Poison Princess – Book One of The Arcana Chronicles
By: Kresley Cole
Description From Goodreads:
“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.”
Evie vacillates between being a simpering idiot and a girl who just might be strong enough to save the world.
At the beginning of the book Evie has just returned home after spending the summer in a mental health/cult deprogramming facility. While there, she was drugged into a stupor while “experts” convinced her that her visions were actually hallucinations.
At the end of the summer, her mother and her doctors all believe that Evie is recovering nicely, but the truth is that she has just learned how to hide her differences better.
At school she cares WAY too much about what her classmates think of her. She even hides her “hallucinations” from her best friend. It is at this point that some readers may decide to tune-out or to stop reading. My advice is to keep reading.
The book takes a turn for the better when a solar flare decimates Earth and a high percentage of the population is wiped out instantly.
What follows after the catastrophe is quite interesting. Evie starts hearing voices again and discovers that she isn’t crazy – and that she has some amazing powers.
There are post-apocalyptic militias, zombie-like creatures called “Bagmen” and slavers who will stop at nothing to capture a girl or woman alone.
There is also the requisite love-story and all that entails. And, all this is happening peripheral to the main plot.
Evie needs to find her grandmother to help her make sense of her visions. This inter-state journey would be perilous enough on it’s own, but it is made even more so by the fact that Death is literally stalking Evie.
This book ends at the perfect moment. It offers up a satisfying ending while simultaneously leaving the reader wanting to continue the story.
Fortunately the second and third books in the series are both now available and I am intrigued enough to keep reading.
I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars.
SPOILER ALERT – Do NOT read any further if you do not want a spoiler to be revealed!!!
*** NOTES *** (Potential Spoiler)
I have read some reviews of this book in which the reviewers have discussed and scoffed at the stereotype of Jackson as a “Bad Boy”. But, I have to say that stereotypes exist for a reason and whether people like it or not, good girls are often drawn to bad boys. If this were not the case, the stereotype would disappear. It is my belief that the author using these facts is not detrimental to the story. However, as always, this is just my personal opinion.
The other part of the story that seems to draw criticism is the fact that throughout most of the story Evie needs a strong male figure to protect her. Some readers seem to think that because Evie needs this protection, she is less of a heroine. I do not believe this to be the case.
Historically, weaker humans have gravitated towards those who could offer them protection.
Millions of years of ingrained behavior cannot be eliminated just because we wish it. There seems to be something at the genetic level that attracts people to potential mates that exhibit strong, protective behaviors. This is often at the subconscious level and could have something to do with being attracted to the person who will make the best potential mate to generate strong offspring. Evie’s attraction to Jackson could be the result of this.
Yes, it can be annoying to think that Jack is just a thug, but Evie obviously sees something more in him. I also really liked the fact that Evie is a virgin and is not willing to “play her V card” for just anyone.
All things (and plot points) considered, the stereotypes that some reviewers scoff at are actually necessary to move the story along and to gradually build up the trust (and yes, the lust too) of the relationship between Evie and Jack.
I am already reading ENDLESS KNIGHT which is the second book in this series.