Day Zero (The Arcana Chronicles #3.5)
Author: Kresley Cole
Millennia ago, the gods grew bored.
Evie Greene’s story of the Flash is one of many. She lost her best friend, her boyfriend-everyone that she knows, except for the rugged Jackson Deveaux who came strolling back into her life, though their last encounter had ended on a bad note. That night still runs through her mind like a waking nightmare. All of the beautiful, hypnotizing lights in the sky. A fiery aurora borealis that destroyed the world, thrusting it into an apocalyptic wasteland, and turning it into the new game board for the Arcana. Across the globe each one connected to this deadly game must first survive the horrifying night that turned their worlds upside down and changed them forever.
Some Arcana are experiencing their powers for the first time. Others were just waiting for this game to begin. Here, discover what they lost and the hell they went through and how their lives began anew on day zero of the Flash.
Ashes to ashes…Wall fall down.
The reviews for the series so far are below.
The Poison Princess – here
Endless Knight – here
Dead of Winter – here
This was a great addition to the Arcana Chronicles. While it doesn’t move Evie Greene’s story forward, it does go into detail about all of the Arcana on the day that the world was wiped out and plunged into an apocalyptic wasteland with pus-filled creatures that are like zombies and deathly plagues. The worst thing out there? People that either want to turn you into a slave or eat you.
Kresley starts out this small collection of short character stories with a side note—you should at least have read the first three books before this one. Like I said, this book isn’t directly connected to the story line, but still, there are massive spoilers that refer back to them as well as characters that we haven’t met yet. Each story follows an Arcana on days up to the Flash. Some don’t have much of a story, but that’s because their stories have been told previously.
There are some characters are already well-known at this point, like Evie (The Empress), Aric (Death), Jack (???), and Matthew (The Fool). I was really excited to learn what it was like at the very beginning for several other characters such as Joules (The Tower), Lark (Strength), and Selena (The Moon). Others like The Sun and Fortune—other tarot—make me excited to continue on with the series.
Some of these stories really had my stomach churning with how dark they got. Don’t get me wrong, I love a book that pushes the boundaries because it can make the story that much more realistic, but wow. There was no holding back on how nasty the world, and the people in it, can really be. Every gritty detail made me cringe. But, the parts that were such a karmic flip were so satisfying.
Each character was well written into independent people. Not a one seemed repetitive, which is always a worry of mine when there’s so many characters in a book. There’s nothing worse than characters who all read like one character rather than having their own independent lives. (Actually, not true. As a grammar whore, I will tell you that you’re VS your and there VS their VS they’re is really irritating when fucked up. LOL)
The style of this book is very different than the others in the series so far. It doesn’t keep track of the days after the Flash (A.F.) like it does for Evie, Jack and Aric. Each character story takes place just days before the Flash. One is in a subway, another at a fraternity house, and one at a hockey game, for example. Arcana are all over the world, which also shows that this series isn’t just focused in the United States.
It doesn’t follow the usual pattern with chapters. Each story is titled by the Arcana player, reminding me of a primer or bestiary. Both serve as a book that guides the reader in a specific subject, like a textbook.
How else do I explain how fulfilling this book was?
Ah! (Possibly spoiler-y ahead.)
There were a couple things that Kresley didn’t bring up in the book. Most of Matthew’s story is blacked out in the book. I’m glad that I already know some of it, though it is all over the place. The style of his story matches that of who he is both as The Fool of the Arcana and as an autistic kid. As the The Fool, Matthew has a talent for keeping whatever he wants regarding the game hidden, which comes across as a jumbled mess whenever he speaks anyway. It makes me antsy because I want to know everything and he knows everything! It’s so TEASING!
One character story that I was looking forward to reading was non-existent! The Hanged Man. There was absolutely nothing, and now I’m even more impatient about discovering what the hub-bub about the character. There’s been no trace of this Arcana so far in the series and I’m not sure that Jack is this Arcana, since people are wondering about him and if he’s something more. Evie or Aric would’ve heard his call at this point, I feel. Plus, he has his own story of his last few days up to the Flash. It’s obvious that Kresley enjoys torturing her readers.
(About sums up how it’s making me feel.)
This is a quick read. I finished in a matter of two hours. It’s filled with so much need to know stuff, in my opinion. I like having extra background about my characters. I can see them so much more clearly. With a story that spreads out over such a massive setting and that has several characters between books, I’m glad to get some backstory. Is this a must-read? Probably not since it doesn’t move the main story forward. Do I recommend it? YES! If you’re like me, you like to know everything and this is filled to the brim with information that I feel will put you on the field of this deadly game. To me, that’s important and really pulls me into this world even deeper.
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Still Alive by Lisa Miskovsky.