Sunday, November 27, 2016

ARCANA RISING by Kresley Cole

ARCANA RISING by Kresley Cole
Book 4 in The Arcana Chronicles


Losses mount and deadly new threats converge in this next action-packed tale of the Arcana Chronicles by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole.

When the battle is done . . .
The Emperor unleashes hell and annihilates an army, jeopardizing the future of mankind--but Circe strikes back. The epic clash between them devastates the Arcana world and nearly kills Evie, separating her from her allies.

And all hope is lost . . .
With Aric missing and no sign that Jack and Selena escaped Richter's reach, Evie turns more and more to the darkness lurking inside her. Two Arcana emerge as game changers: one who could be her salvation, the other her worst nightmare.

Vengeance becomes everything.
To take on Richter, Evie must reunite with Death and mend their broken bond. But as she learns more about her role in the future--and her chilling past--will she become a monster like the Emperor? Or can Evie and her allies rise up from Richter's ashes, stronger than ever before?

4.5 out of 5 *Stars*

It takes a lot for me to give a Kresley Cole book less than a five star review.  Read on why this fell a tad bit short.
After all was read and done, I was on the fence with this one, and wavering between 4 and 5 stars. 

Why I wanted to give it a 4…
My gut was literally aching when I was finished.  Once I finished the book, I was torn. The story did NOT turn out the way that I wanted it to.  Far from it!  It also didn’t help that it was almost 100 pages shorter than the other books in the series.  I waited so long, and when I was finally holding the book, I thought, “What the hell is this?” I felt gypped. 

Why I wanted to give it a 5…
It took me roughly 6 hours to finish the book. I started reading when the kids went to bed, and before I knew it, it was 3:30am. Even though I still had 100 pages left, I had to literally force myself to put down the book.  I HAD to know what was going to happen next.  Even though I didn’t like a lot of what happened, and grudgingly spent the whole book hoping for a surprise twist, I couldn’t put it down. 
I wanted to cry.  I wanted to throw the book across the room in protest, and now I feel uneasy that it’s finished.  The story and character development had me so hooked, my emotions were freaking tied to these characters.  When something bad happened to one, my heart ached for them. THAT is the making of a great book, as well as author.

I can’t let my bitterness over the outcome of a story effect my review of the book itself, but I still can’t bring myself to give it a perfect 5 star review.

The story is a whirlwind of events.  The main player here is obviously Evie.  Honestly, after reading this, she is not my favorite person right now.  Hopefully she can redeem herself to me this spring in the next book, The Dark Calling.  Pardon my language… but if I could bitch slap an imaginary character, she would be at the top of my list. 
She is hurting and vulnerable.  The book is filled with choices she has to make. Choosing to trust, choosing to move on, choosing to believe, and choosing love.  That dreaded love triangle is back. Ugh! The readers get sucked into the mind and emotional turmoil of a broken teenage girl that has experienced tremendous amounts of loss, making her think and act older than she truly is. 

“Empress lives. Her smile died.”  ~ Matto

This book is defiantly a darker side to the series.  The witty banter is at a minimum, and emotions are at an all-time low with the hope of “blowing up the machine” (the game) slowly dwindling.  Even I turned into a cynic; second guessing other characters that once had my full trust.
New characters arise, ones that were introduced in the book Day Zero that came out two weeks before this.  I say “book,” but really it is a character guide.  It goes through all 22 Major Arcana, who they were before the flash, and what they were doing the day the world caught fire. It was so good to get the insight that after I read it, I had to go back and re-read the entire series with the new provided intel.
Overall, this book is just one more puzzle piece to this compelling series that I can’t get enough of.  One that I whole heartedly recommend to anyone that will listen.
I’m glad you all are listening!
Until next time…

Happy Reading, Everyone!!

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