Heather's Reviews > Poison Princess

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
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Oct 02, 12

bookshelves: first-in-series, ya, own, 5-star, all-challenges, antihero, contemporary, dangerous-hero-challenge, first-person, suspense
Read from August 15 to September 27, 2012

Wow, what an awesome book, just... WOW! I was lucky enough to win an advance copy through First Reads which was good and bad. Good because, OMG, I got to read it before it came out; but bad because I had finished it and now have to wait for the second to come out and the first has yet to even hit the shelves...

The book opens up in Book Present and finds Evie alone and relying on a strange man with ulterior motives. His stated price is that he will give any traveler food and shelter in exchange for their story. Evie takes him up on his offer and proceeds to describe her life pre-Flash up until that day. What makes this interesting is that just before the main story begins, she warns him that "all might not be as I remember" and establishes herself as an unreliable narrator.

The two main characters are Evie and Jack. Evie is a wealthy teen appearing to live the charmed life. She's just about to turn sixteen, lives on a large farm with her mother, is popular, and has a boyfriend... oh, and she spent her summer in a mental ward for a few pesky hallucinations of a coming apocalypse... Meanwhile, Jackson (Jack ONLY to his friends and right away lets Evie know she is NOT one of them), is one of a new group of students from the bayou. He's older, has a record, drives a motorcycle and isn't afraid to drink or smoke on school grounds. Events before the Flash have them constantly butting heads and at each others throat.

Fast forward several months and Evie has become slightly tougher but has also been lucky enough to have been able to stay on her isolated farm. Then rolls in Jack, travel weary and with stories to tell of the outside world and its horrors, horrors and are coming straight for Evie's beloved farm.

This begins Evie and Jack's journey from Louisiana to North Carolina. Their goal is to find her grandmother, the woman who had foretold the coming of the Flash and knows Evie's part in it. Without her knowledge, all Evie knows is bits of what she can remember from her grandmother, mostly being that she is one of the Tarot come to life. She is the Empress, controller of plants and the Poison Princess; her ultimate foe, Death. He knows what's going on, isn't afraid to kill the other teens to further his agenda and he's able to watch her every move.

Other characters to join Evie and Jacks party are: Selena, the Moon; Matthew, the Fool; and Finneas, the Magician. Each has their own unique ability is an asset to the group, the question is, no one is willing to reveal all they know. Selena has strength, quickness, and an affinity with the bow, able to hit almost anything. Matt was labeled autistic in his former life because he is not always of this time. He has the power to see past, present and future events and is often shoving instances into Evie's head that he feels are important to her. Finn has the power of illusion. He can walk invisible through enemy camps, appear to be someone else, or even make another believe he sees something else. Together, they are part of something that's not fully understood yet.

Kresly Cole has created a wonderfully complex and unique world with this series. Not many stories pick up at the beginning of a post-apocalyptic dystopia. This is a world in which people have to quickly adapt to the fact that most of the ground water, including lakes and oceans, has dried up overnight, the earth is scorched and nothing new will grow. The land is littered with desperate people. Along the journey Evie and Jack must deal with militiamen and cannibals while avoiding places where Bagmen (mutated undead that crave any form of liquid, including human blood) might be tempted to gather.
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