August 29, 2012

Book #92 - Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1), Kresley Cole
ARC - Publish date:  October 2, 2012
384 pages
post-apocalyptic, urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Started 8/14/12
Finished 8/19/12

I obtained an ARC of Poison Princess, the first in a new series by Immortals After Dark author, Kresley Cole, at a book signing, which was indeed providence, as I had really been looking forward to reading it anyway. My overall impression is that it is a really great, unique read, albeit a bit confusing and slightly disjointed at times. Evie's story is told in flashback form as she recounts the circumstances of her life over the past eight months to a serial killer who is looking to make her his next victim.

Our heroine, Evie Greene is getting ready to start her junior year of high school after spending the summer away at a mental institution. She has visions and sometimes hears voices - never good when you're a rich almost-16-year-old heir to a sugar cane plantation. On her first day back, she meets rogue Jackson Deveaux, a Cajun boy from the wrong side of the swamp. It's a love-hate relationship right from the start.

But then the world nearly ends in a fiery apocalypse, and surviving is now priority numero uno. Evie and Jack find each other and set off on a mission together, growing closer even while Evie tries to keep the vision-seeing and voice-hearing a secret.

The mythology of this story is steeped in astrology and Tarot Cards. Perhaps I wouldn't have been as confused as I was at times if I understood anything about those two things. As I do not, I need to rely on the story and the author's ability to explain things in the proper context. I felt that could've been done a bit better. Although Cole did explain some about Tarot, I felt it came a little too late in the story to be as helpful as I needed it to be.

However, I did think the world building and character development was done very well.
The story mainly takes place in Louisiana. I really liked how Cole made the Bayou come to life for someone like me who has never been there. 

 Evie had lots of depth and emotion. She is this rich chick who is dealing with the belief that she's nuts, and she's trying to hide it from everyone. One would think she would be delicate and high-maintenance, but when the crap hits the fan and the world falls apart, Evie shows incredible strength and courage. 

Jack, I liked too, although a little less than Evie. He's very crass and rude, almost to a fault. I get that he's supposed to be rough and unapproachable and that it's supposed to be Evie that softens him. Sometimes I felt that he was almost too mean and irate, so that he was almost a caricature of "the bad boy." There were, however, moments when Jack balanced out, and I really felt like he cared about Evie. Those moments were too few and far between though. I desperately wanted Evie and Jack to figure things out so they could be together. I really loved those two when they were good to each other.

All-in-all, this was a solid four-star book. I will warn you - as good as it is, the ending is abrupt and cliffhangerish. It made me crazy! It's a good long wait until the next book is out. And, as my friends know, I have no patience.

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