Monday, August 29, 2016

Day Zero (Arcana Chronicles #3.5) & Arcana Rising (Arcana Chronicles #4) by Kresley Cole

Summary: Arcana means secrets, and these Arcana Chronicles short stories from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole are filled with them. Experience firsthand the beginning of the end and behold the apocalypse through the eyes of characters you onlythought you knew. 

Ashes to ashes . . .
Evie Greene’s story of the Flash is just one of many. All over the world, those connected in some way to the lethal Arcana game—like Death, Jack, and Fortune—must first survive a horrifying night of blood and screams. 

We all fall down.
Some will have to grapple with new powers; all will be damned to a hellish new existence of plague, brutality, desolation, and cannibalism. Find out who they lost, why they endure, and what they sacrificed in order to live past Day Zero. . . . (Via

Pages: 168

Release Date: August 1st, 2016

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary: 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?

Pages: 259

Release Date: August 15th, 2016

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


Arcana Rising and Day Zero were two of my most highly anticipated releases of this year. I had been craving anything in the Arcana world after the devastating cliffhanger of the third book of the Arcana Chronicles, Dead of Winter. While I mainly read books that are popular or somewhat well-know in the YA/NA book world, the Arcana Chronicles is one of the few underrated series I have read. Only more recently have I discovered fellow lovers of the series. The Arcana Chronicles deserves more hype surrounding it. I have a review of the second book, Endless Knight, and the third book, Dead of Winter, if you would like to read those.

Overall, I loved both Arcana Rising and Day Zero. Although I waited a year and eight months for the fourth installment of the series, Arcana Rising, the wait was totally worth it. While Arcana Rising was not my favorite in the series, I prefer Endless Knight and Dead of Winter more, I still enjoyed it very much. I loved seeing old faces and meeting several new ones. Arcana Rising with the aid of Day Zero opened up a new world of characters and conflict that I never imaged. The ending of Arcana Rising was quite shocking; however, it was not as brutal as Dead of Winter. I have my fingers crossed that Kresley Cole will never deliver a cliffhanger that devastating again.

The entire series is compiled of rather short books which make them extremely easy to binge and become addicted to. The Arcana Chronicles is one of my favorite series, each book is extremely enjoyable and fast paced. The story and characters are also unique and compelling. If you have yet to start or continue on in the series, I highly recommend doing so.

I have no idea how many books are left in the series, but I am here for the ride. I am excited to see what Kresely has in store; however, I hope the trauma she creates is not too hard to handle. The fifth installment in the series, The Dark Calling, is set to be released in spring of 2017. While The Dark Calling will be one of my most anticipated releases of next year and I plan to start it the day it is released, I do not know if I am mentally prepared for what the next book could bring. By the way, I am currently giving away a copy of Poison Princess, Endless Knight, or Dead of Winter on Twitter if you would like to enter to win a copy.

Aric is one of my absolute favorite characters and one of my book boyfriends. Throughout the series we understand how much he has suffered without human contact and interactions. He shows how horrible immortality can be, especially to someone who can kill with a single touch. I was devastated when Evie chose Jack in Dead of Winter. While I did enjoy Jack in the first book, Poison Princess, I stared to dislike him after the end of Poison Princess. His repulsion of Evie at the end of book one seemed so unlike his character and it really angered me. Nonetheless, I began to fall in love with Aric's character when he was introduced in Endless Knight and I have been rooting for him since then. 

Although I was ecstatic that Evie finally choose Aric in Arcana Rising, I have always wanted them to be together, I had a couple problems with her choosing him. First of all, she did not choose him. She thought Jack was dead, therefore, he was not competition. She simply agreed to be with him. Secondly, I hated that she got with him because she thought he "deserved" happiness. While I completely agree that Aric did deserve to be happy, I disliked that she chose his happiness over hers. She did seem rather happy with him; however she always mentioned that one of her two goals was to keep him happy. Not keeping herself happy. She agreed to be his wife because she thought it was what he "deserved," it was not because she necessarily loved him or wanted to be with him. I am not saying that she does not love him, because I believe she does, but I dislike that she "chose" him because of what she thought he "deserved." Not what she thought she "deserved." Nonetheless, I am happy that they finally got together. Everyone could tell that he was so much happier and alive. 

I had a couple mixed feelings about Day Zero. I thought the idea of seeing all the Arcana on Day Zero, the day of the apocalypse, was fantastic. The execution of the stories were also great, but I hated that a majority of the book was focused on Evie, Aric, and Jack. This was a great opportunity for Kresley to explore a new cast of characters, yet she stuck to her main crew. Evie's story was literally taken out of Poison Princess word-for-word. Instead of skipping the story of other Arcanas, like the twins or Ogen, we could have skipped hers since we have already read it in Poison Princess. I understand that it helps set up Jack's story, but Calanthe and Joules' shared a story because they were together on Day Zero, Evie and Jack's story should have been done the same way. 

I did enjoy Day Zero for what it was. It was interesting meeting some of the new characters in Day Zero and then finally meeting them through Evie in Arcana Rising. I feel as though Day Zero was particularly used against the readers to manipulate their perspectives of the new characters. I am not saying that is a bad thing. I was sold on Sol in Arcana Rising because his story broke my heart in Day Zero. I never thought he would betray Evie. I am glad that he seems to be working with the crew though, I really love his character and how far he would go for his loved ones. It was devastating to see who everyone lost in Day Zero. Everyone suffered, no one really had it better or worse than anyone else. It was also interesting to meet some of the characters who died before we had the chance to meet them. It was also bittersweet to read about Tess and Selena, who we have lost over the course of the last two books.

There was no doubt in my mind that Jack was alive. Surprising, Evie's suffering did not annoy me at all. I liked that she was finally able to come to terms with him being "died," I was worried she would stay in the past for too long. I am really interested to see how Matthew's character progresses in the remainder of the series. He has always been one of my favorite characters and the gang is starting to realize that he does pose a threat. He has a lot of power over a majority of the characters. I am really interested to see why he let Evie initially believe Jack was dead and only now let her know that he is very much alive. He said he wanted to "break her" and making her think she is crazy by hearing Jack might be the direction he is going. 

The only explanation I can conjure about why Evie is not able to access her powers is because she is pregnant. The baby must be taking some of her powers as well as the nutrients it needs from her. The baby could also be blocking or limiting her powers. If Evie does end up having the baby, I wonder if it would have powers since its father, Aric, is also an Arcana? While a pregnant Evie made an interesting cliffhanger, the reason why she is left me confused. As far as I can remember, Evie has suffered no memory gaps except for time with her Grandmother at an early age. While she connects her memory gaps with her Grandmother, it is odd that she is suffering them now. I understand that since she was just with her Grandmother for a period of time that could have caused her into thinking she got a birth control shot, but it is too far of a stretch. It would make sense if she forgot a conversation she had with her Grandmother, but it is odd that she conjured a memory in her mind when her Grandmother was not even involved. Comment below with what you thought about the memory gap, I am curious to hear what others have to say about it.

I very much enjoyed both Day Zero and Arcana Rising. They were both stunning continuations to a brilliant series. I am extremely excited to see what Kresley Cole has in store for her readers in the next installment of the series, The Dark Calling. I cannot wait to see what happens to our cast of characters.

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