Series: The Arcana Chronicles

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

September 27, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 1 Comment

I received this book free from a Giveaway, the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley ColePoison Princess by Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on October 2nd 2012
Pages: 369
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: ARC
Source: a Giveaway, the Publisher
Amazon
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Also by this author: The Warlord Wants Forever

one-star

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.

The day of Evie’s birthday, the Flash happens, and the world is transformed. Nothing green remains after fires lit up the earth and incinerated everything. Very few humans survived the Flash and the ones who did were transformed as well. Some transformed into cannibals doing anything they could to survive, some turned into Bagmen who drank the blood of humans if it was the only source of liquid they could find. But Evie knew this was coming because she had been having visions of the sky in flames and the earth incinerated for months. Could she have done something to stop this?

Okay for starters: The love interest, Jackson? He goes down in history as being a member of the top ten worst love interests. He was not charming in the least and there was no obvious reasoning behind Evie’s attraction to him besides him being attractive. He was the biggest jerk, he was a pig, he drank ALL THE TIME, and was constantly trying to get in Evie’s pants. Some might argue with me that his protectiveness of Evie was sweet and he only did that because he cared for her. Yeah. Well. There’s a thin line between protectiveness and possessiveness. But seriously? He was a drunken loser and I disliked him A LOT, especially when he said such romantic things like:

“Hell, Evie, you’re probably the last girl on earth for me. Would it kill you to put out?”

Ugh. Dude? She’s sixteen. And you’re officially a douchebag. There’s more but it pretty much reveals all about their ‘relationship’ so view at your own risk. (view spoiler) Evie, spoiled rich girl, wasn’t the strongest character either. When I found out what member of the Tarot she embodied I was a little put-off that she wasn’t made of tougher stuff and was quite the pushover. Admittedly, she does end up becoming what I had originally envisioned her being but it happened in the blink of an eye and there was no real build to get to that point.

Moving on. Next issue I had was the world-building. Or in this case, the lack of it. The following lines pretty much sum up the explanation we received for why the skies lit on fire and everything green ceased to exist:
“The Flash marked the beginning? What caused the Flash, Matthew?”
“Sun.”
And that’s all you get so don’t expect anything more.

At first I was skeptical at the interpretation of the Tarot cards as people but after doing some additional research I must admit that Kresley Cole did stay quite true to form. I had a few problems though…View Spoiler » I understand that this is fiction and that embellishment is pretty much standard, but in taking something like The Major Arcana and embellishing it to the point of it being unrecognizable just seemed wrong to me.

And now for my biggest issue. I had initially given this 2 stars because I was impressed with its originality. I thought the characters were horribly written and incredibly un-likeable but I loved the potential the summary held. Except that this theory has already been floating around in the world, for several decades:
‘Carl Jung was the first psychoanalyst to attach importance to tarot symbolism. He may have regarded the tarot cards as representing archetypes: fundamental types of persons or situations embedded in the collective unconscious of all human beings.’
Which pretty much sums up the whole gist of this book. Now that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with using other ideas and embellishing off of them, but the originality was the one saving grace for me because everything else (characters, world building, etc) was horrible so that was going to be the only enjoyable aspect for me.

And to top it off, there’s a line at the end of the book: “Only one can live.”
Um, did I get a glitch on my Kindle and open up The Hunger Games? Nope. Still the same book.

So basically this book is actually a mix of Carl Jung’s interpretation of tarot symbolism which was established in like the 1950’s and the whole point The Hunger Games is based upon. As much potential as this had, this inevitably was a big fail because of a lack of execution and this is one series I definitely won’t be continuing.

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