Review by: Chelsea
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
I was apprehensive about starting Kresley Cole’s first young adult novel. I admit, a bit shamefully, that it’s her well-written steamy scenes in her Immortals After Dark that make her such a standout.
Or so I thought.
With Poison Princess, she has created a rich, gothic landscape with a plot that snares you like briar. We experience Evie’s tale of coming into her powers. She’s one of the Major Arcana (from the Tarot deck). Only she was sure the visions she’d been having of the pending apocalypse meant she was crazy. Her mom sure had thought so. And a team of doctors. Then the Flash happened. The earth was blanched of water, millions burnt to ash. Her visions becoming real, or is it a hallucination?
Poison Princess teems with lush visuals. Every dream, nightmare and vision the main character Evie has readers experience alongside her. The world is striking both before and after the apocalyptic event marking the novel’s pivotal change. It’s just not just what we see, but the sound of love interest Jack’s Cajun drawl. The way he uses French to get under Evie’s skin and warm ours.
Jack is your quintessential alpha. He’s protective and loyal. He’s determined. He’s cocky. He can be a bit of an ass. But he’s also an 18-year-old guy with some serious insecurities about not being good enough for Evie. He wants to prove he’s worth her affections, but fronts apathy. He says the wrong things. Evie does the wrong things. And, yet, somehow these two bond. The chemistry is hot, but you’ll have to wait until after the Flash for sparks to really ignite. (So keep with it!)
The romance is frustrating, but in a precise way. In the “I will murder that boy if he keeps this up” type of way. There were times while reading when I wanted to climb into the pages and shoo away other characters so Evie and Jack could be alone. There are sparks with these two, and I’m curious to see what will happen with the next book.
A couple words of caution on that note. First, despite some serious romance going on, this isn’t a romance novel. Jack and Evie have a long way to go and this is more of a gothic fantasy. That leads us to the other warning, the ending will make you want to beg for an earlier release date for second Arcana Chronicles novel.
Sexual content: Kissing, references to sex