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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Audiobook Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

SERIES: The Arcana Chronicles, Book #1
AUTHOR: Kresley Cole 
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 2, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged, 11 Audio CDs, 12 hrs and 36 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9781442352964

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.

MY REVIEW: 


I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. 

Poison Princess had me riveted from beginning to end! So far, this is my favourite YA read of 2012!

The book starts off from the male point of view of a madman who is trying to lure young girls to his house. He keeps these girls chained in the basement, and he conducts experiments on them and tortures them. After a young blonde is drawn to his house, he slips a drug into her tea and asks her to tell the story of her life before The Flash, which we learn more about later on in the book. The book describes events that took place leading up to and after The Flash.

Evangeline “Evie” Greene is Miss Popularity: She is a beautiful 16 year-old cheerleader whose boyfriend, Brandon Radcliffe, is the star quarterback (naturally!). Everyone seems to like her, and she lives in one of the biggest houses in Sterling, Louisana. Evie had been having a lot of hallucinations about the end of the world, and her mother sent her away to a mental institution for the summer. She is forbidden from communicating with her grandmother because she puts foolish notions in Evie’s head. When she was a young girl, Evie’s grandmother told her that she was the Empress and that one day Evie would rule over all things that root or bloom. Her grandmother had a deck of tarot cards, and she would give them to Evie to look through.

Evie doesn’t dare let on to anyone that she is still having the hallucinations for fear of being sent back to the institution. She has a sketchbook where she draws what she sees in her dreams. If anyone were to see her drawings, they would certainly believe that she is crazy! She hears different voices inside her head, and she feels like she is going mad.

Some Cajun teenagers from the Bayou are transferred to Evie’s school, and Evie can’t seem to tear her eyes away from 18 year-old Jackson Deveaux. He makes her feel so wanted and desired, and she feels drawn to him in return. They act like they can’t stand each other, but you can feel their passion burning below the surface. Evie knows she has to stay away from Jackson because she is devoted to Brandon.

Events begin to unfold, which mirror the sketches that Evie has drawn from her hallucinations. Something that is referred to as “The Flash” occurs, which was believed to be a solar flare. Any living thing that was caught outside when it occurred was incinerated. All plant life was destroyed, bodies of water were evaporated, and no rain has fallen since The Flash. The small number of humans and animals that survived the day of The Flash died in the days that followed because they were unable to survive the ravaged world. Some of people mutated in zombie-like creatures called “Bagmen,” who are afflicted with an unquenchable thirst. Because most natural sources of water have disappeared, the Bagmen have turned to people and become blood-drinkers. 

Evie and her mother stockpile food and are able to survive, thanks mostly to the private wells on their plantation which provide access to fresh clean water.

Eight months after The Flash, Jackson pulls up to Evie’s house on his motorcycle. He fills her in on things that are going on in other parts of the country, and Evie decides that she must go to North Carolina to find her grandmother. Evie is desperate to remember everything that her grandmother told her because she believes that her grandmother holds the key to understanding what is going on, but the doctors at the institution did a good job at trying to brainwash Evie into forgetting the knowledge that her grandmother tried to impart. Jackson is willing to help with Evie’s search for her grandmother, but she has to promise to tell her secrets in return. He finds Evie’s sketchbook and demands to know how she knew that these things were going to happen. Evie isn’t sure that she can trust Jackson, but she knows that she won’t make it alone and she needs his help.

I alternated between wanting to slap Jackson to wanting to wrap my arms around him! The sexual tension between Evie and Jackson is so hot. Even though this is a Young Adult book, I think it definitely falls at the upper end of the age-range due to the sexual situations throughout the book. Jackson is the ultimate bad boy with a heart of gold, and he only wants one thing: Evie. He protects her and takes care of her, even forsaking sleep to watch over her, yet Evie still cannot trust him with her secrets. I wanted to shake some sense into that girl! She frustrated me a bit because of her inability to let Jackson in on what was going on. What annoyed me about Jackson was his view of Evie: That she was pretty to look at with no real survival skills for hunting and fighting. Well, she managed to get along just fine with her mother for eight months before he showed up! They both have their issues, but the chemistry is undeniable:

“If you touch me like that again, Evangeline,” he began in a husky tone, dropping to his seat once more, “in the space of a heartbeat, I will have you off this bike and onto the closest horizontal surface. And I woan be picky, no.” - Jackson

“You and me can get through anything, just give me a chance”—his voice broke lower—“just give me a chance to get to you.” He buried his face in my hair, inhaling deeply. “There is nothing that can happen to you that we can’t get past.”- Jackson

"I don't look down at you! I'm too busy looking up to you." - Evie

Cole is a new-to-me author, but she has turned me into a fan! I cannot wait to read the next book in this series, Endless Knight, which is expected to be released in October 2013. Until then, I am planning to read Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. I thought that this YA book was pretty hot and sexy, so I can’t wait to see what her adult series has to bring!

I enjoyed Emma Galvin’s narration. She puts a lot of emotion into her reading, which is conveyed to the listener. My only complaint is that Galvin started off Evie’s characterization with a Southern accent, which was later lost. For the sake of continuity, I wish she would have kept up the accent throughout the book. This is my first narration by Keith Nobbs, and he was fantastic as evil Arthur. He literally gave me chills! 

MY RATING:
 
5 stars! It was superb! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely read it! A big thanks to Simon Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

This book qualifies as: 

4 comments:

  1. I am sooo dying to read this book, maybe I need to pick up the audio, instead? Fab Review and I love Cole's IAD series, they are awesome!!!

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    1. Thanks, Silverlight! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did! I'm anxious to read the IAD series now!!

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  2. This sounds so good! I wasn't sure I was going to read this because the cover doesn't catch me and the synopsis didn't really either---but after that review I don't know if I can resist! Thanks for recommending it!

    Irene (Pay Dirt)

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Irene!

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