Poison Princess (Arcana Chronicles Series #1)by Kresley Cole
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.
She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins/b>
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.
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….
“The prose crackles with energy and interest, the content is on target in terms of current demand, and this could be the next Twilight.”
“My brain is near exploding with how crazy good this story was… An exceptionally well written plot that will have you turning pages and sticking up a ‘do not disturb’ sign. You won’t want to be interrupted. Especially when Jackson has his smexi Cajun mojo in full swing.”
“Holy Mother of YA Goodness…did Kresley Cole write a book! I’m still getting the chills thinking about this ‘Poison Princess!’… Jack Deveaux, [is] a swoon-worthy character if ever there was one.”
“Kresley Cole knows how to capture an audience because I was gone from page one.”
“Cole knows how to deliver romance, and in POISON PRINCESS, she shows that younger characters can fall just as hard—and they take their readers with them… POISON PRINCESS is a brilliant debut that will snare readers of all ages with its vivid post-apocalyptic world, engrossing romance, and novel magic based on Tarot cards. The next book in The Arcana Chronicles just shot to the top of my wishlist.”
“…this may very well be the best and most original book that I have ever read.”
“I love the sensual creativity that Kresley Cole delivers in her writing. Evie and Jack's electrifying connection is just to die for! Oh! and did I mention that Jack is the ultimate post-apocalyptic badass hero?”
“One of the most original YA debuts of the year that you just can’t forget, “Poison Princess” is just one big book full of awesome.”
“Disturbing, dark, dangerous, terrifying, heartbreaking, and AMAZING!”
- Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
- Publication date:
- Arcana Chronicles Series, #1
- Edition description:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.86(w) x 8.38(h) x 1.17(d)
- HL670L (what's this?)
- Age Range:
- 14 - 17 Years
Read an Excerpt
DAY 6 B.F.
“How are you feeling?” Mom asked with an appraising eye. “You sure you’re up for this?”
I finished my hair, pasted on a smile, and lied through my teeth, “Definitely.” Though we’d been over this, I patiently said, “The docs told me that settling back into a normal routine might be good for someone like me.” Well, at least three out of my five shrinks had.
The other two insisted that I was still unstable. A loaded gun. Trouble with the possibility of rubble.
“I just need to get back to school, around all my friends.”
Whenever I quoted shrinks to her, Mom relaxed somewhat, as if it was proof that I’d actually listened to them.
I could remember a lot of what the docs said—because they’d made me forget so much of my life before the clinic.
With her hands clasped behind her back, Mom began strolling around my room, her gaze flickering over my belongings—a pretty, blond Sherlock Holmes sniffing for any secrets she didn’t yet know.
She’d find nothing; I’d already hidden my contraband in my book bag.
“Did you have a nightmare last night?”
Had she heard me shoot upright with a cry? “Nope.”
“When you were catching up with your friends, did you confide to anyone where you really were?”
Mom and I had told everyone that I’d gone to a special school for “deportment.” After all, you can’t prep a daughter too early for those competitive sororities in the South.
In reality, I’d been locked up at the Children’s Learning Center, a behavioral clinic for kids. Also known as Child’s Last Chance.
“I haven’t told anyone about CLC,” I said, horrified by the idea of my friends, or my boyfriend, finding out.
Especially not him. Brandon Radcliffe. With his hazel eyes, movie-star grin, and curling light-brown hair.
“Good. It’s our business only.” She paused before my room’s big wall mural, tilting her head uneasily. Instead of a nice watercolor or a retro-funk design, I’d painted an eerie landscape of tangled vines, looming oaks, and darkening skies descending over hills of cane. I knew she’d considered painting over the mural but feared I’d reach my limit and mutiny.
“Have you taken your medicine this morning?”
“Like I always do, Mom.” Though I couldn’t say my bitter little pills had done much for my nightmares, they did stave off the delusions that had plagued me last spring.
Those terrifying hallucinations had been so lifelike, leaving me temporarily blinded to the world around me. I’d barely completed my sophomore year, brazening out the visions, training myself to act like nothing was wrong.
In one of those delusions, I’d seen flames blazing across a night sky. Beneath the waves of fire, fleeing rats and serpents had roiled over Haven’s front lawn, until the ground looked like it was rippling.
In another, the sun had shone—at night—searing people’s eyes till they ran with pus, mutating their bodies and rotting their brains. They became zombielike blood drinkers, with skin that looked like crinkled paper bags and oozed a rancid slime. I called them bogeymen. . . .
My short-term goal was simple: Don’t get exiled back to CLC. My long-term goal was a bit more challenging: Survive the rest of high school so I could escape to college.
“And you and Brandon are still an item?” Mom almost sounded disbelieving, as if she didn’t understand why he would still be going out with me after my three-month absence.
“He’ll be here soon,” I said in an insistent tone. Now she’d gotten me nervous.
No, no. All summer, he’d faithfully texted me, though I’d only been allowed to respond twice a month. And ever since my return last week, he’d been wonderful—my cheerful, smiling boyfriend bringing me flowers and taking me to movies.
“I like Brandon. He’s such a good boy.” At last, Mom concluded this morning’s interrogation. “I’m glad you’re back, honey. It’s been so quiet around Haven without you.”
Quiet? I yearned to say, “Really, Karen? You know what’s worse than quiet? Fluorescent bulbs crackling twenty-four hours a day in the center. Or maybe the sound of my cutter roommate weeping as she attacked her thigh with a spork? How about disconnected laughter with no punch line?”
But then, that last one had been me.
In the end, I said nothing about the center. Just two years and out.
“Mom, I’ve got a big day.” I shouldered my backpack. “And I want to be outside when Brand shows.” I’d already made him wait for me all summer.
“Oh, of course.” She shadowed me down the grand staircase, our steps echoing in unison. At the door, she tucked my hair behind my ears and gave me a kiss on my forehead, as if I were a little girl. “Your shampoo smells nice—might have to borrow some.”
“Sure.” I forced another smile, then walked outside. The foggy air was so still—as if the earth had exhaled but forgotten to inhale once more.
I descended the front steps, then turned to gaze at the imposing home I’d missed so much.
Haven House was a grand twenty-two-room mansion, fronted by twelve stately columns. Its colors—wood siding of the lightest cream, hurricane shutters of the darkest forest green—had remained unchanged since it’d originally been built for my great-great-great-great-grandmother.
Twelve massive oak trees encircled the structure, their sprawling limbs grown together in places, like hundred-ton hydras trapping prey.
The locals thought Haven House looked haunted. Seeing the place bathed in fog, I had to admit that was fair.
As I waited, I meandered across the front lawn to a nearby cane row, leaning in to smell a purple stalk. Crisp but sweet. One of the feathery green leaves was curled so that it looked like it was embracing my hand. That made me smile.
“You’ll get rain soon,” I murmured, hoping Sterling’s drought would finally end.
My smile deepened when I saw a sleek Porsche convertible speeding down our oystershell drive, a blur of red.
Brandon. He was the most enviable catch in our parish. Senior. Quarterback. Rich. The trifecta of boyfriends.
When he pulled up, I opened the passenger door with a grin. “Hey, big guy.”
But he frowned. “You look . . . tired.”
“I didn’t get to bed till late,” I replied, darting a glance over my shoulder as I tossed my bag into the minuscule backseat. When the kitchen curtain fluttered to the side, I just stopped myself from rolling my eyes. Two years and out . . .
“You feeling okay?” His gaze was filled with concern. “We can pick up some coffee on the way.”
I shut the door behind me. “Sure. Whatever.” He hadn’t complimented me on my hair or outfit—my Chloé baby-blue sleeveless dress with the hem no more than four regulation inches above the knee, the silky black ribbon that held my hair back in a curling ponytail, my matching black Miu Miu ankle-wrap heels.
My diamond earrings and Patek Philippe wristwatch served as my only jewelry.
I’d spent weeks planning this outfit, two days in Atlanta acquiring it, and the last hour convincing myself I’d never looked better.
He hiked his wide shoulders, the matter forgotten, then peeled down Haven’s drive, tires spitting up an arc of shell fragments as we zoomed past acre after acre of cane.
Once we’d reached the highway, a seamed and worn-out stretch of old Louisiana road, he said, “You’re so quiet this morning.”
“I had weird dreams last night.” Nightmares. Nothing new there.
Without fail, my good dreams were filled with plants. I’d see ivy and roses growing before my eyes or crops sprouting all around me.
But lately in my nightmares, a crazed redheaded woman with gleaming green eyes used those same plants to . . . hurt people, in grisly ways. When her victims begged for mercy, she would cackle with delight.
She was cloaked and partially hooded, so I couldn’t make out all of her face, but she had pale skin and green ivylike tattoos running down both her cheeks. Her wild red hair was strewn with leaves.
I called her the red witch. “Sorry,” I said with a shiver. “They kind of put me in a funk.”
“Oh.” His demeanor told me he felt way out of his depth. I’d once asked him if he had nightmares, and he’d looked at me blankly, unable to remember one.
That was the thing about Brandon—he was the most happy-go-lucky boy I’d ever met. Though he was built like a bear—or a pro football player—his temperament was more adoring canine than grizzly.
Secretly, I put a lot of store in him, hoping his normal could drag me back from my wasteland-visions brink. Which was why I’d fretted about him finding another girl and breaking up with me while I was locked up at CLC.
Now it seemed like at least one thing was going to work out. Brandon had stayed true to me. With every mile we drove away from Haven, the sun shone brighter and brighter, the fog lifting.
“Well, I know how to put my girl in a good mood.” He gave me his mischievous grin.
I was helpless not to be charmed. “Oh, yeah, big guy? How’s that?”
He pulled off the road under the shade of a pecan tree, tires popping the fallen pecans. After waiting for the dust to pass us, he pressed a button and put down the convertible top. “How fast you wanna go, Eves?”
Few things exhilarated me more than flying down the highway with the top down. For about a nanosecond I considered how to repair the utter loss of my hairstyling—braid a loose fishtail over your shoulder—then told him, “Kick her in the guts.”
He peeled out, the engine purring with power. Hands raised, I threw my head back and yelled, “Faster!”
At each gear, he redlined before shifting, until the car stretched her legs. As houses whizzed past, I laughed with delight.
The months before were a dim memory compared to this—the sun, the wind, Brandon sliding me excited grins. He was right; this was just what I needed.
Leave it to my teddy bear of a football player to make me feel carefree and sane again.
And didn’t that deserve a kiss?
Unbuckling my seat belt, I clambered up on my knees, tugging my dress up a couple of inches so I could lean over to him. I pressed my lips against the smooth-shaven skin of his cheek. “Just what the doctor ordered, Brand.”
“You know it!”
I kissed his broad jaw, then—as my experienced best friend Melissa had instructed—I nuzzled his ear, letting him feel my breath.
“Ah, Evie,” he rasped. “You drive me crazy, you know that?”
I was getting an idea. I knew I played with fire, teasing him like this. He’d already been reminding me of a promise I’d made right before I left for deportment school: If we were still going out when I turned sixteen (I was a young junior), I would play my V card. My birthday was next Monday—
“What the hell does that guy want?” he suddenly exclaimed.
I drew my head back from Brandon, saw he was glancing past me. I darted a look back, and my stomach plummeted.
A guy on a motorcycle had pulled up right next to us, keeping pace with the car, checking me out. His helmet had a tinted visor so I couldn’t see his face, but I knew he was staring at my ass.
First instinct? Drop my butt in the seat, willing my body to disappear into the upholstery. Second instinct? Stay where I was and glare at the pervert. This was my morning, my laughter, my fast drive in my boyfriend’s luxury sports car.
After a summer spent in a fluorescent hell, I deserved this morning.
When I twisted around to glare over my shoulder, I saw the guy’s helmet had dipped, attention definitely on my ass. Then he slowly raised his head, as if he was raking his gaze over every inch of me.
It felt like hours passed before he reached my eyes. I tugged my hair off my face, and we stared at each other for so long that I wondered when he was going to run off the road.
Then he gave me a curt nod and sped past us, expertly dodging a pothole. Two more motorcycles followed, each carrying two people. They honked and cheered, while Brandon’s face turned as red as his car.
I consoled myself with the knowledge that I’d probably never have to see them again.
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Meet the Author
Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Immortals After Dark paranormal series. Her books have been translated into many foreign languages, garnered two RITA awards, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists in the U.S. and abroad. Poison Princess is the first book in her new young adult series, The Arcana Chronicles. Visit her at KresleyCole.com.
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I managed to get my hands on an ARC of Poison Princess and can I just say that this may very well be the best and most original book that I have ever read. Kresley Cole has created this amazing post apocalyptic world where 22 real kids have superhuman powers. They each represent a card from a tarot deck. The kids find that they have to form alliances to win each hand against their enemies. However in the end only one "card" can win the war. This book is so intense you will find yourself holding your breath and gritting your teeth while each scene plays out. There are so many twists that I couldn't find it in my power to put it down for even a second. I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat constantly wanting to know more. The mystery surrounding the Arcana was just too intriguing. I have never read anything like it. Kresley Cole has created some amazing characters. They are easy to relate to. Evie is this helpless girl that can't do anything for herself and Jack is this tough guy who will stop at nothing to protect her. The chemistry between Jack and Evie is simply combustible. Their banter is fun yet so serious. When Jack speaks you are left with no choice but to listen. I have to be honest I never knew that Cajun French could sound so sexy! Jacks accent was enough to make my heart flutter. Yes that's right I hear characters speak when I read! That's normal, Right? As Evie grows into her power as The Empress she starts to change. Suddenly she finds that she is not so helpless anymore. She has an affinity for plants which she uses to protect herself. As she gets stronger and starts to learn more about who she is she keeps Jack in the dark about what is going on with her because she is afraid of what he would think. There is some serious sexual tension between the two of them and I think it is more than just the fact that Evie is one of the last surviving girls on the planet. Jack gets so frustrated with her but I think it is because he is falling in love with her. He knows that he has to protect her at all costs even when she doesn't think she needs protecting. I wonder if Jack and Evie are going to save what's left of the world or if the world is going to tear them apart. The future of Jack and Evie has yet to be seen. The other Arcana cards that we met in this book were equally interesting. Selina is The Moon, the bringer of doubt. She has amazing archery skills but she isn't telling anyone the truth about what she knows. Matthew is The Fool. He sees visions of the past, present and future but he speaks in riddles so he is little help right now. Finn is The Magician. He can go around undetected which allows him to score supplies that help to keep everyone alive. They all play a role, I'm just not sure yet who is on which side of the deck. I cant wait to see what is going to happen in the next book. Poison Princess is going to top every single chart!! If you are in doubt about reading it don't be. Go pre order it right now. You are going to devour this book in just a few short hours and when its over your going to be left wanting more!
Evie Greene is living the perfect 16 year-old's life - gorgeous boyfriend, great friends, perfect house. Or is she? Why is she having horrific nightmares and hearing voices in her head? And then there's the new boy in school - badboy Jackson Deveaux, with his sexy Cajun accent. Then F-day hits - The Flash. Evie and her Mom are left to survive in a post-apocalyptic scorched earth world. Jackson takes care of Evie after the unthinkable happens. It's not always easy but they have their sweet moments. But Evie has secrets and Jackson hates secrets. There's a new food chain post Flash so Evie and Jackson have a rough road to their destination and along the way they meet others but it's hard to tell if they're friends or foes. Kresley Cole has once again created an amazing paranormal world - kind of reminds me of my favorite TV show The Walking Dead. I LOVE Evie and Jackson. I couldn't put the book down and at the same time I didn't want it to end :) Can't wait for the 2nd book!
I am a huge fan of Kresley Cole's other books and always look forward to her new releases. While I was unsure whether or not I would enjoy her YA series, I am pleased to say that this book does not dissappoint. I could not put it down, I was so drawn into the plot that I had to keep reading and find out what happens next. I am definitely looking forward to the next in the series and I would highly reccomend this book to anyone who is a fan of Kresley's writing.
Wouldnt recommend for younger teens. Sexual tensions,death and a society that unravels into darkness. I liked the characters, the plot, the dialogue and the imagery. Going to be a new favorite series. Also recommend The Mortal Coils series by Eric Nylund.
Kresley Cole hits paranormal post-apocalyptic fiction out of the ball park with her debut young adult title, Poison Princess! The Arcana Chronicles proves to be a series that will take you on a wild ride with no limits and absolutely no hint of predictability. Poison Princess is brilliantly written from the plot, style, and cast of characters. The array of characters who fill this novel are hard, compassionate, fierce, sneaky, but ultimately believable. Evie is plagued with hallucinations and terrible nightmares that leave her with a misconstrued view of reality. When her mind-boggling visions of the world's end comes true, as depicted in her drawings, Evie has to find a way to use her mysterious powers to survive. In the meantime, the smoking hot, bad-boy Cajun, Jack, comes around to protect her, even though he may not want to. Evie and Jack's relationship is rare in young adult literature. Their differences and prejudices keep them apart for a good part of the novel, yet their toing-and-froing is tantalizing and definitely entertaining! Cole's Poison Princess is a welcome break from the cookie-cutter novels that seep with unoriginality and the same-old themes. 22 teens, though only a few are introduced in the novel, survive the end of the world embodying characters from a set of tarot cards; if this doesn't cause one to dive in, what will? The story is involving enough to read continuously without interruption. By the time the story reaches its crescendo, readers will be stuck between speechless and completely awed by Cole's skill in writing heart-racing scenes full of power and action. Evie's growth from the girl too afraid to accept the truth of her destiny to the girl who embraces it is the highlight of the novel. The Arcana Chronicles has phenomenal potential and with the first book in the series, Poison Princess, Kresely Cole makes it a sure-fire series! *ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
I love Kresley Cole! I'm so glad I found her! I was skeptical of her YA series, but after reading the free sample, I was hooked. I can't wait for her next books.
I was leery to read this, since it's a "teen" romance and all but since it's Kresley Cole - I had a feeling ....and I am going to tell you this book was awesome! The story inside the story...both kept me on edge and I couldn't put it down. Evie is so well written you feel like you're living her life...Then there's Jackson and WOW. Her story takes you on a roller coaster of an adventure at the same time out lining story is as exciting and both are surprisingly unpredictable! Read it and you will agree!
I loved this new series. It pacted with Action and leaves you hanging for more at the end. Can't wait to read the next book!
This book was exceptional. It has action, romance, and a riveting story line. The concept behind the Arcana is an interesting backdrop and the apocalyptic aspect of the story makes it even more compelling. I can not wait for the next book!
I read a lot of Kresley Cole... love her work. This one is unlike any of her books so far. So new...so fresh. I loved this book and I am waiting with such anxiety and excitement for the next one. Read it...you will love it too!!!
Better than Harry Potter and Twilight! Can't wait for the next installment!
Looking forward to the next one!
Such a good read! I was leery of reading this book, after reading some reviews citing that the story was kind of gory. Kresley Cole does an exceptional job weaving a post apocalyptic world. Once I started reading this story, I was so engrossed, I couldn't put it down! I cannot wait for the next book in this series!
I loved this book! I couldn't put it down! I was reading until four in the morning knowing i had to go to work in 3 hours, this book was that amazing! I adored the romance between Jack and Evie their developing relationship and feelings for each other left me sighing, laughing and breathless with anticipation. The action leaves you nail bightingly nervous on the edge of your seat and the fantasy truly engages your imagination! This book has everything! I can't wait for the second installment!!
I love Kresley Cole, I started out reading her adult novels and they were amazing. When i saw she had a YA book coming out i went out and bought it the first week it came out. Don't let the one star reviews sway you, this book is amazing and it has enough action throughout the story to keep you there for hours. I will definitely be buying the second book when it comes out. And the cliff hanger at the end really frustrates you, but it was a good place to end the book.
I have not read any of Kresley Cole’s Immortal After Dark series but I had heard good things about them (and yes there are a few on my TBR shelf, I just haven’t gotten to them!). When offered the chance to review her new YA series, The Arcana Chronicles, I jumped at the chance to dive into her world. I was not disappointed. Evangeline Greene (Evie), Miss Popular at school, has a secret. This secret gets her locked up into a mental institution for the summer and when she returns she tries to pretend that everything is normal. But her hallucinations are back and stronger than ever. Even though she tries and tries to ignore them, her hands reach for her hidden sketch book and she begins to draw all the horrible things she sees. Not only does she see things, now the voices have started and Evie cannot think what could be worse. But the worst is coming. The apocalypse (aka The Flash). It hits hard and if Evie hadn’t trusted her hallucinations her and her mother would have been decimated along millions others. Now they must survive by finding water and food since The Flash destroyed all plant life and evaporated all water so nothing will grow on the land anymore. To top it off, her visions (not hallucinations) and the voices are becoming stronger and she knows that she needs to find her grandmother (if she is still alive) to help her discover what her role in this new world will be and also along the way learn what new powers she holds inside herself. Jackson Deveaux, bad-boy from the bayou, comes riding down her road one day with news that there is a band of baddies on their way and if her and her mother stay here they will be taken and these guys do not treat woman with any respect. Evie and Jackson already have a bit of a history, with him tempting her from her preppy boyfriend before The Flash, so Evie is not too keen on having to go with him but she knows it is the only way. Evie is not exactly the strongest heroine at this time. This first installment introduces us to many of the characters that will be playing some big parts in the future I am sure. As the story continues, we watch Evie grow from spoiled rich girl to the heroine that the world needs. This leads to a journey that the reader can’t wait to finish. Cole’s characters are all based on a Tarot deck and Evie is part of the Major Arcana. Loved this original storyline and that is what first drew me in and Cole was able to easily make her characters believable. Even though looking back I see how complex her plot is, she introduces the reader at a pace that we can follow without too much confusion. Loved the characters, the plot and Cole definitely has me anticipating her next installment. Because of that I recommend this for adult or teen readers if you are looking for a fresh take on the dystopian genre. (Audio CD was provided from publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole is the start of an amazing series. This book contains many genres, such as dystopian, supernatural, romance, adventure, mythology and fantasy. Poison Princess immediately intrigued me with the feeling of doom in the first chapter. I was pulled into the story because it is interesting in so many ways; the Louisiana culture and language and the fantastical and mythological pull around Evie. I love the Cajun vocabulary lessons and culture and I think I felt at home with it because I lived in Louisiana during an impressionable age while growing up. I lived in several areas of Louisiana between the ages of nine and twelve. The Cajun references made me smile and sometimes cringe because they were spot on. The author changes the point of view from Evie to the kidnapper for the prologue and one other chapter. This strategic writing gives readers insight into the enemy's world. Clever, Kresley Cole! There is a bit of swearing and sexual innuendo that I will warn students about, but I absolutely love this book with its dynamic characters and I plan on reading it again and finishing the Arcana Chronicles series as soon as possible.
It captures your attention and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
It grabbed my attention right from the start its a great mix of genres
Love this series . Very well written.
I am ready to read the next book. You can't stop reading!!!!!