Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Poison Princess Advance Book Review *Kresely Cole*

Poison Princess is the first book in the Arcana Chronicles series and Kresley Cole’s first young adult book. I’m a hardcore fan girl of Kresley ever since her days of writing historical romance. Her Immortals After Dark books are so addicting and when I heard she was entering the young adult world, I had some concerns. But let me tell you, Poison Princess is unlike any Kresley Cole book you have read. This is gritty, dark and freaky. The first chapter is chilling and sets the stage for a world gone to hell and the young woman who can either save it or end it completely.

Sixteen year old Evie lives with her mother in Sterling, Louisiana in a huge mansion surrounded by acres of land. Evie is plagued by horrible nightmares and hallucinations of fire and brimstone and a world that has been destroyed and dark messages from people she has never met. Because of her illness she was sent away to a behavioral clinic for children to get better. Evie isn’t better but pretends like she is so she doesn’t end up in an asylum. Her mother is worried about her, but Evie acts as if everything is okay. Based on her hallucinations she foresees the end of the world, but how can she warn people? If it weren’t for these scary visions, her life would be the perfect life. Her boyfriend Brandon is the quarterback of their high school football team, Evie is a cheerleader and well respected and liked. She has wonderful friends and a caring mother. But the first day of school, her world is turned even more upside down by the arrival of the low class, poor Basin kids, headed by the motorcycle riding bad boy, Cajun French speaking Jack Deveaux. Jack rubs her the wrong way because he’s apparently a trouble maker and he goes out of his way to tease in sexy Cajun, which she can understand because of her grandmother. Evie misses her grandmother but they're estranged  because she tried kidnapping Evie when she was younger.

Evie’s visions grow worse. Brandon wants to take their relationship to the next level, meaning sex, and Jack is always around taunting and flirting with her. Then one night at a party, Jack tries to kiss her and she’s now so confused about her feelings toward him. But then she learns Jack had a specific reason for doing so which makes her believe he’s the biggest jerk. And then the Flash happens and the apocalypse has begun.

The Flash has decimated the world. There’s barely any more water, there are rogue military men who want to take over, the world is covered is ash and there are ash storms, no rain for months and a new breed of creatures, known as bagmen who thirst for human blood and water. Evie is practically all alone in the world, but something has changed inside of her since the Flash. She has the ability to grow plants with her blood and if cut or hurt, she heals quickly. But then Jack has survived, and with his help she'll try and find her grandmother, who may have the answers she seeks, but the journey is dangerous and there’s no hope of survival.

Poison Princess is The Stand meets The Road meets Highlander. There can only be one winner and the battle is coming where Evie has to fight to live in a world that no longer makes sense. Evie is scared and frighten, and even with Jack by her side, she’s feels lost. Jack treats her pretty much the same as he did before the Flash, but he also makes certain she’s protected. Evie can’t figure him out, and because of that she doesn’t trust him and they end up on shaky ground with one another. But Jack is a big temptation for Evie. Jack wants Evie, and she longs to give in, but can’t. You’d think with the end of the world, a girl would be more than willing to give up her virginity to the seductive Cajun boy, but Evie’s morals are still intact and again there’s that issue of trust between them.

There’s a heavy mystical element regarding the Arcana and tarot cards and prophesies that readers need to pay close attention to. Evie’s visions have the answers but figuring out what they mean are difficult. Most of the story relies on Evie and what she sees and how she reacts. There was never a dull moment here and the action is intense. Kresley doesn’t talk down to her readers and there are more than a few scenes that are an adrenaline rush.

There are some familiar tropes here such as Jack being the ultimate bad boy-gasp, he has a flask with alcohol he drinks from! Bad boy is under age! Evie comes across as goody goodie who slowly changes and by the end is a very different girl from when we first meet her. Her transformation should be interesting to watch as this series continues, including the cast of characters that appear and join forces with Evie and Jack.

Poison Princess is the type of book that makes your heart pound and I have no doubt will impress both teenager and adults alike. Fans of Kresley Cole won't want to pass this one up. (Available October 2nd, Simon and Schuster)

Final Grade: B+

A few other Poison Princess reviews:
Book Labyrinth
I Smell Sheep
Novels on the Run



city said...

thanks for sharing..