- Poison Princess
- Kresley Cole
- Released October 2nd 2012
- Book 1 of The Arcana Chronicles
- 1.5 Stars
Evangeline “Evie” Greene struggles with terrifying hallucinations until one day, they start to come true as the apocalypse descends on Earth. Forced to travel with Jackson Deveaux, the bad boy from the Cajun bayou, there’s no way she can tell him her secrets despite wanting to open up to him. 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.
Poison Princess is a prime example of a fantastic concept ruined by the character interactions. I know the author is primarily a romance writer but this is YA and I want adventure and excitement primarily in the form of fights and clandestine missions, not romantic tension and cat fights.
The idea behind this series is that the tarot cards incarnate are going to duke it out on Earth like they did twenty one centuries ago. This first book details Evie’s discovery of her powers and her subsequent mission to find some of the other cards and figure out who is on whose side. Yes, this sounds a bit like the Endgame series by James Frey, but this was a tad more interesting. See this premise promises teenagers with supernatural abilities and I expected kick-ass, confident, and bold warrior like characters. Let’s just say that is not what I got.
Really from the start, this book is poorly thought out. Besides the first chapter, which was fascinatingly creepy, the first third or so of the book was basically pointless. It’s Evie recount of the week before the Flash – the apocalyptic event that kinda wiped out all plant and animal life left unsheltered – and it’s literally filled with high school drama. I don’t want to know about how your school doesn’t have cliques; I don’t want to know that you’re being forced into losing your virginity (totally not okay btw) in order to keep your boyfriend. I want to know about your hallucinations, your grandmother’s teachings, things that are ACTUALLY IMPORTANT to understanding the upcoming battle.
It’s fine that Evie is confused about what’s going on. I get it, she’s as in the dark about what she is a part of just as much as we are but that isn’t an excuse for not trying to find out more. Fine, she thinks she’s crazy before the Flash happens, but that has literally no bearing on the story! See this book should have started after the flash with Evie only briefly outlining her past including the hallucinations and how they came true.
Okay I amend my previous statement; this book is technically all told retrospectively. Evie has been lured into this mad scientist’s house and is telling her story to him. It’s revealed in the end that her boring ass story telling of the before had a purpose but ohmigod we did not need to read about it. A simple acknowledgment at the end like “Oh here’s why I told you all of that” would have been fine letting the readers know that she told the story from before the Flash but also letting us skip out on hearing about it.
All of this doesn’t even begin to cover the problem I had with basically all the characters. The romance is horrid and there’s a stupid ass love triangle that basically generates 1000000% of the problems in this book. Every single character’s personality was infuriating: Evie, Matthew, the Magician (I think that was the card, I literally can’t remember), Jackson, the Moon (can’t remember her damn name either). No one got along, no one was forthcoming with info, everyone was incredibly rude. It hurt to read the dialogue b/c everything anyone said was either lewd, bitchy, or fucking useless.
I want so desperately to know how the supernatural aspect of this book turns out but reading through a reboot of this book another three times is not worth it. If you can get beyond the sheer annoyingness of the characters, then go for the whole series but I will not be going down that road.