(The Arcana Strike Back): Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

(The Arcana Strike Back): Dead of Winter by Kresley ColeDead of Winter by Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #3
on 6th January 2015
Pages: 336
Source: Bought for Myself
Goodreads
three-half-stars
From the author of the international bestselling Immortals After Dark series comes the dark and irresistable conclusion to The Arcana Chronicles. Evie Green, the Empress, has been taken by Death who is one of the most fearsome among the Tarot. But there is an even more dangerous Tarot heading right for them… The Lovers. Two twisted siblings who use cruelty and torture on allies and enemies alike. Evie, Death and Jack must band together to find and kill the Lovers, but tensions arise when Jack witnesses the close bond that has developed between the Endless Knight and Evie, and she soon realises that there is a very fine line between love and hate...

Evie used to be a typical teenage girl who enjoyed cheerleading and painting. Then the Flash happened. The earth’s surface ignited, turned to ash and all the rivers and lakes evaporated. Evie gained supernatural powers and against her will became a player in a paranormal game to the death with 21 other teenagers.

Now, having escaped from Death, Evie is on a mission to save Jack before it is too late. Vincent and Violet, psychotic twins who call themselves “the Lovers”, are masters in cruel and unusual punishment and they have some revoltingly creative torture planned for Jack. Evie will do anything to save Jack and will use all the cards in her arsenal to do so.

Dead of Winter is the third book in Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles and in this series she brings together a great mix of characters, supernatural suspense and a sense of foreboding future. After loving Poison Princess and Endless Knight, I had high hopes for Dead of Winter. Whilst this book was entertaining, in many ways this felt like a filler book. The kind which lays groundwork for what promises to be an epic story in the books to come but fell short on its own.

The love triangle between Evie, Jack and Death (aka. Aric) is prominent and tended to overshadow many other parts of the story. After falling in love, falling out of trust and learning about the Empresses’ history, Evie has a lot to think about. She’s caught between her first love, who offers a beautiful future yet withholds his past, and a man who holds the key to her past and is brutally honest about everything – including his brutality. The dynamic between the three characters is well written and interesting but I found it a little overwhelming. First and foremost I enjoy this story for the world building, the Arcana and the quest to end the game. The romance overshadowed all of this slightly.

The secondary characters are fantastic in this series with each bringing their own sense of honour and unique take on the game they are playing. Selena, Finn, Joules and Gabriel give a different perspective with regards to their own roles in the Arcana and I loved reading about them. I was disappointed with the lack of new cards involved in this book. We do get brief introductions to two new cards but overall there is not a huge progression with the game as a whole. But that said – The Lovers are highlighted in this book and I found them perversely fascinating.

After reading Dead of Winter, I am more excited than ever to see what Kresley Cole has install for Evie and her alliance. This book is a good continuation of the Arcana Chronicles and offers a unique and different take on teens with magical powers in a post-apocalyptic setting. I just hope that in the next book less concentrated on the romance aspect and more focused on world building and incredible overall plot.

 

Thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia for the review copy. 

 

 

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