Review–Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)
by Kresley Cole
Summary: 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.

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I absolutely LOVED Poison Princess.

I had been on the fence about buying it since it came out. I’ve never read any Kresley Cole books, but I know she’s a popular adult paranormal romance author, so I figured Poison Princess would be a fairly PG rated version of the same old alpha male paranormal thing and be disappointing. But I was continuously drawn to the cover and the synopsis. After dealing with the internal battle of whether it would be awesome or horrible for months, I finally broke down and bought it and I am SO glad I did. It was great!

Poison Princess is a post apocalyptic paranormal romance novel and I loved the mixture of some of my favorite elements: zombies, the end of the world, magic, fate, Tarot cards, and romance! I loved how the story jumped from past to present because I was especially curious how everything would go down. I knew she would end up at the stranger’s house after the Flash, since the book started that way, but I enjoyed watching the story eventually get there. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

A generous section of the book took place before the Flash, as Evie was telling her story to the stranger in the beginning of the novel. Some readers found that section to be boring and pointless, but I really enjoyed it because it really helped me to get to know Evie and figure out what she was like and how the craziness/visions affected her. I also got a clear picture of her relationship with her boyfriend at the time and the complications that began as soon as Jackson came into the picture.
I absolutely LOVED Jackson. As far as accents go, I have always been crazy intrigued by Cajun accents. I think it’s the only weird accent that I find hot and masculine, as I’m not the biggest fan of British accents and what not. Accents don’t really do it for me, but the author happened to pick the one that intrigues me the most. I loved the use of Cajun french and how Jackson used it without knowing that Evie understood it.

But I also loved Jackson’s character. He was tough, hard working, intelligent, and caring. When I say he’s protective, I don’t mean in that annoying alpha male kind of way that makes me crazy. While there was a little bit of that, I thought he was mostly protective in a good way. Though there were moments when he put Evie down, I feel like it was a defense mechanism because so much how she treated him and the things she said to him were interpreted as insulting by him due to his class, since Evie was a little rich girl. All of the negative traits about Jackson really aren’t bad at all considering how things must have felt from his point of view. He didn’t insult Evie to be a jerk and nothing about his behavior made me feel like he was that kind of guy. I have huge issues with the majority of romantic love interests in PNR, so I will totally defend Jackson because he was not that jerk/borderline abusive kind of hero at all. He was just a little rough around the edges and thought so many times that Evie felt that she was too good for him. While most of the novel was from Evie’s point of view, I think even she knew the way he interpreted a lot of her behavior and comments.

I loved the plot in Poison Princess. I didn’t know how everything would unfold and what role Evie had in the Flash and the events after it, but I knew there were important pieces to a bigger puzzle and she was trying to figure it all out. I loved the inclusion of the Tarot in the After Flash events. It was so intriguing and clever of the author to blend an apocalypse with elements of magic.

The tension between Jackson and Evie was addicting. The mystery about her role and visions was equally addicting. I could not put the book down. It was one of those books I started in the afternoon on my day off and found myself up until 2 am still reading. And I’m so glad I waited to read it because I was able to One-Click Buy book two for Kindle immediately after finishing.

I thought the author did a marvelous job of mixing my favorite elements in fiction. Though the post apocalyptic details weren’t plentiful, I still thought it was done well. So many authors attempt to mix a decaying world with terrifying creatures with romance and it falls flat and feels like a B horror movie, but I think Poison Princess did a wonderful job. The lover of post apocalyptic horror wanted a tad bit more from the world building, but I also really love it when I don’t know all the details and I have to use my imagination and keep reading to get the big picture.

I highly recommend the book and I’m definitely going to crack open book two here in a couple of minutes after writing this review!

On a hilarious side note: I think it’s so funny that her name is Evangeline and Jackson is Cajun because every time he says her full name I think of the little lightning bug from the Disney movie The Princess and the Frog talking about his one true love, Evangeline.


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