Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Endless Knight (Review)

(The Arcana Chronicles, #2)

Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genres: YA Fantasy/Dystopia/Romance

My Review: (5/5 stars*)

Endless Knight is all around one of the most intensely addicting and perfectly executed YA's I have ever read. It just knocks all the other books off the shelf. After I read Poison Princess—which I thought was exceptional—I was nervous. Apprehension arose because I loved the first novel so much that anything that followed after would either have to be superior, equivalent, or a giant let down. Luckily the sequel outdid itself in every possible way. Endless Knight's epic labyrinthine story continues and it's rooted in darkness, drama, deception, action, and seduction.

Evie Greene sheds all pretenses when she accepts her role as the Empress and embraces all her deadly powers. As she reveals her true self to Jackson and the others he struggles to come to grips with her betrayal. Now that the Hermit, Arthur, is out of the game there's still many other Major Arcana lying in wait. It's only a matter of time before they cross paths with more dangerous opponents. Evie, Jackson, Matthew, Finn, and Selena realize that by aligning with each other they may have a chance to survive a game that only Death is the victor of. The other alliances grow stronger by the second and they all have one mutual goal—to win. Death stalks Evie around every corner and she vows to destroy him to end his killing spree, and change the fated outcome of all the tarot players.

The Evie of the past is gone and replaced with a cunning, lethal beauty who assumes the role of leader over her group of allies. She's fearless and a force who won't go down without a bloody fight. As she searches for her grandmother, and travels with the others she learns more about the game. Everything from players, powers to weaknesses and she exploits them to her advantage. Her stuck-up attitude and annoying behavior doesn't make a single appearance in this book, hallelujah! She's super powerful, a little frightening, and a totally amazing heroine who can wreak havoc with her abilities. Her Empress form reminds me of Poison Ivy from the comics, and those similarities only beckon me to like her more. I'm awed over her villainous transformation, and the raging urge for her to kill everyone. She battles her very nature and sometimes she wins and sometimes she loses. I'm definitely one of those readers that cheers for the corruption and darkside of the hero/heroine to come out. I love to see a character torn apart only to be reassembled again and emerge stronger than before.

In Poison Princess I may have sported a fictional crush on the spicy Cajun Jackson but Death, oh Death, is my knight in shining ebony armor. His role in the first novel was small compared to his significance in Endless Knight. He's the ultimate bad guy bent on killing the Empress. He singles her out by warning all the other Arcana that her death will be at his hands, and from there it's a wild turn of events. Death is flawless without even a fissure of weakness. He's also fatally hot, I dare say hotter than Jackson. The first half you see a little of him and he's still a mystery but by the end you start to understand him, and his reasons for being the way that he is. It's shocking and a crazy-amazing plot twist. Evie and Jackson have their chemistry but Death and Evie have an infernal attraction that's hard to resist. There is an arsenal of secrets that you'll never see coming and it turns the story inside-out. There are little clues that hint at answers but their so cleverly disguised until the revelation of each. You're kept guessing the entire time!

What makes Endless Knight one of the best books is the original concept, the history and intricately weaved details, the completely developed world, and the beautifully imagined characters. I was expecting to swoon over Jack and instead I was riveted by Death. Cole knows how to turn the tables around on you. The ending leaves you hanging with a brutal cliffhanger that will make you wish you were a time traveler. When the next installment Dead of Winter releases it'll be one of the rare few times I'll purchase it the day it hits the shelves!

All in all this sequel brings more intriguing Arcana into the mix with bagmen and cannibals closing in, with plenty of Death to go around. Cole has forever won me over with her writing and artistry. Endless Knight has turned me into a total wreck. I can't pick up another book without this one creeping into my mind and whispering "you won't find another like it". If I thought reading the sequel made me nervous I'm now horrified about my feels for the third, but at this point I'm going to shake it off and know that whatever Cole writes it'll be another favorite. Endless Knight is an emotionally captivating tornado and one you'll be glad you're caught up in. An endless night of reading awaits! This series is upper YA best suited for 15+ for its violence, language, and sexual material.


Evie has her full powers as the Tarot Empress, and Jack was there to see it all. Teens reincarnated as the Tarot are in the throes of an epic battle for mankind. She must trust new allies against other Arcana, Bagmen zombies, post-apocalyptic storms, and cannibals. But she's also drawn to Death, the Endless Knight, who shares history with the Empress. She can't remember; he can't forget.


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