Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster (10.2.2012)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 369 pages
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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….
It wasn’t until the apocalyptic event – the Flash – that things finally picked up. Because then it wasn’t focused on Evie and Jackson’s annoying rivalry. After that it became a fight for survival, so there was a lot more action. This book got progressively better the more I read. If the beginning had been more like the end, this probably could have been 5 stars for me.
To be honest, for about the first 75% I couldn’t stand the main characters. Evie was weak and fluffy as a bunny, always the damsel in distress. She was too girly for me to connect with her, and she was extremely touchy. On the opposite end of the scale, Jackson was a complete asshat, too crude and brutish. While I love bad boys, I don’t care for the moody, brooding personality. His mood swings grated on my nerves hardcore. I thought they were going to give me whiplash! He’d be nice one minute, and the next he would be overly rude to Evie; and because she was so soft, she’d get overly offended. It was irritating. It did get better, though, as they got used to each other and the inevitable attachment came.
I don’t think I started genuinely enjoying this one until Selene came into the story. Because when she started causing a rift between Jackson and Evie, I finally realized that I actually cared about them being together. After seeing a few cracks in Jack’s facade, and softer moments toward Evie, I wanted to see more.
I hated Selene. I wanted to punch her! She was so freaking aggravating, and the fact that she was all over Jackson ticked me off. I was jealous for Evie, even though I still didn’t particularly like her. Jackson grew on me eventually, though.
For the most part I didn’t care for Evie, but I will admit that she earned my grudging respect in the end. Because she finally grew a backbone…I had been waiting for that the whole story!
This book was really twisted, and honestly I think that’s what made me like it as much as I did toward the end. It could almost qualify as horror. Her visions/nightmares were bizarre and gory (even though it wasn’t that graphic, just bloody), and I love that kind of stuff. And the Bagmen (zombies, basically) were creepy! The story line was fascinating, even though I was a bit confused at the cryptic and nonsensical comments the voices made. I really like the idea of the Arcana and their abilities – I gotta give credit where credit is due, this book is really original (except for the cliche beginning, anyway). I haven’t read anything like it before. Plus it was cool that it was a story-telling within a story. It’s set in the now (in the post-apocalyptic future), but it flashes back to what happened as Evie is telling the story.
I almost gave this 3.5 starfish, to be honest. But the originality and the last quarter are why I decided to go higher. The ending was really frustrating, though! The story really improved, and I definitely want to check out what happens in the next book.
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5
First of all: I love the new design Jessi! The colors are awesome <3
I've been keeping an eye on this book for a while now. I've heard mixed things about it and most of the complaints were about the characters. The plot sounds good enough to make me enjoy this book, so I might pick it up soon :) Great review girl!
Thanks Mel! <3
I think you would like it!
That ending must be good for you to give the book not 2 but 4 stars! Poison Princess is one of the many books on my wish list, but I always end up buying other books. I love that you’re so honest in the review! I might just give this book a chance :)
I hope you like the first half more than I did! But even if you’re not liking it, just remember that it DOES get better. :)
Love Kresley Cole but I’d been holding off on this one for some reason. It sounds like it would be one that would frustrate the tar outta me too. I did get a good laugh over your Selena comment and being jealous for Evie even though you didn’t particularly care for her. Kinda like how you can gripe about your family but no one else can? LOL
Glad it turned into a decent read for you despite the make you want to scream main characters. That’s pretty impressive the rest of it was able to make so much up in the rating!
herding cats & burning soup
Haha yeah! I can bash on Evie but nobody else in the book can ;D
You should give it a try if you’re a Cole fan!
LOL yup! It’s on the tbr pile so one day. I’ll have to check the library next time I’m in and see if they have it :)
I haven’t read this one yet – it’s on my wishlist but I haven’t gotten round to buying it. It sounds like a good read from your review, even if the characters weren’t so great.
Nice review! Have been debating about this one because I have read mixed reviews. Still no closer to making a decision. It sounds interesting, but the beginning you mentioned seems rife with cliches and I find that soooo annoying like you did. Will have to debate about this one a little more. Maybe knock off some TBR books first!
Still, excellent review! Definitely has me thinking over it!
Once you get past the books you really want to read, it’d be worth trying out anyway :)
I’ve heard some really good things about this book! Sorry to see that you didn’t enjoy it as much as you would have wanted to. And hey! Another Evie I do not like! Evie from the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White ticked me off to no end. I’m liking the bloody/horror-like qualities you mentioned! I might just pick it up sometime :) Great review, Jessi!
I love Kresley Cole’s paranormal romance series. I still haven’t read this one yet though, but after reading your review, I’m iffy about the beginning. I don’t like jerks even though they’re touted as “bad boys” and teenage book cliches, but I really like the idea too so I can’t wait to read it.
I’m glad the ending saved this one for you. Evie and Jackson sound super annoying.
I’m glad this book picked up for you! I haven’t read anything by the other but I’ve seen this book around before. Ugh I totally know what you mean about bad boys giving you whiplash, it’s like STOP PLAYING HOT AND COLD and stick to one emotion!! It can get pretty annoying. I’m kind of intrigued this book is so twisted, hm! Wonderful review. :D
Ugh, I’m currently 44% into this book and I’m like “why am I reading this?”. It’s weird, the Apocalypse, Evie can do something w/ plants?, who’s the weird dude she’s telling her story to in the beginning?, but if the second half is better than the first maybe I’ll stick w/ it. I was trying to find reviews on this because I have the second book to read but I think I’ll be lucky to get through the first.
It gets better! I quite hated it in the beginning, but it does improve. I’m curious to know what you think of the ending!