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