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Hey, you there, staring at your Goodreads 2015 challenge wondering when and where and how you are gonna get off your keester and get reading: Christmas break is over, yo. You have no more excuses. And thanks to this post, your first read of the new year may end up being your favorite read of the year.
Why? BECAUSE KRESLEY COLE, that’s why.
Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3) drops today and fully solidifies its place as one of the best (maybe just THE BEST) Young Adult series out right now.
We started reading the Arcana Chronicles last year during Boozy Book Club (in what was probably our booziest book club of all time, and that is saying something), and really loved it.
Well, yes. Boozy Book Club is just like that.
Evie and Jack and their apocalypse was great YA fodder in Poison Princess, then the Arcana game ramps up in Endless Knight, and now Dead of Winter has turned this series on its head: it’s very nearly perfect. Here’s why.
One of the major issues with Young Adult lit right now is its pervasive sameness. Ask anyone if they’ve read the book about the girl in the futuristic society where she has to become the savior against the big adult baddie, and they are going to say “which one?” We are inundated with the same themes, the same types of main characters, and especially … the same stakes.
Not so here. The Arcana Chronicles doesn’t just raise the stakes, it creates new ones: it’s not just an apocalypse. It’s zombies AND cannibals AND rapist kidnappers AND scorched earth AND unexplained death tolls. And most of all: it’s a fight to the death between the reincarnated, superhuman, deity-formed Major Arcana Tarot cards. It’s a survival story with stakes so high you never really sure who the greatest threat actually is …
I would attend the Kresley Cole School of Offensive Arts
… or when the threats will stop. It should surprise no one that since we’ve only been introduced to half of the 22 Major Arcana cards, there is a ton of turmoil for Kresley to mine into subsequent books. We are no where near the end of these games.
If you’re driven through the first book by Evie’s will to survive and Jack’s persistent capability to make sure she does, the book two can come as a shock as you’re catapulted out of their journey and into a hostage situation with Death. And what propels you through the second book? Death’s mystery, Evie’s fate and future as The Empress and the answers that unlock their history together. Also … Death’s hotness. Definitely the hotness.
Dead of Winter flips the lid again and propels the reader into an entirely different scenario … a rag-tag Arcana team of Super Friends saving the lives of first Jack and then Selena. Scenes that never would have seemed possible in Poison Princess are some of my favorites in Dead of Winter. At one point, Death has just shown up in an allied-Arcana tent, and while he’s done nothing to endear himself to anyone but Evie, he has information none of the rest of them do, and when they realize how valuable his information is, he amusedly says, “Awwww, did I just become the most popular person in this tent?” It’s ADORABLE. And a total 180 from anything you would have expected when reading Poison Princess.
Aric’s Cuteness in that scene: THIS LEVEL
It’s a not uncommon feature in YA: the love triangle. Not all series do it well. Sometimes it’s too obvious who will end up together. Sometimes the author seems to change teams halfway through their own series. And even when love triangles are done well (like in The Infernal Devices or the Unearthly series), it’s rare for a scenario to really hurt, no matter what happens.
This book had my allegiances all over the place. At the end of Endless Knight I would have told you I was Team Aric all the way. And yet … within a chapter of Dead of Winter, I wanted to see Evie with Jack. Then I wanted to see her with Aric again. Then I wanted her to die so I could see Jack and Aric together instead.
Then we will make out.
But honestly, if you love a love triangle, if you love to be pushed and pulled in two totally different directions by two totally hot and viable choices, Dead of Winter is SO your jam.
Except now we have to wait for the rest of them.
Dead of Winter is available TODAY! If you haven’t started the series, pick it up today starting with Poison Princess. And check out Kresley’s other series as well.
Will you be reading Dead of Winter right away? Are you Team Aric or Team Jack or Team AricANDJack?