By Kresley Cole
Arcana Chronicles 1
Hardcover: 369 pages
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rated: ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯
5 out of 5 Stars
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Related Reviews: Endless Knight - Arcana Chronicles 2
Categories: Dystopian, YA, 5 Stars
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.
Holy hell! I really have no explanation why this book sat on my TBR shelf for so long, almost two years in fact. Sigh. I have no excuses, and I am more than thankful that I finally read it. I loved every. single. thing. about this book. The plot line was beyond original; it was creative and masterful, each card of the major Arcana in the Tarot is a person somewhere in the world. How phenomenal is that..?! Miss Cole didn't make it as weird as it sounds, in fact, the plot line flowed so well that I didn't even question it. Tarot cards are people; check. Totally acceptable! I fell in love with each of the characters, and connected with every single one of them. Evie is an exceptionally strong, wonderfully written protagonist. She doesn't whine very much, even though her entire world, literally, is falling apart around her. She had visions of the coming apocalypse, yet did nothing about it, believing herself insane. She does blame herself for her friends' deaths, but she doesn't let it control her. I tend to get really irritated at the self loathing, guilt ridden characters, and thankfully, Evie is not that girl at all! Jackson's character is my favorite, though. He is the male character that I tend to find myself falling in love with. The irritating, cocky asshole male- with a well hidden soft side. He is strong, powerful, and totally sexy, of course! The Moon Card- the bringer of doubt, is the only character I really didn't like, and that's only because she's trying to sleep with Jackson, even though she knows that Evie cares about him. Selena also lied to Evie about a lot of things, and I don't think she is a card to be trusted; although she did help them out and saved their lives a few times. Matthew is crazy like a fox, literally! I think his character is intricate and mysterious, and the way that he talks in riddles drives Evie crazy, as well as me. It adds an extra layer to his personality that I find intriguing. Like Jackson, I love solving puzzles, and I cannot wait to find out more about his character in the next book.
The world building is incredible - a post apocalyptic setting that sounds terrifying, yet intriguing all the same. After the Flash, basically a solar storm that killed most of the humans on the planet, the world has changed completely. No one can be trusted. There is little food or water, let alone transportation. Everything acquired must be fought for, and a typical day is spent searching for nourishment, fighting off slavers and bagmen- humans transformed by a virus that turns them rabid, and fighting through the constant wind storms that sweep across the desert-like landscapes. Plants do not grow anymore, and most of the water was flash evaporated during the solar storm that hit earth. It is a desolate life, but Evie is happy to just be alive. I love that her character tries to find the good in everything; everything except her gifts that she has as the Empress Card. She can communicate with all plant life, as well as grow thorns from her fingernails to use as weapons. These so-called gifts terrify her, and she has no idea how to use them. I am looking forward to her learning more of her powers throughout the rest of the series, as well as solving the puzzle of Jackson and his brooding personality!
To wrap up this review, I loved everything about this book. It was phenomenal; the characters, the world-building, the plot line- everything flowed so perfectly! Thank you, Miss Cole, for this refreshingly original story! I recommend this to everyone, EVERYONE! Read it now, right now!
""This year, I'm taking our flirtationship to a new level," Mel informed me. "He just needs a nudge in the right direction." Unfortunately, Mel didn't know how to nudge. She play-punched hard, titty-twisted with impunity, and wasn't about the occasional headlock. And that was if she liked you."
""Come. Touch," she'd murmered to him. When he'd tripped over his feet to reach her, she'd opened up her palm and a flower had grown- from her skin. With a sensual wink, she'd blown him a kiss across the bloom, releasing deadly spores. He'd started choking, dropping to her feet. His skin had swelled until it split open in places. Putrid boils welled and spurted. She'd gazed on, cheerfully telling him, "How artfully we plants beckon; how perfect we punish.....""
"And his comment about crawling to the hospital Sunday mornings after being kicked in the ribs? I'd just assumed he was referring to injuries from his wild Saturday night bar brawls. Or had he been talking about an earlier time in his life, when he'd been a scared little boy, beaten by his mother's drunken... dates? Maybe that was why he traced his scars. They might be records of near misses or hard-earned victories. No wonder he could be so brutal. I felt a spike of shame that I'd judged him for thrashing that man in his home. No more. "Evie, bed down." Scanning the dark, he murmured, "You doan have to be scared. I've got you." You do, don't you? Here we were in the Bagmen's lair, and I wasn't terrified for my life. Jackson would kill any that strayed too close. In fact, they should fear him. I was with the boy that monsters should fear."
"Soon, I was gasping and he was groaning. His hands cupped my waist, descending to my wriggling hips. He squeezed them, then reached for my ass, gripping me with splayed fingers, wrenching my body even closer to him. Was he shuddering against me? No more control for either of us. I loved his abandoned groans, loved that I could feel them because we were pressed so tight together. Just as he'd promised, we were breathing for each other- and I still couldn't get enough. For me, this was the game changer, a line in the sand. Life before our kiss; life after."
Endless Knight - Arcana Chronicles 2