Monday, February 16, 2015

Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole

Summary:Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions 
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, the Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory 
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned 
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first...?

Pages: 303 

Release Date: January 6th, 2015

Rating: 5/5 stars

     It is rather ironic that, Dead of Winter, my most highly anticipated book of 2015, is the first new release of this year for me. I only had to wait a week into the new year for Dead of Winter, but I have been waiting for this book since I finished Endless Knight in late May and those eight months have been torturous enough.  
     When it was first announced that the books of The Arcana Chronicles were going to go through a cover change, I was enraged. The covers of Poison Princess, the first book in the series, and Endless Knight, the second novel in the series, had such stunning covers and I did not want them to be redesigned. I swear publishing houses decide to redesign the covers of a series midway through the series so readers will spend their money and re-buy all the currently released books with the new cover so the entire series will match. As a highly OCD person when it comes to my bookshelves, I would agree with that theory because I have a hard time focusing on my bookshelves when books in the same series don't have matching covers or binding. My rant aside, I was nervous to see the new covers because I was in love with the old ones. But, to my surprise, the new covers are just as stunning as the old ones. In comparison to other redesigned series, the books in this series have not been changed too much. The major difference between the covers are that the original covers featured models on the front and back cover while the new editions only have models on the back. I am really pleased that they kept the same cover models from the previous books. I do not know which covers I prefer, they are both stunning. What do you think: do you like the new or old covers better? 
     The books in The Arcana Chronicles are tiny, they average about 330 pages a book. Although they are small in size, Kresley Cole is able to condense everything a reader could possibly want and she keeps up a perfect pace. 
     The Arcana Chronicles is a post-apocalyptic series that is based in Louisiana and features a unique plot that is best summed up as a version of The Hunger Games with tarot cards. Although I described the series as The Hunger Games, the plot is one-of-a-kind and has paranormal and supernatural elements sprinkled in. The books are fast paced and easy to finish in one sitting. The romance is perfect and features two heart-throb male characters that you are sure to swoon for. Kresley Cole has a phenomenal writing style and I have heard great things about her other books, but they are all unfortunately Adult books. When I get older I plan to read them and hopefully she plans to write more Young Adult series and books in the future. I highly recommend reading The Arcana Chronicles, and who would not want to have such beautiful covers sitting on their bookshelves? 

     Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.  To top it off, I got to meet Kresley Cole at the What's Hot In Young Adult Fiction panel. When I was talking to her during the signing she had mentioned to me that in Dead of Winter readers would get a glimpse of Jack's point of view. I was curious to see if the book would have chapters that would swap between Evie and Jack's point of view because I did not know how else Kresley would be able to add Jack's point of view to the story. I was surprised when Matthew began to let Evie have glimpses of both Jack and Aric's past but it really tied the story together. I was able to sympathize with both of the guys and it helped Evie determine who she wanted to be with.
     When I read Poison Princess a little over a year ago, I was head-over-heels in love with Jack; but, when I read Endless Knight last May, Aric stole my heart. I want to see both the guys happy because they both have endured hardships but I am without a doubt, Team Aric. Jack is able to love other women and be with them while Aric is only able to be with Evie because he kills everyone else he touches. While Jack has faced hardships, Aric has endured the worst. Aric accidentally killed his parents at a young age with his lethal touch and has spent two thousand years alone. He needs companionship more than anyone else does. I was so heartbroken for Aric when Evie told him she wanted to be with Jack because she sentenced Aric to more centuries alone. I was so proud of Aric when he decided not to tell Evie he had her grandmother so she would choose to be with him because she loved him, not because he had the person she would do anything to get to. It showed that Death does have a heart. 
     Personally, Selena is more suitable for Jack than Evie is because Selena and Jack have both been tortured by the Twins and only they could understand what the other has gone through. Jack and Selena would never open up to anyone but each other about what they went through when they were with the Twins. Jack would never confide in Evie about what he went through, and I think the only way for Jack and Selena to get over and cope with what happened is to open up to each other. 
     I had no idea that Dead of Winter was going to end the way it did. But, I am confident that Jack survived the lava. Authors do not kill off love interests like that, they just want to torture you for a while until they are brought back unharmed. However, I am not so sure that Selena survived. I would like to hope that she because she went through so much in Dead of Winter and she did not deserve to meet her end like that. Jack and Selena are two extremely strong characters and out of all the character in the series, they would be the most likely to survive. I just hope they did. 
     I had a really hard time reading Silver Shadows, the fifth book in the Bloodlines series, by Richelle Mead because of all the things Sydney had to endure and Dead of Winter was so much harder. The Twins are horrible people and they deserved to die. Although they were only doing what they did in revenge for Evie since one of the former Empress' were nasty to them, it still does not justify what they did. Evie is nothing like her former selves and Jack and Selena did nothing wrong to deserve all that cruelty. It was so hard to read some of those scenes, they were sick and disgusting. But, I guess that proves how well Kresley Cole's writing ability is.    
     Overall, Dead of Winter was full of action, romance, and nail-biting suspense. I have absolutely no idea what to expect in the next book. There has yet to be a title or release date announced but I hope they will be announced soon and I am crossing my fingers that the next book will be released next year. I do not want to wait over a year for the next book, I need to know what happens now. I would also like to know how many books are going to be in the series, I have never heard a definite number, but I hope it will be a longer series because I am tired of reading trilogies or four books series, I want some variety. 

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