Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)

Come touch…but you’ll pay a price.

Minor spoilers ahead

It has been years since I’ve picked up this series. I haven’t read Poison Princess since 2013 and Arcana Rising came out in August (nearly a year and half wait since Dead of Winter). It has been a long time of pushing this series to the back of my head so I didn’t get too impatient with the wait and lack of information on anything regarding this series. Now finally, I get to re-read it and re-immerse myself back in the Arcana world. And honestly the length of time was the best thing to happen because I remember only the largest of details and falling back in love with these characters is like reading a new series.

This book starts off with Evie Greene coming back home to Louisiana after being locked up in a center for crazy teens all summer by her mother. Her mom sent her away because she was drawing pictures of a post-apocalyptic wasteland and boogeymen and other horrific drawings that would get anyone put away. Not to mention her near constant hallucinations. There at her new school a group of delinquents from the other side of the bayou start attending her school. Including the rugged and dangerous, but handsome cajun Jackson Deveaux. Honestly, the first third of the book could almost be a very cookie cutter young adult novel. But of course, it’s not. Her hallucinations and drawings ended up being something very real that was about to happen. Post-Flash Jack finds her again and agrees, reluctantly, to help her find her Gran who seemed to know everything about what Evie had been experiencing about tarot cards and the people they represent.

Poison Princess still stands to be one of the more unique books I have ever read. I mean, teenagers who are tarot cards that fight to the death? I absolutely love the idea and I loved reading about how Evie slowly came to terms with her new reality.

The one drawback I seem to have with this book is how much it can creep into your stereotypical young adult apocalyptic scene with how much Evie seems to drool over Jack. Of course, I think that is just because of Kresley Cole’s nature as an adult writer and seriously I remember reading this at 16 and wondering how some scenes made it into a young adult book. Okay, I still wonder but I’m a little bit more of a seasoned reader now so I don’t shy away from it as much now. Regardless of how much Evie can get caught up in her personal life despite what else is going on around her she really needs to worry about, I still love this book.

Evie’s character development in this book isn’t as big in the grand scheme of things, but she still comes out stronger at the end than she came in at the beginning. Evie was definitely coddled and sheltered her whole life, but honestly so was most of the world when the Flash happened, and she was thrown for a loop when she went from living in the lap of luxury to fighting for her life everyday. I’m looking forward to reading more about how she develops as she continues to adjust to this new world and purpose she has.

One of my favorite characters in this whole series is Jack and it was so great to fall back in love with him. When I first read this book, Jack was one of those characters who starts off prickly and you wonder if you’ll ever like them. He is rough around the edges but inside I think he’s just a sweetheart. He can be nice when he wants to be. He had a very different upbringing than Evie did and so he had a little bit of an easier time adjusting to the post apocalyptic wasteland that Earth becomes.

I can’t wait to dive into the next one and see how the events at the end play out.

5/5 Stars.

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