Author: Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Publication Information: October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Edition: Kobo ebook, 384 pages
Categories: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Supernatural
Rating: 4.00/5.00 | Goodreads Rating: 4.33/5.00
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What the Back of the Book Says
#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….
I have been
impatiently waiting for this book to release since earlier this year. I love anything to do with tarot cards, and have several decks myself. As a student of the tarot, I've always loved the stories that each card has to tell, and when I found out that Kresley Cole - whom I've never read before - was releasing a book based on the major arcana cards, I was beyond stoked!
I found Cole to be an exceptional storyteller, however there were times that I found myself a bit lost. There is tons going on in this story between the apocalypse, Evie's visions and voices in her head, as well as the interactions between the characters in the book. I've read quite a few of the reviews up on Goodreads and some people complained that Evie's visions made some parts of the story confusing. I can easily see how this happened, however I was able to still follow the story line easily. The issue that I had with Evie's visions is that they were VERY cryptic. There were times I would read a scene, reread it, and still not fully understand. With tarot, this happens. Each and every person will read or interpret a card a different way, so I am just going to assume that these visions were Cole's own personal images and interpretations of the cards and how they wove into her story and characters.
The characters were wonderful, each with their own voices and personalities. I wouldn't say that I loved Evie's character. I liked her well enough, there were times where I thought she was a whiny, irrational brat, but they were few and fleeting. By the end of the book I thought she was pretty kick ass with her powers, able to finally protect herself, and fight for her life. I'm curious to see how she develops in the remainder of the series. Jackson pissed me off a lot with how he tended to let his male parts think for him instead of his brain. Selena was cool in the supernatural, embracing her super powers kind of way, but other than that she seemed vindictive and conniving. Matthew annoyed the piss out of me with his awkwardness and cryptic ways of talking. His psychic abilities were pretty cool though. And Finn was okay, I really didn't like or dislike him. He's super cocky and like Jackson wants a girl in his bed. Arthur is also a very interesting character. He plays a small yet HUGE part. I do like how Cole interprets each card and developed them into characters. I had fun trying to guess which card each character was, and how Jackson will fit into all of this!
The world building was pretty incredible. I know I'm really into a book and that the author is amazing at world building when as I am reading the book, it's almost playing like a movie in my mind's eye. This happened for me through most of the book. To go from everyday life to a post apocalyptic landscape would be a huge shock for anyone - especially when most all of the women in the world perished, and Bagmen - aka Zombies - are swarming as are Slavers - aka men who enslave people and use women as "toys" - as well as militias that are forming. To deal with this along with lack of food, water, shelter, and gasoline add up to one incredible story.
As with any book that you end up really liking, Cole leaves us hanging at the end - wondering what's in store for the characters after Evie makes some realizations - including remembering bits of what her Grandmother told her as a girl (Spoiler:(highlight over to read) Including that only ONE card can survive. Therefore Evie has to kill ALL of the other major arcana cards/characters including those she's already met: Finn, Selena, and Matthew. Each kill earns her that cards "mark" tattooed on her arm. Cool!) that will make things incredibly different for book two!!
My Recommendation: If you love action packed, post apocalyptic tales woven with romantic tension, zombies, tarot and incredibly developed characters fighting to survive across a barren, danger filled landscape, then this one is for you!
If You Liked This Try: Dark Star by Bethany Frenette | Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter | Black City by Elizabeth Richards | Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson | Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones