Book Review: Poison Princess

Poison Princess Book Cover Poison Princess
Kresley Cole
Juvenile Fiction
Simon and Schuster
October 2, 2012

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance. 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….

I am always on the look out for new YA dystopian, fantasy, or post-apocalyptic series to read. So, when the opportunity to review Poison Princess, the first novel in Kresley Cole’s The Arcana Chronicles series, arose I jumped at it. I’m surprised that Poison Princess stayed off my radar for so long considering that it was originally published in 2012. Now, knowing that date, you might be wondering why I was recently given a copy to review. Well, the latest novel in The Arcana Chronicles, Arcana Rising hits shelves today.


Arcana Rising - The Arcana Chronicles - Kresley Cole


You’ve probably guessed that I haven’t read Arcana Rising, but I did read the first two novels in The Arcana Chronicles in a span of two days. I’m currently in the middle of book 3, Dead of Winter. So, what did I think of Poison Princess?

The short answer: I liked it. The long answer: I feel a little conflicted about it. This review could go one of two ways. I can give a review based on entertainment value or I can go into an in depth psychological examination of the novel and it’s characters. If you know me at all, you’ll know that I’m obviously going to go with the former.

Poison Princess was not my favorite book. I think there are a lot of elements that I feel a little on the fence about. For instance, I’m not a huge fan of the protagonists overwhelming helplessness in the beginning of the novel. Nor am I crazy about the hyper possessive nature of her love interest. That being said, I was willing to look past those two grievances because I was absolutely sucked into the world that Cole created.

The concept of Poison Princess is really it’s strongest feature. The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by a game played by teens who are the human manifestation of the trump Tarot cards. The novel has a lot of elements at play throughout the novel. Between slavers, militia, zombie-like creatures, and cannibals, the protagonist, Evie, and her companion / love-interest / pseudo-antagonist, Jackson constantly deal with obstacles.

As the first in a series, Poison Princess gives a lot of set up information. At times the story feels a little overloaded and muddled, but for the most part it is fast-paced and a fun read. Adventures and sexual tension ensured that at the end of the day when I closed the book, I felt immediately compelled to start book 2. I call that a success.


Reason to Read:

It is exciting and a relatively quick read. The concept is really fascinating.

Reason to Skip:

This is definitely down to personal preference in subject and genre, but on a technical note, there are times that the story feels heavy and is a little muddled.

Is Poison Princess Worth Spending the Purchase?

I think so.

Poison Princess Book Review


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