Book 1
The Arcana Chronicles

October 1, 2012

Simon & Schuster




Poison Princess
by Kresley Cole   


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….


"Review from Bridget"  By The Romance Reviews 2 years ago

- rating


POISON PRINCESS is one of those books that makes the YA genre such a fascinating one for readers of all ages. With Apocalyptic terrors, human and supernatural evil, emotional depth and nuanced characters, Krelsey Cole has crafted a series that will be remembered. Though I had some serious issues with one part of this story, this is a stunningly inventive new series with an epic scope and full of well-drawn, complicated characters who will keep readers eagerly coming back for more.

On the surface, Evie Greene's life is a picture-perfect fairytale. She lives in an enormous, elegant southern plantation mansion, has a couture wardrobe, a gaggle of devoted friends with whom to start her junior year, and is dating the captain of the school football team. But Evie's perfect smile hides a world of secrets that are darker than anyone could imagine: Evie spent her summer vacation in an institution after her mother discovered the notebook in which Evie records the visions of the coming Apocalypse that plague her dreams and her days. Though her Grandmother has been locked away in an institution for years due to similar visions, Evie had never believed in any of the stories she was told as a child—or her Grandmother's claims that she possessed powers. That is, until Evie realized she could manipulate living things, making crops bend to her will and ivy grow on command.

The first day of school has hardly begun before Evie is confronted with another challenge, in the form of a group of Cajun students who have recently been admitted to the school; or, more specifically, a tall, angry Cajun boy named Jackson Deveaux, with a flask and bandages over the wealth of scars covering his hands. Jackson knows about nightmares of all kinds, and seems fascinatED with Evie's notebook and with her visions, but makes it furiously clear that he wants nothing to do with someone like her—even if he can't seem to stay away from her.

It would all be just another teen drama…until Evie's visions start coming true. And following the stunning events of the Apocalypse, Evie will learn the real reason for her power, and the destiny that she has been called to fulfill, with none other than Jackson Deveaux at her side. As he and Evie journey across a devastated wasteland in search of the cause of her visions, they encounter others like her, people with powers who have been called to stand in the ultimate fight against good and evil.

This is a dark, intense and at times genuinely unsettling story that demands attention. Though a little slow to start due to the pre-Flash setup scenes, once Evie's quest begins, this book as a fascinating adventure. Kresley Cole's gift for world-building and atmosphere are fully evident, and the contrasts between Evie's charmed life before The Flash and the nightmare world that follows are hauntingly detailed. The premise of the Tarot cards is original and well-developed, and I'm genuinely interested to see how the series develops from here now that all the rules of the post-Apocalypse world have been established.

When we first meet Evie, she still has quite the journey to make to fulfill her destiny. To say she is a ‘normal teen' discounts a lot of her potential, but she does have quite a personal journey to make in order to become a real heroine. As she grew stronger and more accepting of her calling, I liked her more and more, but I wish her emotional and self-confidence could have grown as strong as the rest of her powers.

Without aspiring towards any claims of ‘adulthood', it's safe to say that I read this book as someone older than Evie. In that position, I found Jackson's behavior troubling. I have to admit that there was a part of me that could appreciate his Alpha behavior when it forced Evie to grow in response, but when I remembered the age and the power dynamic between them, it made a little more wary of their relationship. I found Jackson a fascinating, nuanced character and the flashes of insight that he allowed to show made me much more sympathetic to him; however, the fact remains that I found his demeanor and his attitude, especially when it was directed towards Evie, and the theme of violence towards women over the course of the book, unsettling.

Nevertheless, this is a fascinating story with the power to frighten, intrigue and captivate readers. The darkness and the evil surrounding Evie and her cohorts is very real and the stakes are enormously high, which kept my attention riveted. Despite my issues with Jackson and his behavior toward Evie, I do want to read more of this series, and see how Kresley Cole continues building the world of the Arcana and how this wonderfully original world develops.