Author: Kresley Cole
Narrator: Emma Galvin
Series: The Arcana Chronicles, book #2
Length: 10 hrs 55 mins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
In this seductive follow-up to Poison Princess, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole takes us deeper into the dark world of the Arcana Chronicles.
Evie has fully come into her powers as the Tarot Empress, and Jack was there to see it all. She now knows that the teens who've been reincarnated as the Tarot are in the throes of an epic battle. It's kill or be killed, and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.
With threats lurking around every corner, Evie is forced to trust her newfound alliance. Together they must fight not only other Arcana, but also Bagmen zombies, post-apocalyptic storms, and cannibals.
When Evie meets Death, things get even more complicated. Though falling for Jack, she's drawn to the dangerous Endless Knight as well. Somehow the Empress and Death share a history, one that Evie can't remember—but Death can't forget.
I didn't have very high expectations for Endless Knight after being pretty disappointed with Poison Princess. So why, then, did I pay good money for the audio of this book? Good question. I think I just really needed to prove to myself that this series was not at all for me. Also, I wanted to see how the author continued with the tarot card aspect.
Alas, what I got was a lot of Evie lamenting about the sad state of her love life. I did not like Jackson Deveaux's character in the first book, and I liked him even less in this installment. He now knows the truth of what Evie and his other traveling companions are, and he's understandably freaked out. He rather quickly comes to terms with Evie as the Empress, though, and starts up with propositioning her again. And this time, he's successful. As I alluded to in my review of the previous book, this girl apparently thinks very little of her virginity. And her indiscretions may cost her...and those she cares about.
Because no one in this story is trustworthy, and because Evie is naïve and trusts everyone, Evie ends up being abducted by the enigmatic Death. She can't deny her physical attraction to him, though she wants nothing more than to escape and return to Jack. But there's a history between Death and Evie, and when it finally came out, I can't say I was all that surprised. Besides the tarot aspect, the only other thing that sounded even remotely captivating about this book was the promise of Death as a character. (I am a sucker for Death personified.) But even that wasn't enough to hold my attention, though he is an intriguing character, but that's probably just because he's such a freaking mystery.
And although I did like Death's character, I still couldn't get on board with the direction the romance was taking in this book. Sure, I dislike ole Jack and everything he stands for and I'd like nothing more than to push Evie into Death's arms -- whether to be killed or not is an entirely different conversation -- but regardless, Jack is still in the back of Evie's mind. Despite certain betrayal, she still wants to give ole Jack the benefit of the doubt, give him a chance to explain himself. And she doesn't want to continue whatever this is with Death until she's talked to Jack. But that thing she let Death do...I think the Cajun would still frown upon that.
I finally think I have a better understanding of this world, the Arcana, and the characters themselves this time around. I think in the last book, I was trying too hard to make the focus on the post-apocalyptic setting, and though that's important to the story at times, it's not the main focus. It's actually just the precursor to the game the Arcana are playing now, just as it has been for centuries. I still find the game itself and the roles of the Arcana fascinating, but I grow tired of the key players and would like to see the focus shift to the rest of the Arcana.
I think the thing I dislike most about this series is Evie herself. The author has chosen to write the most obnoxious, self-centered, and ill-informed character, and I think her innocence is supposed to overshadow those terrible qualities, but in the end, all it does is make them more pronounced. I'm not a fan of the narrator for this series, either, but maybe that's because she makes Evie sound even more immature than I'd probably read her character myself. Emma Galvin does great accents for the Cajun and for Death, but that can't make up for the rest of the book. I think this series kind of ruined this narrator for me, unfortunately.
The one thing I'll give the author is that she can write a cliffhanger that will leave you wanting more. This should have been a DNF for me, but having paid hard-earned money for it, I couldn't give up. And then I was presented with a cliffhanger to rival the one at the end of the first book. And yes, crazy as it sounds, I want to know what happens. Not enough to buy the next book myself, mind you, but I can't help my curiosity.
About the author:
Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Immortals After Dark paranormal series and the young adult Arcana Chronicles. Her books have been translated into many foreign languages, garnered three RITA awards, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists in the U.S. and abroad.
Before becoming a writer, Cole was a world-ranked athlete, coach, and graduate student. She has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. Two of her favorite places to visit include the rain forests of Central America and the Far North Queensland area of Australia (where, by the way, she would not recommend swimming outside of the stinger nets–at night).
Cole lives in Florida with her family and “far too many animals.” She spends any free time traveling and enjoys all things related to boats and water.
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