Published: 2nd October 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Format: ARC, 369 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Post Apocalyptic
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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 ...
A real page turner, Poison Princess had me intrigued from the start: grabbing my attention and not letting go. The premise is wonderfully intriguing, and although I didn’t initially like the characters, they grew on me, and now I can’t wait to follow their adventures in the next books of the series.
Evie, a popular, gorgeous cheerleader at her school, didn’t inspire much confidence at first. While her powers, and subsequent trip to a mental health facility, implied there was a lot more to her, all I saw was an elitist girl who thought she was nice, but really wasn’t. She was judgemental about Clotile’s supposed sluttiness, which was harsh because in some ways Evie wasn’t much different, and at least Clotile was always honest about her intentions. Jackson’s immediate, and creepy, interest in Evie also got on my nerves, because it made no sense, but the oddest thing was that Evie was always whining about how much Jackson stared at her, but to have noticed it, she had to be staring back!
However, after the Flash, desperately trying to survive the new world, Jackson and Evie soon revealed hidden depths to their natures and it wasn’t long before I started to like them. I think their romance was well paced, and even though it resembled Jackson it that it was temperamental and a little abrasive, it was also sweet. I didn’t like that Jackson couldn’t think about anything but sex – I’m not sure why the author thought that would make him endearing. His actions suggest that he does genuinely care for Evie though, so like her, I was mystified by what was going on in Jackson’s head.
The premise of the book – characters from Tarot cards waging war on one another after some mysterious event that wiped out all the water and most life from the planet – is really interesting and I enjoyed gradually finding out about it with Evie. I think the blend of the post apocalyptic and the fantastic is handled brilliantly, and I admire the author’s skill in achieving this. Everything is well explained, the plot twists are engaging and the world is well realised. The format the book uses to tell Evie’s story is also new: two sections of long flashbacks as Evie tells someone everything that has befallen her in the months since the Flash. The first part deals with before the Flash, where we get to know Evie, Jackson and all their classmates, and find out about what normal life was like for them. Because of this, the events after the Flash have a bigger impact: we know first hand how much their lives have changed.
I really liked Poison Princess, and will definitely be on the look out for sequels. Kresley Cole’s YA debut is a wonderful read, filled with cool magic, a cute romance, and likeable protagonists (once you get to know them). Fans of the Fantasy will enjoy it, and those looking for a new read should consider it.