Review: Poison Princess

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole was released in the U.S. on October 2, 2012 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, the print edition is 384 pages.

Poison Princess is the first book in author Kresley Cole’s The Arcana Chronicles.


Goodreads description:

#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….


Things were set into motion. The game had begun. The apocalypse had changed the playing field. And the Arcana were readying to do battle. The only question that remained was who would be the victor.

When Evie Greene began seeing visions, she feared she suffered the same affliction as her grandmother. And so she tried in vain to make them disappear by taking the medication she was given and blocking her memories of her grandmother and the stories she told.

Especially the ones that hinted that she was something more. That she had a part to play. And that she needed to be ready.

But when the world depicted in her visions became reality she began to wonder whether everything she envisioned was real. And if it was, just who were these violent others she saw, why was she seeing them and what did it all mean?

With the world in chaos, there was only one person Evie knew who could provide answers. But it meant embarking on a dangerous journey, with almost no supplies and no way to protect herself.

That is, unless she decided to rely on Jack Deveaux, a boy she had little reason to trust. A boy who already proved untrustworthy. A boy she couldn’t help but be drawn to.

She just wasn’t sure if the risk of putting her life and her heart in his hands would be worth it. Especially since she had no way of knowing whether the person with answers had even survived.


Kresley Cole’s first foray into young adult storytelling brings readers an incredibly imaginative, darkly alluring and utterly riveting tale in Poison Princess. With an introduction that is immediately captivating and absolutely chilling, a post-apocalyptic world that is dangerous and horrifying, a compelling storyline filled with disturbing imagery, a refreshingly different premise and exciting, interesting and intriguing characters, this first book in The Arcana Chronicles is impossible to put down.

Each scene grabs hold, ensnaring readers with the promise of what is to come. Each of Evangeline Greene’s visions is ominous and foreboding and deeply chilling. The world the author envisioned is desolate, despairing and deadly, a landscape of fear. And it is all offset by the electricity between Evie Greene and Jackson Deveaux.

Their fiery chemistry, sexual tension and Jack’s innate need to be the protector, to the point of overprotectiveness at times, brings heat to their otherwise frightening situation. His possessiveness, while often overbearing, is also incredibly sexy. Their interactions give readers much-needed sensuality in a story and world that are filled with grisly encounters and mounting horrors.

From Evie’s disturbing visions. To the post-apocalyptic climate that has left people without water and very little food. To the humans who have turned into what are tantamount to zombies. To those who have turned to enslaving others. To those who have banded together to fight for their survival, even if it means harming the innocent. To those who have chosen to eat whatever and whomever they can. And to those who decided to give in to their baser instincts and psychopathic tendencies in this new world.

Evie Greene is a likable and sympathetic character. Mired by ghastly visions that threaten her sanity, she still manages to be a kind and caring girl who only wants to return to the normal life she had before she began seeing glimpses of things she can only believe aren’t real. But when her world gets turned upside down, she has to learn to fight for her survival and she has to rely on someone she never imagined she would. Jackson Deveaux.

Jack is the ultimate bad boy – disarming good looks, a reputation for being dangerous, a criminal past and friends who behave equally as recklessly. Raised in poverty and violence, he and Evie couldn’t be more different. And yet they have an undeniable attraction to one another, which develops into something far more intense.

Kresley Cole did a brilliant job of introducing readers to this new world and characters, some of whom are more than they appear, of teasing readers with peeks at what is sure to develop in future books in the series, of building tension and suspense, and of bringing new life to YA paranormal/urban fantasy with her interpretation of the Arcana.

For readers who like their books dark, their worlds disturbing, their main characters to possess wickedly awesome and incredibly unique abilities and their bad boy heroes to be oh so devilishly bad, then Poison Princess is unequivocally a must read.

Reviewer gives this book…

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

On a personal note:

This book was so unbelievably awesome I cannot even find the words to describe just how perfect a read it was for me.

So I’ll have to come up with some lesser words that don’t even convey just how freaking amazing a book it was or else this will be my shortest review ever. For a book that blew my mind, pieced it back together and blew it apart all over again. And again. And again.

I love dark books. This was definitely dark. It had that whole “end of the world as we know it” thing going for it. There were zombie-like creatures – Bagmen – crazed vigilante types – militiamen – slavers and cannibals and psychopaths and the Arcana playing out their deadly game.

It was beyond gritty. It was beyond chilling. But it wasn’t just a story of horror upon horror. In part because of Jack Deveaux. (Insert major sigh here.)

His very presence in this story turned up the heat. To practically inferno levels. Yes, it was that hot.

You don’t believe me? Just search for the line that begins, “If you touch me like that again, Evangeline….” Read it. And then tell me if you don’t see steam rising from the page. I think my eReader almost short circuited.

But it wasn’t all about the dark edge, the sexy bad boy and the red-alert danger levels of this post-apocalyptic world. No. There was this amazing and fascinating and disturbing and utterly intriguing storyline that developed parallel to all of the story’s other deliciousness….

The Arcana.

While I can’t say too much about them because it would spoil all the fun of being teased mercilessly throughout the story with brief glimpses at them, at their world, I will say that every peek was so freaking awesome. Absolutely disturbing. Just a bit terrifying. Completely shocking. And yet wonderfully enticing.

Especially when it came to Death. Who I want to know more about. Who I want to see more of. Who I’d like to see Evie… oh, nope, I better not share that thought.

I’d read the description of POISON PRINCESS a couple of months before its release. But I was only somewhat intrigued. It painted an interesting picture, but didn’t tell enough of the story to lure me in completely. It wasn’t enough to make me obsessed.

But once I read the excerpt on the author’s website I was a goner. I was ensnared. I knew from that moment on, having had a taste of the author’s writing style, getting a glimpse at her very enchanting and seductive bad boy, meeting her incredibly fragile but super nice heroine, that this was going to be a “me” book. And that I wouldn’t be able to resist reading it for very long after its release.

Of course the taste wasn’t enough. The tease of reading just the excerpt made me more crazed than ever to devour this book. And devour it I did. In one sitting, though I briefly grappled with the idea of stopping altogether before the end in case things didn’t go quite as well as I hoped they would.

Or stopping so that I wouldn’t have to ever reach the end. Because I knew it would be more than tough to say goodbye. And I knew I wouldn’t be ready to say “see ya” for an entire year until the next book in the series releases.

I’m already incredibly nervous about how things will play out in the next installment. I’m curious to see if a new character’s point of view will be introduced. And I’m worried about the fates of certain other characters, who I won’t name.

Because as dark as this book was, I just have a feeling that the next one will dive deeper into the blackness. And I am both anxious and excited about what is to come.

POISON PRINCESS was an insanely awesome read. I connected with it on so many levels. I was riveted. I was teased. I was horrified. I was enchanted. And I am most definitely addicted.

Not only to this series but to the author’s writing. Because her way with words made me gasp in surprise, sigh in contentment, ache from heartbreak and loss, cringe in disgust, and made me so incredibly nervous about where things were headed.

Yes, POISON PRINCESS was one of the best books I’ve read this year and I can’t wait to continue the series next year.


Favorite passage:

Since I had favorite passages in the double digits, I couldn’t just share one. And though there is one passage that is my absolute favorite, which I included, there was this other passage, right near the very end, that I’d have loved to have shared, because it crushed my heart, but it was just too spoiler-y.

And while there are seemingly countless passages that sizzle, I thought I’d leave those to be discovered during the read, so this is just a taste.

Jackson growled at his friend, “Want a taste of dat girl, me.” The look in his blazing eyes . . .


“Remember, Empress,” he said. “Death always defeats life. It might take time, but I will always win.” As he mounted that mighty steed, he pinned me with his hypnotic gaze. “When your blood bathes my sword, I’ll drink it just to mock you. . . .”


“For as long as you’ve been looking down your nose at me, I’ve been craving you, an envie like I’ve never known.”


Read the excerpt:

To check out the seriously awesome excerpt from POISON PRINCESS on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

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