September 21, 2012

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Release Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384
Series: The Arcana Chronicles
Review Source: ARC from S&S Canada

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, 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, 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….

My Thoughts:
‘Poison Princess’ was very strange from the beginning, and it doesn’t help that none of the main characters were very likeable. The main character, Evie, was really bland, and despite all her freak outs I never really felt the depth of her emotions. Meanwhile, Jack, the “love interest”, is a lecherous drunk who talks about himself in the third person. There are some tiny hints of goodness in him, but he’s never really a reformed bad boy - he’s just plain bad. He supposedly cared for Evie, but really all I could see in him was crudeness as he constantly tried to have sex with her, and repeatedly mentioned how she was his only option (super charming, right?).

Beyond my huge distaste for the “romance” element I just found the whole concept of the book to be bizarre. I was actually intrigued by the “tarot card characters come to life” gimmick, but I don’t think it was explained well enough in the novel, and definitely not enough to base a whole apocalyptic plot on it. Somehow I ended up reading this book in one afternoon, so I guess readability is one thing that it has going for it, though I think I stuck with it more in a “WTF is going on here?!” kind of way, rather than genuine interest. You guys know that I'm all about being fair in reviews and acknowledging the subjectivity of reading, but in this case I really can't see why there are so many 5 star reviews on Goodreads for this one.

The Cover:
I know Jack is supposed to look older, but why do those models look 30?! I like the title treatment, though.


Find Poison Princess by Kresley Cole on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.


  1. Unlikeable characters are pretty much the death sentence for any book I read, and it's too bad that Poison Princess was afflicted with them. Jack just sounds sleazy. >_< And coupled with a WTF? plot... sounds like your low rating was justified, Ashley.

    1. He is completely sleazy, I couldn't take it. :|

      A character doesn't have to be completely likeable for me, but I do have to at least empathize with them and see some good. In this case? Totally couldn't.

  2. Wow, yeah, I'm steering clear of this one now for sure. I was leery of it already just because it sounded quite typical for YA paranormal, but now that I hear about the characters and romance it's a definite no. Their relationship sounds a bit creepy, actually! And that guy model in particular on the cover looks, like, middle-aged O_O

  3. I am just starting this one today, EEK! I am really nervous. I don't like bland characters. :( I like the cover from afar, but yeah, when you take a closer look, why does the guy look so old? Thanks for your honest review! :)

  4. Wow, this sounds pretty bad.
    I hate when the characters just don't work.
    hopefully your next read will be totes better :D

  5. Jack is such a dick. Seriously. However, I think Evie has potential. I'm intrigued enough to see where Cole goes with this series. Though I do hope Jack falls into some dark hole somewhere never to emerge.

    1. Ha! Yes, the actual idea is really intriguing, so I'm disappointed that I couldn't connect with it at all because of the way it was written.

  6. It's such a shame to hear that Poison Princess isn't as great as it appears on the surface. I haven't had time to read too many reviews, but one of the things I did worry about was an adult write think she could write for a YA audience. Philippa Gregory's book didn't turn out as great as I'd hoped and I'm still putting off Jodi Picoult's YA book too for that same reason. The premise for Poison Princess sounds really cool, and in passing remarks, I've heard it's great... but it sounds like you just really didn't like the characters this time around. I think if I were to consider getting the book now, I'd first read the first chapter of something to see if it's something I'd like... Thanks for the review, Ashley!

    Liz @ Midnight Bloom Reads

    1. There do seem to be quite a few great reviews, but this does seem to be a title where people LOVE it or really dislike it.

      Agreed, re: adult authors cashing in on YA books. Sometimes it works, but I feel like most of the time it's kind of disappointing.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...