by Kresley Cole
Published on October 2nd, 2012
by Simon & Schuster
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Narrator: Emma Galvin, Keith Nobbs
Length: 12 hours 36 minutes
Source: Purchased for Audible
Amazon | Goodreads
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.
Poison Princess turned out to be surprisingly good. I use the word surprising because it started rather slow and scary, and turned out to be awesome.
This book probably had one of the most disturbing beginnings ever! Five minutes into the book I was tempted to quit listening. Thus the story starts on a creepy note with Evie telling her story to the Alchemist. Most of the story is told by Evie in the first person, in a flashback to her life before and after the apocalyptic events that took place. We have the chance to learn, as she does, what is happening with the world and the inexplicable things that are happening to herself and her fear of going crazy. I have to confess that I was very confused for a good portion of the book and I did believe she was loosing her mind.
Evie is not easy to identify with, but I did like her at the end. It is nice to see a popular, rich, and beautiful teenager that is not mean and a bully. She is loyal to a precious few, she is suspicious of everyone and doesn’t have the survival skills needed in the post-apocalyptic world. She doesn’t know what is going on with the world and with herself. Her grandmother was supposed to be her guide, but she was sent away to an institution, thus leaving Evie unprepared.
Jack is a conundrum to me. He is rude, protective, and cautious to the point of paranoia, with strong survival instincts. In other words, exactly what Evie needs. The problem is that he strives to be as unlikable as possible. He’s also fully convinced that Evie could never like, love or understands him because he was poor and lived in the bayou. It seems like he’s more prejudiced than he is. As a couple, they are attracted to each other, but have a lot to learn about communication.
Other characters are Selena, Matthew, Finn and death. They are all Arcana, in other words, cards of the tarot deck. They are interesting, especially as they learn more about each other and their powers. I cannot say much more without spoiling all the fun for you.
The pace, at least for the first half of the book, is really slow. The plot is very original. Who would have thought to create such a fascinating and harsh story around tarot cards? The writing is really good, straightforward, and easy to read. It would not be the last book I read by Kresley Cole. I do have to warn you that Jack as a heavy Cajun accent that might aggravate some readers (I was fine with it.)
Overall, Poison Princess was a really good book and start to the Arcana Chronicles series. I already purchased Endless Knight for my Kindle and I’m half way through it and I can tell you that it gets better and better! Dead of Winter, the next book in the series will be published early next year (why on earth did the change the beautiful covers?)
About the narration: I didn’t care for the narration too much. The part of Evie was good enough, but I didn’t like Emma Galvin as Jack. The only thing distinguishable was Jack’s accent. I had difficulty figuring out who was saying what. Keith Nobbs narrated for the Alchemist and he did a great job.
About the cover: The cover is what made me want to read the book in the first place. It is gorgeous. I love the way the couple looks, the background clouds and fire, and the font too.