Audiobook Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess
The Arcana Chronicles #1
Author: Kresley Cole
Readers: Emma Galvin & Keith Nobbs
Reading Level: YA
Run-time: 12 Hrs 36 mins
Genre: Paranormal/Post Apocalyptic
Released: October 2nd 2012
Review Source: Simon & Schuster Audio
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) An apocalyptic event has destroyed Evie’s hometown and killed her mother. What makes it worse? Evie’s prophetic visions predicted it all—but she wrote it off as one of her freakish dreams. Now Evie teams up with a wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux. They are forced to leave town on a road trip heading to meet Evie’s maternal grandmother. Meanwhile, Evie is coming to terms with the fact that she has special powers—powers that have revealed themselves to her slowly.

The mythology of the story is inspired by Tarot cards. Evie is the personification of the Empress Tarot card, the genesis of her abilities. Along the way, she and Jack meet teens who have taken on the powers of other Tarot characters. It seems an ancient prophesy is being played out, and these teens have been tapped to reenact the battle.

I am a huge fan of Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series which is an amazing award winning series for adults. I looked forward to reading this first book in her Young Adult series, Poison Princess, The Arcana Chronicles. She definitely did not disappoint! I have re-read her Immortal series numerous times and I will now add Poison Princess, along with the rest of the stories to follow in The Arcana Chronicles, into my "hurry, hurry, I want the next one to be published" section!

Fifteen year old Evangeline "Evie" Greene has it all. She lives the privileged life of the wealthy in her small town and enjoys the popularity that comes with her position as cheerleader and girlfriend to the hunky captain of the football team, Brandon. The summer before her sixteenth birthday Evie starts having dark and terrifying hallucinations of widespread death and destruction that she tries to process and understand by sketching out her visions it graphic detail. These sketches, found by her mother, land her in a mental institution for the summer. She is allowed to return to school at the beginning of the new school year but secretly the hallucinations continue to plague her. She has also drawn the unwanted attention of a new student, the good looking but clearly bad boy, Jackson, who has transferred in to the wealthy school district from a much poorer area. As Evie's life becomes a balancing act of school, Brandon's teenage desires, Jackson's (sometimes) unwanted attention along with her mothers wary looks and her best friend Mel's questions, Evie starts to believe that these visions may in fact actually be premonitions of the future and she feels pushed to her breaking point. The story flashes between present day as Evie has taken shelter in Arthur's home (at this point we don't know who he is, only that he is evil) and the past (as Evie's story unfolds to Arthur).

She explains that hiding her visions had become almost impossible prior to the horrific Flash of light that eliminates almost every fresh water source, annihilates all things green and wipes out almost the entire human race. Those few humans left, find themselves turned in to blood drinking zombies or unwillingly drafted in to the service of crazed, power hungry militia that gather up the few surviving females to rape and/or keep as slaves. She struggles internally with guilt that she didn't trust her own visions and save her loved ones that, unprotected from the Flash, are reduced to piles of ash. In this new post apocalyptic world there are a few "chosen" people who are given powers that mirror an image found on cards in a tarot deck. The 22 trump cards of the deck, called the Major Arcana, are distinctly symbolic, depicting scenes and characters from ancient times. Evie is the Empress card and we discover her powers as the story progresses. She finds that her blood can bring forth plant life from the new barren landscape. But as she embraces her power she finds that she can also use her gift as a weapon and for protection. When no one Evie loves is left alive, she is forced to team up with Jackson in an effort to make her way to her grandmother. Resurfacing memories of lessons taught to her by her grandmother, when she was a child, convince her that only her grandmother has the knowledge to guide her.

As Evangeline and Jackson attempt to make this journey they are forced to team up with each other to defeat life threatening obstacles. Evie is reluctant to trust herself or Jackson, and is constantly undermining their alliance with her mistrust. Her reluctance to embrace her powers fully causes additional problems when they encounter other Arcana wielding powers much more evolved and she realizes she must learn to accept who she is in this new world. This part of the book gets frustrating as you are pulling for Evie to "step up" and in to her role as Empress. But she comes around in her own time as she realizes that she should have trusted her instincts all along.

The French Cajun dialect that Jackson uses really made his character for me. I don't usually think of characters this age as being sexy but Jackson changed all that. He has had a tough life that has aged him. His dark and angry personality begs to be pulled in to the light and you keep hoping all along that Evie will be the girl to do this. Selena (another Arcana) has plans of her own for Jackson and her interference casts doubt about the direction of Jackson's affection. Matt and Finn are two other Arcana that join the group during the journey. Each providing interesting and action packed twists and turns. I really loved everything that these secondary characters contribute to the story. The cliff hanger ending has me enthralled waiting for the next book. Put this book on your must read list!


  1. I have wanted to read this for a while and loved your review. Just hopped over on the Amazon link and WOW it was offered today for free preview today.

  2. I cannot wait to read this one!! I am reading her new one that came out yesterday, Shadow's Claim, and loving it!
    I don't listen to many audio books because I can't seem to stay focused. Lol.
    Wonderful review!! Thank you for sharing! :)


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