique concept. The writing is beautiful and flowed with ease through the story. I am anxious to get my hands on the second one to see how the story unfolds!!
I highly recommend this to all YA readers! If you like the sound of this check out my review of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. They aren't at all the same, but I enjoyed them in the same way I enjoyed Poison Princess.. If that makes sense at all
What do you think of the integration of the Tarot deck into a book? I found it brilliant!