Hiya! Madelyn here! I have 4 books to review and they are all a part of a series I binge read so why not just review them all in one post?
I finished reading a wonderful series by Kresley Cole called the Arcana Chronicles. Here are the books in order:
- Poison Princess
- Endless Knight
- Dead of Winter
- Arcana Rising
Now this is going to be kind of a long review since there are 4 books but I’ll do my best to keep it kinda short. And there will be spoilers ahead. And this will be all over the place since it’s late at night and still summer break for me so I am very sleep deprived.
Madelyn’s Sucky Plot Summary: So we have Evangeline “Evie” Greene who is a normal girl who just came back from a mental hospital cause her mom was convinced that she was crazy and needed help due to the grandmother. Evie is basically your normal high school girl though. Ok, she’s super popular as a cheerleader with friends and she’s that person who is everyone’s friends. Her first day back has her shocked to see that some poor kids from the Basin, some Cajuns, are going to be attending her school One of those is a guy named Jack Deveaux. Typical high school type of thing where a teen tries to go back to her normal life with some troublesome delinquents from the Basin. Then the Flash happened (I’ll explain this in a sec), Evie finds out that she’s not crazy and everything she’s seen in her dreams and heard from her grandmother is real. She is the Empress of the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck. And there are 21 other kids her age with powers and a card that they represent. They must kill each other if the apocalypse does not kill them first, gain icons (symbols of other players), and be the last one standing to gain immortality. And then play in the next game a few centuries later.
So the Flash is the apocalyptic event where solar flares fried the earth, dried up most water sources, killed most plant life, and people (mostly women for some reason). The solar flares also turned some people into zombies that hunger for water or blood and they’re called Baggers or Bagmen. They also are there to kill anyone cause they’re hungry.
Evie forms alliances along the way and meets people who wants to kill her. She starts off traveling with Jack to find her grandmother to help her understand her powers and to end the game without killing anyone. Jack isn’t Arcana but he’s a good traveling companion who teaches her survival tactics and protects her. They even share a bond since they can speak Cajun French with each other and they argue, a lot.
This book series was great. The villains were psychotic and bone-chilling so it was great to feel that suspense when the main characters encountered them. I feel like the antagonist for the book got worse and worse with each book.Which is only fantastic for my little heart to take.
I loved and hated all the characters, they were fantastic. writing didn’t stand out to me much but it was well-written.
I gotta talk about Death.
Death was an Arcana card that was out for Evie and had a past with her past reincarnations so most other cards knew not to try to kill her cause he basically had dibs. He first taunted Evie and reminded her that he wanted to kill her. But something in me was like “This guy is a cinnamon roll, I bet. I likey.” and I thought I was insane but then I was right in Endless Knight! He’s precious. I love him with his honesty and old man wisdom since he has been the champion for the last 3(?) games.
I always take the stone cold killer main character and turn him into something precious. I did that with Lorcan from SJM’s Throne of Glass series and I’m doing it with Death. God, help me. And I was glad to learn Death’s real name, by the way. Cause it sounded real weird when I was like “Damn, I just love Death.”
“I take no actions that I wouldn’t publicly recount. If you can’t speak your deeds, then don’t do them.” – Death
Evie grew a bit since the first book. She’s not as weak and without skills since she was basically a rich girl. She acquired survival skills thanks to Jack and grew into her Empress powers thanks to Mathew’s (another Arcana) sent visions of the past version of herself that she dubs “the red witch”. I was proud to see her tear this psychotic Arcana dude apart in self defense. But she still wishes not to harm people unless necessary like her allies and still wishes to find a way to stop the game without anyone dying.
There is a love triangle in this book with Evie, Jack, and Death. I liked how it was executed though but Kresley made it kind of hard! I am Team Death but I still like Jack a lot. I like how the author did not do this thing where she makes you hate that first guy the main girl fall in love with a bad guy but she kept him a good and likable guy. The two rivals even started to respect each other after going into battle together, which is something I don’t think I’ve seen much.
“My relationship with Jackson had felt fated. Whatever I had with Aric felt . . . endless.” – Evie
“By all the gods, I desire you, but you must know that you have my love. It’s given, sieva. Wholly entrusted to you. Have a care with it.” -Death
“You smell like honeysuckle. You likin’ ole Jack now?”
“I never stopped liking you. Even when you were warding me away with the power of Catholicism.”
-Jack and Evie
Most the characters here have their backstories so there is some depth to them. They aren’t just characters there to talk. Even if it’s just something simple like Finn, the Magician, being from California and being a surfer dude before the Flash. It made them seem more human and relatable(?). If relatable is like surfer dude from Cali going through the apocalypse and seeing snow like “Dude no, I’m from SoCal. I don’t do snow.” then sure.
For the record, I am neither from SoCal or a dude, lol.
I’m excited to learn more about characters that just appeared in Arcana Rising such as Sol. He was pretty interesting and allowed me to practice my Spanish since I have not been using it much. Like learning curse words. Thanks Sol, for expanding my knowledge.
Kresley Cole is good with her cliffhangers. It’s good I pretty much bought all the books out around the same time or I would die. But that last one in Arcana Rising was not nice! I saw that her next book in this series, The Dark Calling, was supposed to be out Spring 2017 but there’s no sign of it? Where is the next book?! I need it!
I’m ready for Evie and her friends to fight the Emperor and his allies. I just want everyone to be happy. And preferably alive by the end of this series. Happy and alive. Emphasis on the and since I’ve learn with an experience with SJM; who kept her characters alive but they’re not in a good situation at the moment in the Throne of Glass world.
All in all, this was a great book series! I would recommend it to anyone who likes action, suspense, adventure, romance, and friendship. And a killing game. This is like Hunger Games but like more present but like fantasy, haha. I like it better than Hunger Games. I usually don’t like it when people have to compare every single YA book to Hunger Games but this book literally has a death game where kids have to kill each other and one emerges. They’re just equipped with magic powers (and it’s better, in my opinion).
I feel like I’m missing something but I can’t think of anything else to write! It’s great! Read it! This is probably the best I can do in my sleep deprived state. But this will continue since I am trying to read as many books I can before college starts.
Ok. Kresley Cole, please give me The Dark Calling. I’m ready. My college GPA might not be ready for that major book hangover but I’m ready.