Kresely Cole’s new venture into YA fiction was unlike anything I’ve read before which is saying a whole lot just by the sheer amount I read annually. Let me break it down, if you like Frankenstein, if you like wonderfully detailed gore, if you like empowered women, hell if you like sexy Cajun men this is definitely a book you should check out. AHEM, think Rene from True Blood (of course prior to his reveal as a crazed serial killer).
Evangeline(Evie) Greene is your typical friendly beautiful blonde cheerleader, beloved by all, with a quirky, somewhat raunchy best friend, rich quarterback boyfriend and large mansion in Louisiana to boot. Not a bad life, who wouldn’t want such a cliched American dream? But Evie has a dirty secret beneath her layers of perfection she hears voices, hallucinates and has spine-tingling dreams of creepy monsters committing tortuous crimes on the innocent. Over the summer, Evie spent her time doped up on medication in a children’s psych ward for victims of cult brainwashing, though Evie’s was of a different nature; manipulation by her loving grandmother into believing that the Tarot arcana were living, breathing entities.
The post-apocalyptic world within the story is known as BF and AF, before flash and after flash. The story begins 3/4 of a year AF and concludes on the same day. 90% of the story in told in the time leading up to the flash and to right before where the book began. The flash was a phenomenon much like the big bang, weird weather occurrences, Aurora Borealis in Louisiana, droughts, etc., then a great ‘flash’ of light that incinerated most of the population.
Cole’s Louisiana is portrayed like a divided state, with the rich separated from the Cajun poor folks of the bayou by a bridge. New construction to the bridge allows five strangers from across the bridge into rich territory. Immediately rumors circulate about fist fights, drugs, sex and parole officers. Compared to the sheltered, soft and pampered lives of these prissy Louisiana populars these new kids seem dangerous and dirty. Much of the conflict BF has to do with our protagonist Evie dealing with her dwindling sanity and insane attraction to the gorgeous transfer bad boy Jackson(Jack) Deveaux. Jack has a sizzling, sexy accent and muscles to die for but also a wounded, loving side that is easy to swoon over. Evie fights her feelings, promising her V-card to her senior boyfriend but every time she kisses him all she can think or feel is “meh.”
AF everything changes, whole new breeds of people spring up. For some reason most of the females didn’t survive to AF. This of course, poses a higher amount of danger for Evie. AF world is composed of armies of randy militia men(because there’s a shortage of females), bloodthirsty cannibals(food is scarce, only vermin survived) and what Evie refers to as Bogeymen (these are the crazed people that stared into the flash; they became zombie-like creatures hungry for flesh and drawn to water because water evaporated with the flash).
Evie wields blossoming new powers associated with the Empress card of the major arcana.
For those who are unfamiliar with how Tarot cards work here’s a brief summary:
In a Tarot deck there are different suits kind of like playing cards; wands, cups, swords and pentacles. Each of these ‘suits’ have a specific function typically swords have to do with matters of betrayal or relationships with others, etc. The major arcana consists of twenty-two cards starting with the zero card, as follows*:
0. The Fool
1. The Magician
2. The High Priestess
3. The Empress
4. The Emperor
5. The Hierophant
6. The Lovers
7. The Chariot
9. The Hermit
10. Wheel of Fortune
12. The Hanged Man
15. The Devil
16. The Tower
17. The Star
18. The Moon
19. The Sun
21. The World
*Those highlighted in red were featured in the book
Action-packed, sexy, dangerous and just a little bit scary, Kresley Cole’s Poison Princess is a must read.
If you can’t handle descriptive gore, you might want to shy away from some scenes in this book but other than that, pick it up in October!