Right, so I literally just finished the book Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1) – Kresley Cole. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13450339-poison-princess
I think I’m in shock.
There’s just . . . so many mixed feelings. I mean, there is so much to love about this book (the hero/antagonist/whatever-the-hell-Jack-is-supposed-to-be is one. A big one.), and so much to . . . well, go meh at. And the ending is just – well let’s not go there. Put it this way, though; I devoured this book. In about three hours. Holed myself up in the living room and just read. You won’t want to set it down.
And then there’s the whole Jack/Evie thing. I don’t even know where I stand. It’s one of those couples that you just don’t understand. It’s not even the opposites attract thing; it’s instant, like, lust and hate at first sight. And (while seriously hating on each other) they have an almost kiss. While Evie has a boyfriend. And then after the Flash they find each other and . . . it gets a bit hazy, but there’s build up. The good kind, where it’s not painful or overly cringey, or even pointless. See there you can kind of see where they’ve got a connection.
But this aiuthor basically throws in all the scenes you want to see with them two; Evie getting jealous, Jack getting jealous, almost kiss, nice to each other, confessing their love, Jack rescuing Evie, hell, even Jack getting to see her all prettied up. You know when you’re reading for an awesome couple and you want something to happen, so you sit there and cross your fingers there’ll be a party or something. So the heroine can strut her stuff and see if the guy gets jealous. Just something to make them realise their attraction, or something.
There’s an over-abundancy of these. In the first few pages. As soon as Evie meets Jack, she’s dressed up as nicely as she ever is. Seriously, she makes a point of it – she’s been away, so for the first day she wants to look amazing. Then she has a (surprise) birthday party, where she’s dressed to look as hot as possible. During which, there’s a whole almost kiss. While she has a boyfriend. And then it turns out Jack was jealous over that. Then they have the whole “finally becoming friends, so let’s be more than friends” scenes (which Kelley Armstrong dragged out for a whole book, number two in the Darkest Powers trilogy; I think Kelley’s way was better. Because you could actually see why they were together. But that’s just me) and then Jack decides to flirt with this girl Selena (who is basically perfect for him) to make Evie jealous. It works. There are many more examples, trust me. You don’t have to hope for much in this book.
And then there’s the actual plotline. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it to be honest . . . it’s definitely unique. I mean, its based on tarot cards. But it feels like it could be maybe a second or third book in a series; or like Kresley Cole has thought about it in great detail, and assumed the reader knows everything she does. Some things do end up tying together – eg the voices Evie hears, her visions – but some things are plain unexplained. Prime example: the Flash.
What. The. Hell.
My main issue with “the Flash” is . . . well, it left you feeling a bit weirdly. And she killed Mel.
What did Mel ever do to you?! Except be an amazing friend. Why would you . . . just why? And Evie’s boyfriend (I don’t even remember his name; I just read Existence too, so the name Leif keeps popping up in my head – they’re both jocks and not the main love interest, though the heroines both seem unwilling to admit this) dies too. Which is, like, partly yay because . . . well, she was not interested in him at all. Well, a little. But not much more than a hot friend you don’t have any particular attraction to. Much like the heroine of Existence, she keeps her boyfriend around to feel comforted/normal etc etc. However, his death just felt like a cheap shot to keep him out of the running. And I have to admit it didn’t warm me to Evie when you read how pretty uncaring she is about his demise.
Hm, see that’s the other thing: Evie. I’m . . . not sure. She’s, well, she’s a conflicting character. At times, she seems really nice. Then she seems snobby, inconsiderate and shallow. Then she’s empathic and doesn’t care about things like wealth. And she is . . . well she is rude to Jack. But then she doesn’t really mean to be – but then sometimes she does.
However, I will say this for her; she develops. This is one where the heroine sorts herself out. And (although at the beginning I didn’t really like her) she will grow on you.
Look, read it. You might like it; you might not. You might like the romance; you might not. Personally, I liked the two characters and the way they interacted, but all those scenarios they were put into felt very cliche. You might like the storyline; you might not. You might like the arcane side to it; again, you might not.
I will tell you this though: you won’t be able to put it down.