Friday, July 4, 2014

Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess

Author: Kresley Cole
Release: October 2nd 2012
Genre: Post-Apocalypse, Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
#1 in the Arcana Chronicles
Sequels: Endless Knight (#2), Dead of Winter (#3), Untitled (#4, #5)


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.


You know, I've been thinking about what I'm gonna rate this, I really have been, and at first, I was going to go with two stars. I lowered it to 1.5, but finally decided on just one, because even after pondering everything that was good about this book, I still came up empty-handed. I seriously cannot find a single thing that I liked in the book, or at least something I liked and actually kept on liking throughout the book, instead of ending up hating it. 

Ah, I have marked so many wonderful quotes that are going to help me illustrate my points so vividly, but they are so many I fear I won't even be able to use them all. Such a shame, because they're all serious jaw droppers — and not in a good way. I also feel like extensive use of gifs is appropriate to adequately portray my feelings about this craplo— excuse me, novel.

Let's get this one little nitpick off the table first, the one that would actually be irrelevant but seeing as this is going to be a huge rant already anyway, I feel like it doesn't matter if I point it out or not: This cover is seriously shitty. Like, really. When I first saw it, I thought it was alright, but now that I've been forced to look at it multiple times, whenever I picked up the book and set it down again (which was a lot actually, because I could only take this book in small doses, otherwise I would have been forced to depart this Earth early), I noticed how terrible it's really done. That skirt the girl's wearing, with just that basic top? Also, her hair and the way she's bunching up her skirt (why though)... And the dude just looks ... not very great. Whatever. I know the covers have been redesigned, and for once I can totally see why they did it.

Anyway, now that that's out of the way, my biggest problem with Poison Princess was the male protagonist, named Jackson Deveaux. Oh man, dude, you won't even believe me but I am so not exaggerating when I say that this is probably the HUGEST dickwad I have ever come across in my entire lifetime, both real life and fictional world included. He... I just.. I have no words to describe how much of a jerk he is, so I'm going to just pick some quotes out of the assortment I've compiled.
“Did you save me just so I'd sleep with you?”

“The idea might have crossed my mind! Hell, Evie, you're probably the last girl on earth for me. Would it kill you to put out?”

(...) Pressing a beer into my hand, he led me into the biggest pantry I'd ever seen. “Find us something to eat, woman.”

(...) “Why wouldn't I [think about sex]? I'm a red-blooded male, and you're the only game in town.”

(...) “That first morning I saw you, I could barely take my eyes off your ass in that little dress.”
WOW. What a romantic, swoony dude! Doesn't this just make your heart beat faster? He's such a smooth talker, such a handsome young man. And he's really emotional and sweet, too:
“Doan you cry,” he snapped, growing distinctly uncomfortable. “I didn't want to tell you that. I just didn't know what else to do to convince you.” In a brusque tone, he said, “I doan like tears, me.”

(...) With raised brows, he lifted a pink Victoria's Secret bra from the next drawer. “I fondly recall this one.”

Between gritted teeth, I said, “Drop it like it's hot.”

“Oh, it's hot, all right.”
Quick sidenote: I hate it when authors try to shove accents down my throat. "Doan", "goan" — ugh. Anyways, he will charm the pants off of you with his sexy talk, throwing in French words and phrases every other sentence so you won't ever forget he's Cajun, you know, a very low class Bayou peasant boy, right after he knocks you unconscious to steal your supplies. Not only that, he will continuously remind you that you are useless dead weight to him and he'd be happy to leave you for dead if you weren't the only one he could stick his dick into! What a delightful fellow.

While Jackson here is definitely the worse of the two, the female protagonist really isn't better, either. In fact, the only thing that makes her better than Jackson is that she's not such a huge pain in the ass. She is at least trying to be understanding and play nice. Sadly though, Jackson is completely right when it comes to her: Evangeline is an absolute fucking idiot, she would not survive a single day if it weren't for him because she really can't do jackshit, except for the things she's able to do with her magical abilities. But even those wouldn't be able to save her if it came to that. There is just nothing to say for Evie except that she is a complete moron, bland and utterly gullible. When Jackson is complimenting her on her "ass in that little dress" (see above quote), her reaction is just... wow:
“Which made my breath hitch. I couldn't tell if I was flattered, embarrassed, or excited. 

(...) Definitely flattered and excited.”

Needless to say, the romance completely fell through. There's nothing wrong with relationships where the two lovers hated, or strongly disliked, each other at first and then grew to appreciate one another, in fact, I am a strong believer that these romances can be exceptionally well done, since there's a lot of tension to be gained out of something like that. Just look at Under The Never Sky, Perry and Aria's relationship was so beautifully done, it was developed slow and nice, gradually growing from mistrust to grudging respect to being allies to being friends to being in love, you know? But there was nada in this. It's just like Cole tried to create some sexual tension and thought that was enough for me to instantly like the couple. HA, that's a big no no, not with a douche like Jackson, who by the way never develops into a lesser asshat. Nope, he stays the same good ol' shitface the whole book.

Now, onto the plot. Roughly the first third of the book is told from before the apocalypse happened, which is a nice change from the usual getting dropped right into the wasteland you know, fine by me. Only it was thoroughly infuriating because it was the same fucking soap opera drama I always have to read about. Maybe it was just extremely unfortunate timing, since this was already the reason I'd dropped Touch of Frost, the book I was reading (or trying to read) before I started this one. But honestly, the whole thing was so boring and annoying, I think I could have enjoyed Poison Princess a whole lot better if Kresley Cole hadn't done this pre-apocalypse thing at all. I was sick and tired of the "I have a good-looking, rich athlete boyfriend whom I'm contemplating giving my virginity to, blah blah blah" (as if virginity was something special to hand out to someone. Can we just ... drop that stupid cliché, please?) trope. Evie's fear of everyone finding out she was in a mental institution over the summer could have been interesting to explore further, but NOPE. She ultimately did tell her best friend and I would have loved seeing how that would have panned out (if the apocalypse hadn't happened), you know, something a little along the lines of Mara Dyer. Anyway, the exposition was ridiculous and irritating and I was not having a good time already. 

I thought when the whole apocalypse thing happened that things would finally start to pick up a bit, finally get interesting and I'd start to love this book, because character development, intriguing side characters maybe, build up the world, all that stuff. Joke's on me, though, 'cause that never freaking happened. Or did I just miss the part where they finally sat down and explained all this crazy shit to me? Honestly, I have .. I have no clue what the fuck I just read. Evie could do some magic junk alright, and there was something going on with an epic battle against Death, and tarot cards? It sounded so cool and I was promised something really neat! I didn't get that though! What I got was endless unnecessary drama, unlikable characters and a shitty, half assed post-apocalyptic generic survival plot that wasn't even the least bit entertaining. I mean honestly, who the fuck really carries around a condom in the pocket of their jeans during the apocalypse? Because having a condom ready while the world has gone to shit is top priority, even if you don't have food, water or medical supplies — you still gotta have the condom, a guy's gotta be prepared and all, no?

I've heard there's gonna be a love triangle in the next book, with the second guy being way better than Jackson (although seeing as how much of a dickbag Jackson is, that's not hard to accomplish), so maybe I will read the second book — also because I mainly already bought it (STUPID, STUPID ME) and because I want to figure this shit with the tarot cards out. Seriously, what the hell, dude. But all in all, this book majorly sucks and I really don't recommend it. Honestly, don't do it. 

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