I’ve read the Arcana series in 2016, and has been a fan of it since then. Also, I’ve posted all of my reviews for the series before here on my blog but I deleted my old blog posts. So now I’ll be posting my reviews for the Arcana series again starting with Poison Princess.
Title: POISON PRINCESS
Series: THE ARCANA CHRONICLES #1
Author: KRESLEY COLE
Publication Date: OCTOBER 1, 2012
The Arcana Chronicles is a 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, killing everyone she loves, 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 trust 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 teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side…
Honestly, this is the first ever book I’d read that has a tarot concept, especially the main 22 characters are from the 22 major arcana cards. The premise was strong, and the tarot concept is unique but very rare to find in any fantasy books nowadays.
The concept of the story is 22 teenagers who are the major arcana has to compete in the arcana game created by the gods. They were supposed to kill each other until only one major arcana left standing and be the victor of the game, so that the world will right itself back to normal after the game ended. But, the main protagonist, Evie, changed the rules of the game on her own which creates a whole new problem.
The setting was pretty much post-apocalyptic, the only time the world was normal and majority of humans are still alive was only in the first 10 chapters. I really missed the world when it was still normal, and there are so many humans still alive. The moment the world turned into a whole post-apocalyptic world, things gets darker and a lot rougher. Those who survived are only the major and minor arcana, and a few mortals.
The whole concept was pretty interesting, and the story becomes more deadly and intriguing as it goes on. There are so many things that needed answers, and so many secrets needs to be revealed.
Even though the 22 teenagers who are the major arcana has become a group of immortal supernatural beings after The Flash strike the whole earth and their powers awakens, their survival was really hard. It was a challenge trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, where most humans and animals are perish, and some get turned into bagmen. But, these teenagers had to survive in order to eliminate the other players and win the game. This is sort of like The Hunger Games, except the one who controls everything are the gods.
Not all major arcana made an appearance in the story, only a few—I have a feeling the others will show up in the upcoming books. This book introduced the main protagonist, Evie, the hero of the story, Jack (a mortal), and some other major arcana: Selena, Matthew, and Finn.
Evie as a protagonist is weak and whiny. She’s a spoiled rich girl and I honestly had no idea why the author chose her as the protagonist of the story. I couldn’t stand her, and I much prefer Selena as the protagonist if I were to write this story. Looking at Selena, she’s more mature than Evie—I don’t remember how old Selena is, but Evie is 16. I get why she acted the way she is because of her age and she was still too young to be put in this situation which can really mess with her emotions, but I hope the author tone down Evie’s spoiled rich girl attitude, and her whininess. I expect a better character development is in store for Evie, and I really want to see her going full on red witch mode since she is the Empress card and supposed to be the key to end the game. Seeing her embracing her power was so delightful, and I believe that will help her evolve as a character, but it might take her awhile. Still, I want her to have a better and proper development.
Jack on the other hand is a helpful guy, but his attitude and his personality really irks me. I liked that he took care of Evie for the majority of the story and did everything he can to help her in the deadly post-apocalyptic world. But what I disliked the most from him was at the beginning of the story when he couldn’t stop staring creepily at Evie and was being a bit aggressive to her afterward. His character was so complex, and it was hard to understand him sometimes. He was the only mortal who helps the major arcana survived, without his hunting skills, all of them are probably starving and might not be able to live another day. Despite learning who his companions are, he still stay with them—mainly for Evie—and he even willing to help them even though he has no supernatural powers at all. I admired his patience for putting up with Evie’s irritating and frustrating behaviors. I can see a lot of potential that his character can reach, so I hope to see a great development for Jack in the upcoming books.
The other three characters were amazing and unique. Selena is the Moon, Finn the Magician, and Matthew is the Fool. These are the major arcana that made an appearance in this story along with the evil guy who is also a major arcana, the Hermit—but I’ll talk about him later.
Selena is very fierce, and she has a strong personality. Finn is a fun guy, and I loved his silly jokes, at least this book has someone like him. In a story that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, we really need someone like Finn to lighten up the mood, because the post-apocalyptic setting are already dark and depressing. Matthew is like a quiet nerdy kid at school, but he has a lot of knowledge regarding the game, and he has all the memories from the previous games too. I wasn’t sure whether I should trust him or not, but we’ll see…
The major arcana has their own unique skills, abilities, and powers which makes them difference from one another. I find that truly mesmerizing seeing these characters having different powers and learning how to use it. What a sight to see!
As for the Hermit—I forgot the character’s name—he was bad and evil, and definitely wanted to kill the rest of the arcana. The way he was luring Evie and made her believe he was good was totally creepy and terrifying. What he did to all the mortal women was awful, he deserved the fate he got at the end of the book. Karma really came for him in a form of Evie.
There are so many major arcana still needed to make an appearance, and this book has been hinting at Death—one of the major arcana and is the most strongest and powerful arcana, due to him being the champion of the previous three games. I want to know more about his connection to Evie and why he has been tormenting her in her dreams. I have a bad and ugly feelings regarding their connection.
With Death set to make an appearance in the next book, I have this terrible feelings that he will cause a major problem in Evie and Jack’s relationship. I don’t like love triangle, but that’s the vibe I get anyway and I already disliked it.
Truthfully, Evie and Jack need to work on their problem first before jumping straight into a relationship. Their dynamic was both unhealthy and healthy. He doesn’t treat her right at the beginning, but he was slowly evolving, and I can see very clearly how the situations they’re in changed him to become a better guy. He was so head over heels for her and vice versa. Their relationship was a mix of slow-burn and insta-love, but it definitely need a better development and hopefully, they will stop keeping secrets from one another. And Evie better stop being selfish, because Jack has already sacrificed a lot for her and made sure she gets everything to make her life easier. He put her first before anyone else, even himself. I couldn’t help but slowly fall for Jack.
This book was dark, gritty, and a bit slow. I enjoyed it and I really find it so unique and entertaining. I was curious about a lot of things, and I hope to get more answers in the next book and also I’m excited to see more major arcana appearing in the upcoming installments.