Vengeance Becomes Her (Arcana Rising – A Book Review)

Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles #4)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2016

Arcana Rising

My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

He’d asked me what I would sacrifice. I hadn’t been able to answer then, but I could now.

Not Jack.

After Richter, The Emperor, wreaks utter destruction, annihilating an entire army and more, Circe, The Priestess, strikes back with a force just as strong of . Evie, giving up after such a heavy loss, nearly lets her win, lets her kill her. Only one thing keeps her going. Vengeance. She will have it.

The remaining Arcana on the board have chosen their sides and the main battle can begin. Evie struggles to fight and keep going. Evie finds herself going darker and darker after finally getting to her Gran and learning of The Empress’s chronicles. Can Evie repress the red witch inside or will she let her loose to avenge all that she’s lost, becoming what Jack helped to suppress? The true Empress.

Could it be enough to take on Richter and his allies? Evie reunites with Aric and other fellow Arcana to build up a mighty force to fight back. It may prove difficult though after the bond between her and Death has been shaken and nearly destroyed by her choices. Can she and her allies rise to the heat of battle or will they fall like those who have already been swallowed up by Richter’s fires.

When the battle is done…And all hope is lost…Vengeance becomes everything.

 

Reviews for previous books in the series can be found below.

Poison Princess

Poison Princesshere

Endless Knight

Endless Knighthere

Dead of Winter - SR

Dead of Winterhere

Day Zero

Day Zerohere

 

So…Okay.

Yes.

I’m struggling to find words. Why you ask? Because this series is completely beautiful and also very destructive on my poor heart. I’ve said it once, twice, a bazillion times. I’m completely obsessed. The aftermath of Dead of Winter lingers over this entire book.

Evie Greene is struggling with heavy losses after a brutal attack from Richter (The Emperor of the major Arcana) has left nothing but destruction its wake. Her heart completely closed off, Aric (Death) helps her to recover from her mortal wounds, promising to help her avenge those that have been taken from her. The big showdown begins now (which makes me an even bigger wreck). I’m still working on my feelings at the moment. They’re everywhere and are hard to collect.

Arcana Rising

To keep up with the basics. The tone has been completely steady and keeping me on the edge of my seat. I’m very shocked, but somehow I’m still hanging on-not in the bad sense I mean. I mean that it’s a complete roller coaster that will leave you breathless. You’re holding on for dear life while. I read this book during my whole day off last week while watching Grace and Frankie (completely amazing show and also had me on the edge of my seat). It’s been a loooong time since I’ve done that, but I just couldn’t put it down. The book was glued to my fingers. The pacing was still moving fast and with a hyper awareness, but when you’re wondering each day if it’s your last day then it’s understandable.

Unlike the previous books, except for Day Zero, this book followed multiple POVs instead of only following Evie Greene. This was really awesome because it really spread the story out and allowed me to get a look at a few other characters that I really love. Each new POV was just as intense as it’s been with Evie throughout the series. There hasn’t been a single character that I’ve hated. Well, more specifically, there hasn’t been a character that I’ve hated because it’s a terrible character that makes now sense whatsoever. I have hated a character because from person to fictional person, I just don’t like them and hope they perish. Yes, Aric, I mean you. LOL. I swear, this series is giving me the Twilight PTSD (Team Edward or Team Jacob?). I’m still Team Jack. Freaking love that human and am crying an ocean of tears for him.

Buffy - Once More with Extreme Prejudice

Of course characters that we learned about in the previous volume (Day Zero) finally make an entrance and this deadly game of thunderdome is in full swing with all of the Arcana on the board. More! Evie’s Gran is actually alive and she’s also a little (A LOT) psycho. After reading her own chronicles on The Empress, Evie comes across unsettling discoveries about her friends and past games, and is deeply unsettled and unsure about who to trust. Her friends might not be her friends. With Gran’s ill condition worsening, she isn’t even sure she can trust her. She keeps telling her to release the red witch, which is the last thing Evie wants to do. But, with Jack…missing (queue my denial)…she may not be able to keep her at bay much longer.

Also, it turns out that the major Arcana are not the only ones on the battle board. The minor Arcana are floating around as well! Those like: ten of swords and queen of cups. I’ve been wondering for the last few books if they were a part of this and I’m so giddy to know that they are. They apparently aren’t people you want to walk up and expect a buddy-buddy moment to happen. They want this game to end just like them, possibly more than them.

Did I mention that my heart is utterly destroyed? It’s been ripped out, or at least it I wish is was. It would be much better than this pain I’m in over all of the emotional dread and heartache I feel. Kresley has truly messed with my emotions.

The twists! There are so many. There were several times I turned a nasty shade of red, teared up, and cried out “NOOO!”. I was losing it, utterly upset. And no, it wasn’t because this book was terrible. Not. At. All. It was because I felt like I was being torn apart by what was happening. You know the feeling. These characters you fall in love with that have great passion and intensity go and do all of these stupid things you disagree with. They go and stomp on your heart.  But the story is so great you can’t stop, so in the end you let them. That’s Evie Greene.

Arcana Rising

Like those previous, this book was amazing. I’ve already pre-ordered the next in the series that’s due out on February 13, 2018. Usually I’m pretty patient, but not about this book. I WANT IT RIGHT FREAKING NOW. I have no idea what will be coming and I’m not entirely sure that I’m emotionally prepared either, but I can’t wait.

 

Quotables:

“The Empress’s screams had awakened the dark in me. Reverse, perverse…The Dark Calling.” (Mathew, p. 59)

“Twist, tighten, constrict.” (Evie, p. 104)

“The gods decreed this game. They set events into motion eons ago. Someone has to win. No matter what, someone will win.” (Lark, p.116)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Eyes Closed by Halsey.

 

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Don’t Blink, It’s the End Of the World as You Know It (Day Zero – A Book Review)

Day Zero (The Arcana Chronicles #3.5)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2016

Day Zero

My Rating:

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.

Poison Princess

The Poison Princesshere

Endless Knight

Endless Knighthere

Dead of Winter - SR

Dead of Winterhere

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.

Poison Princess

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.

freak out - Misty Dietz

(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…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Still Alive by Lisa Miskovsky.

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The Heat of Battle…In a Teenage Wasteland (Dead of Winter – A Book Review)

Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2015

Dead of Winter - SR

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

What was real? Unreal?

Nearly seduced by Death, Evie finds out that The Lovers, one of the most twisted and perverted of the Arcana, has kidnapped Jack and she will do anything to get him back, even create shaky alliances that could crumble and destroy her, literally. She doesn’t care. She can’t let him die, not with how they left things unresolved and her heart still possibly longing for him.

Tricking Death and leaving the safety of his mansion; its lavish luxuries not hiding that it’s actually more a prison, Evie finds comfort in Fort Arcana, Jack’s creation. Its protective walls hide survivors of the Flash and other Arcana who are also searching for an end to this deadly game. With battle on the horizon, Evie, Jack, and Death agree—well, not agree, but team up—to take out The Lovers once and for all and save one of their own. But, can they do it without killing one another first?

As if surviving the dry wasteland of the apocalypse wasn’t hard enough, Evie is torn in her heart as Jack and Death convey their feelings for her with no intention of giving up. A past with one of them that spans centuries, but a current present, and a possible future with another that fuels a fiery passion inside. One who manipulates and reminds her of who and what she is, and the other who breaks her trust and shows her what their future could be. The choice rips at her center while the heat of battle arises. Can she figure out where her heart lies before it’s too late?

Heartbreaking decisions. Uncertain victory. Two heroes returned.

 

The reviews for the first two of series are below.

Poison PrincessThe Poison Princess – here

   Endless KnightEndless Winterhere

THIS BOOK. THIS SERIES! I’m completely and utterly under the spell of this series. It is certainly one of my favorites. The story is compelling and driven at the speed of . It’s dark and utterly dangerous, but not going to lie, this would be something I’d dive into. Headfirst. The heat of battle and all. Its adventure and danger is heart-pounding and pulsing through my blood.

Here, we have the classic plot of one person being torn between two people in this installation to the Arcana series. Kresley did not shy away from going in depth in showing how Jack and Aric (AKA Death) make Evie feel both positively and negatively. So far, this is the toughest decision Evie has to make for herself. Amid all of the deadly baggers, cannibals and slavers, not to mention the Arcana still in the game. It’s her heart that is in danger more than her actual being right now. As The Empress card she can take care of herself very well. Both Jack and Aric pose pros and cons to being the right suitor for Evie.

Now, I’ve never been torn between two people who both want to be with me, but this book with its first person POV puts you right there. It’s overwhelming. Personally, I’m with Jack. Aric, besides being Death, just rubs me wrong. He cares about Evie, that’s sweet, but still, the way he goes about trying to win her affection makes me a little disturbed, but that’s just me. I’m just not leaning towards Death. Give me the Cajun, Jack! Please? The way he’s so sure about himself and Evie is endearing. He doesn’t let the game of the Arcana stand in the way of the two of them and I admire that he’s trying whatever he can to get back to Evie.

Dead of Winter

There was a great addition of flashbacks this time around. I know that when it comes to the past it’s Hakuna Matata  because, well, in this apocalyptic world you should be concerned about the future, which could possibly be quite short, but these flashbacks really allowed me to get a glimpse of Jack and Aric so that I  had a deeper understanding of them. Aaaaand it made me fall even more in love with a fictional character. Curses. All in all, it was good to see more of what is going on with the other characters and good to get to know them more.

Dead of Winter

 A few BIG plot twists caught me off guard majorly. My stomach lurched and I may have turned a little green while my eyes bulged out of my head. And then another twisty-turn completely shattered my heart and it was right at the end so I have no idea what happens next, which is why I immediately bought the next book. So many twists and turns left me spinning and yearning for more.

Dead of Winter

Theory? There is one growing on the horizon.

Who or what is Jack?!?!? People have guessed that he is possibly The Hanged Man, which hasn’t come into play or even been activated that I know of. I’m wondering if he is being introduced as a new card altogether? Is that even possible? Each Arcana member has a special call that alerts players of their proximity and acts as a warning of how deadly they are. So then, if Jack were Arcana wouldn’t his call be heard around all of the Arcana that he’s come in contact with? So many wonderings. All of these other Arcana were chosen, why not a new player to the deadly game? He is called The Hunter…

I really loved this book just like I’ve loved the ones previous. It is always my hope that the next one that follows is just as good so, *crosses fingers*. I highly suggest this series if you enjoy drama, non-stop action, dark and apocalyptic worlds of a magic you can’t quite put your finger on. Oh, and there’s tantalizing romance that will scorch your ever-loving heart. It’s really worth a read.

Quotables:

“I never imagined someone like you would be a leader, other than a cheerleader.” (Selena to Evie, p. 78)

Me, Jack, and Death on a mission. What could possibly go wrong?” (Evie, p. 137)

“Mortal, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my year, it’s this: lies are curses you place on yourself.” (Aric to Jack, p.  182)

“…the people of his mother’s blood fall in love once. They pray they get it right—because it can’t be changed…” (Selena to Evie, p. 283)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Break My Heart by Hey Violet.

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You’ve Been Beeped, It’s the Apocalypse (Poison Princess – A Book Review)

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2012

Poison Princess

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

She could save the world-or destroy it. 

Evangeline “Evie” Greene has the perfect life, with a best friend and the perfect boyfriend she’s ready to go all the way with. It starts crumbling when she begins to have horrifying visions, and hear scary things call out to her. Evie is desperate to figure out these visions to find out what is real and what isn’t. All she knows is that it has something to do with tarot cards…the Arcana.

Turns out, the tarot cards don’t just tell your fortune. They’re real people and threatening her, wanting to kill her. That’s according to her grandmother who tried to kidnap her when she was younger, though.

Now, after the world has been decimated, Evie has to turn to the last person that she wants to in order to survive, Jackson Deveaux. From the bayou and with a wicked attitude and irresistible grin, this Cajun will do whatever it takes to help Evie, as long as she tells him what she’s hiding in return. But, can she trust him enough to tell him what is really happening to her? That her grandmother wasn’t crazy, and the tarot cards are calling out to her in her head and seeking her out to kill her?

poisonous

This book. THIS BOOK!

I’ve been told by several people that I need to read Kresley Cole and they were right. I picked up this book at my bookstore, my curiosity certainly piqued at the idea of tarot cards being brought to life as actual people. Such originality. I find the use of tarot cards to be fascinating. I use them myself from time to time so to see them as real people with unnatural abilities gives me the shivers. Good shivers, of course.

Poison Princess

I loved how fast-paced this book moved. The pace also felt slow with how much detail there was. A perfect mix, like swirling chocolate and vanilla ice cream together. The amount of detail from the tidbits in Evie’s life and how she’s trying to hold on to it by the very threads that threaten to snap because of her visions and then zooming out to the gain a perspective on what was happening across the world with various dangers that could end her and Jackson was phenomenal. There wasn’t a single moment I wasn’t engulfed in this book. I could not put it down.

The over-dramatic dialogue between Jackson and Evie was superb. I normally don’t go for a book that over reaches in  how people interact, but with this being and apocalyptic world and these being two, hormonal teens, it worked SO well. Not going to lie, I ate it up shamelessly. The chemistry between the two of them was intoxicating, turning my stomach to knots. It’s danger boy meets sassy girl and both of them are unrelenting. As if the apocalypse didn’t have enough problems with cannibals and slavers, eh? Then there’s the Arcana, the tarot deck that are real people, and to be honest, this book only hits the cusp of that whole ordeal. And it’s just enough to keep me hanging on curiously because only knowing that they’re all fighting to be the last man standing isn’t enough. There’s got to be more to it.

I can’t wait to read more. I have already ordered the next book in this series because I’ve become quite infatuated with this series. Give me more!

 

Quotables:

“If Brandon was a good boy but not yet a great guy, Jackson was a bad boy—and already a bad guy.” (Evie, p. 82)

“Evie, people with no hope for the future can be very dangerous.” (Evie’s mother to Evie, p. 149)

“The last two monarch butterflies are thousands of miles apart and flying away from each other. A boy is skateboarding across old Lake Michigan…” (Mathew to Evie, p. 280)

“For as long as you’ve been looking down your nose at me, I’ve been craving you, an envie like I’ve never known.” (Jackson to Evie, p. 341)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Teenage Wasteland by The Who.

Meeting My Alien Boyfriend’s Family (LUX: Opposition – A Book Review)

LUX: Opposition
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 2014

LUX - Opposition - amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

The final installment to the LUX series.

Like stars falling from the sky, the Luxen have landed after the colossal and public havoc caused by Daemon and company in Las Vegas that revealed them as aliens to the world, and nobody is safe. Major cities are wiped out and loved ones are lost. Katy is just trying to get the love of her life, Daemon Black, back after he gets brain-sucked by his own kind. From there, she and her friends are determined to save what’s left of the world. In order to do so they make allies with those they least expected, those who already ruined their lives before the major alien arrival.

After all is said and done, nothing will ever be the same for Katy Swartz ever again. Hell, it all changed the moment she knocked on Daemon Black’s door. Does she regret it?

And as a perk, Opposition came with a bonus—the prequel story to this entire series. Where it all began. Shadows, the tale of Dawson, Daemon Black’s other sibling, and Bethany. Discover how they fell in love and how it led up to Daemon’s dislike for humans in LUX: Obsidian.

YES - giphy

This book reaches up to its peak. However, I fell a little flat with this book. Not completely, but a little compared to the previous books of the series. There was plenty of action and everything led up to this moment because I always wondered what would happen when the other Luxen landed.  And it’s a bloodbath. But there were also moments that felt a little repetitive, or that needed a little extra added on to them for me. I struggled to keep a grasp on such tidbits.

The emotional tidal wave was a great ride though. Twisting and turning and wondering left my heading spinning pleasantly like the sky is spinning from going in circles to fast. This story certainly doesn’t lack there. I couldn’t stop or pull away from it because I was desperate to find out if these characters would be okay. That kind of attachment is strong and fantastic. You get a very good visual of an apocalyptic world.

The story, just like the previous ones it followed, is fast pace and filled with a lot of unexpected surprises and delicious thrills. The wit and sarcasm is on point and I couldn’t ask for more. Actually, I could and I’m sure I’d get it. (See Quotables for a couple examples.) Even coming this far, I didn’t know aliens knew sarcasm and badassery. Not like this. Thank you for proving me wrong, *wink*. And the romance? *fans self* Oh Lordy.

However, when I got to the ending, I felt as if it was a plop of a stone in a pond. Very lacking, I felt. Compared to the rest of the book beforehand, it was so small. I didn’t expect a major charade, but I didn’t expect it to seem so simple. That’s human life for you. We like the quiet life.

I definitely recommend this book. It still holds on to the relationship of Daemon and Katy, but with more hunger like the average teenager. Every day might have been their last and they didn’t waste it. I give them kudos on that. As the final installment, don’t miss what happens when they pull out all the stops  to save each other and those they care about.

 

Quotables:

“It was hard looking back and thinking about all the time we’d wasted fighting what was between us, fighting each other, especially when the future looked appallingly short, but I couldn’t focus on that now, because we were together. It didn’t matter how many hours, days, month, or years we had stretched out in front of us; we’d always be together.” (Katy, p. 147)

“Seriously? Kissing her right now is what we need to be doing when we have pissed-off alien on us?”

“Kissing her is always the right thing to do.” (Archer to Daemon, p. 201)

 

“Well, shit balls for dinner on Sunday.” (Daemon, p. 223)

WHAT - codigonuevo

Seriously, the look on my face when I read that single sentence for the fourth time, wondering if that’s really what fell out of his mouth. It may be one of my new sayings.

“Did you ever think this is where you’d end up when you knocked on my door asking for direction?” (Daemon to Katy, p. 238)

“Dammit. All I wanted to do is shower and take a nap and eat bacon!” (Katy, p. 254)

bacon - Tenor GIF Keyboard

I feel you Katy.

I plan of starting Oblivion pretty soon, which is LUX: Obsidian, but from Daemon Black’s POV. I’m quite curious to see what he is thinking after meeting Katy for the first because the inkling from Shadows-

“Next thing we know, you’ll be dating a human…” -Ash

“Yeah, not going to happen.” -Daemon

 

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S.Song today? Forever and Always by Parachute.