My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So, where to start?
It’s so hard and yet so easy to review this. First off, when I started reading this, I couldn’t decide if I was liking it or hating. I disliked it because the way it was written, reminded me of more mature, adult novels. So I had this massive frown creasing my young forehead and I had alarms going on in my head saying, ‘hurry up and start making this feel more either awesome or well more YA’. Though, technically, the story does begin set in a highschool with the usual highschool gimmicks whatnot. But yet, there’s a depth to the writing, the style of writing and the plot that you don’t ordinarily see in YA, except maybe in The Darkest Minds.
I DON’T make this comparison lightly. But yet when I finished Poison Princess and tried to think of something to compare it to that was YA, The Darkest Minds comes to mind. Yet at the same time, it also doesn’t match up because of the difference in style.
KRESLEY COLE is interesting. I’ve heard her name and in conjunction with other authors such as Gena Showalter who writes the Lords of the Underworld series I like. But I was never really game enough to read a book of Cole’s. Since I don’t usually venture into that genre unless by coincidence – usually a really surprising coincidence. But this time, I deliberately chose to read Poison Princess. And I had no idea what to expect.
WHAT I DIDN’T EXPECT came firstly in the form of the plot and story telling. There are only three scenes in the book that are not told from Evie’s perspective. It’s how the story begins. So that was cool. And then the story starts rolling. Since this a post-apocalytic/fantasy novel, it goes from good to bad pretty quickly. But yet it happens in nice slow stages. Which is something I don’t really see often in YA. Generally the events begin after the end of the world…but in Poison Princess we see Evie’s life before the “Flash” and then what happens after. Normally I’d be annoyed with stories that show the “before” stage, because I just feel it’s necessary, but in this, it’s like Cole waved a magic wand over my head and said, I will make you fall in love with all these characters, then take them away from you and let you cry as Evie cries. Only, I didn’t cry, but I felt the pain that Evie went through just as the Flash comes through. And I was surprised, because I knew everything that I had just been reading was only build up, noise stuff that I usually see characters narrating on post-end of the world in other end of the world novels. I was so surprised I actually cared! And then well, I just had to keep reading.
EXCEPT. It took me two days longer to finish this. I got so so busy that I had to stop reading halfway through and finally get back to it two days later, today. I could not put it down today at all. I just had to finish it.
I compared this to The Darkest Minds because Ruby throughout the entire book, did not fully use her powers. Indeed they were there, but Ruby had been terrified of using them for fear of persecution. Which is similar to how Evie acts throughout the entire novel. But in comparison, Evie denies that is capable of doing more than doing a little. Technically she doesn’t deny, she hides it from Jackson. Which drives him crazy.
SPEAKING OF JACKSON. Enter the love interest. He’s tall, dark haired, hot and handsome, total teenage boy and Cajun. I emphasised this because in the novel, his dialogue is written to the way he speaks. It’s great for texture, but hell, sometimes it was just plain annoying only because I myself have never actually heard a Cajun accent, and can only presume from the way it’s presented in the book. What I loved though, was the use of Cajun throughout the novel. I like it when there are sentences of other languages in novels, it adds more flavour and well, it’s great as long as the translation doesn’t get confusing.
BUT. Jackson was an asshole, I find a lot of the time he was an asshole, even though he never leaves Evie alone to fend for herself, though at one stage she leaves, and then they have this totally awesome screaming match which Evie finally conveys what’s in her head (well, not the secrets). Most of the time, he’s a jerk with Evie but he’s the ‘teasing’ kind of love interest so I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a hundred times over at the clichedness of his type of character.
WHICH is why, I found myself liking an Evie and Jackson pairing, despite his clichedness. I liked that there’s plenty of ‘get to know’ time, and there’s also time where they’ve been separated. I like that they have strong chemistry, the kind that’s built on a complication of feelings and not just physical attraction.
I WONDER how many books are there out there based on the ‘Arcana’ and Tarot cards. I’ve seen a bit in manga, but not much in novel form, though I might scrounge around a bit more to see if there are. My point is, this story is based on the Arcana, and even though I didn’t get much feeling of the arcana in the premise, when I read it, I felt as though the actual cards had come alive. I liked being swallowed into Cole’s world. It’d engulfed me before I even realised. It was surprising!
All I can say is, right now, I am absolutely dying to read the second one. I’m positively drooling to find out what happens since Cole left me completely hanging with a cliffhanger!!! Seriously no fair!
- Review: “Poison Princess” By Kresley Cole
- Soffy’s Book Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
- Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
- The Poison Princess (The Arcana Princess #01) by Kresley Cole review