Book Review: Day Zero by Kresley Cole

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. . . .

This novella/short story collection is set up a bit differently from most, and Cole acknowledges that at the beginning with a small forward explaining the original intention of this collection.  Originally, this was going to serve as a guide for the possible television series that was proposed for this story, so each card in the major arcana, all 22, are given names, descriptions, information on their Arcana powers and traits, and those that are still alive during the game are given their own short story about where they were and what was happening to them on “Day Zero,” or the day the Flash occured.

Readers are treated to a bonus story featuring Death toward the beginning, showing him as he prepares for the new games, each of the icons fading from his skin.

This is a kind-of spoiler-y review, but since all but maybe one or two of these characters have shown up in the main novels, I don’t really find it too pressing.

We pretty much just get to see where each of the cards, including a rehash of Evie, were on the night of/day of (depending on where in the world they were at the time), and it gives small glimpses into who they were prior to their participation in the game.

The Sun is with his two romantic partners, their polyamorous relationship is going so well he was planning to propose to them on the day that the Flash happened.  You know, after they throw a bitchin’ rave in an abandoned insane asylum.  He also *Spoiler Alert* wakes up to them attempting to suck his blood, having been turned into bagmen (Queue The Princess Bride gif).  But he pulls a Michonne and keeps them around by chaining them together and dragging them along.

Fortune is a gun cartel leader’s daughter in Brazil with a wicked desire for revenge and her ability to steal luck from others pretty much causes her father’s death, although I’m not sure if she is aware of that, or if it is just something that the reader realizes.

The Hanging Man is still the inactivated card, and a lot of fandom members speculate that Jack is actually the inactivated card, but considering the entire entry in the book is blacked out (clever), Cole keeps us in the dark on this.  I assume that in the fifth installment the Hanging Man will come into play, as all players in the game must be either killed or participate, so it seems unlikely that we’d continue to not know who this card is. To be honest, I’d be a bit disappointed if Jack turns out to be the inactive card, because it just seems to predictable to put Evie in the middle of a love triangle with two major cards.  Not only do we already have to deal with the triangle as it is, but if it’s between two cards? It just seems too…obvious?

You get a glimpse into the life of Tess, The World, and how she can apparate to her crush’s house, where she finds him masturbating to her yearbook photo.  So romantic.  She also almost takes herself out of the game by simply attempting to save her parents’ lives, which is really sad.

Poor Circe, though.  She’s my little ocean queen. She not only lost the love of her life, but also ended up leaving him at the alter during the Flash because the ocean called her to her watery temple. She’s probably my new favorite addition to the canon of characters, and I’ve liked her since she showed up at the end of Dead of Winter.

Overall, I give this book a solid 3 bards.  It doesn’t really give us that much insight into things other than the character backgrounds.  These backgrounds are limited, and I’d consider this really just a collection of information that benefits the author to help keep her canon in order rather than something readers absolutely had to know.

My review of Arcana Rising will be up Thursday, September 8.

threebards

 

 

 


Book Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer


Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.
I’m trying so hard to not fangirl a ridiculous amount in this review, but I have a feeling that a few fangirl flails will make it into this, so I apologize now!

It is impossible to say that I haven’t been fascinated by Luna and Queen Levana since the beginning of the Lunar Chronicles.  She is definitely the biggest enigma of the series, and readers have only really heard accounts of her actions through the point of view of other characters.  So when I found out Meyer wrote a novella tracing Queen Levana’s life and ascent to the throne.

First thought upon closing the book: WOW. It is no wonder she is as calculating and cold as a queen.  So basically readers learn that Levana was basically neglected by her parents as a small child, and tortured by her older sister.  Fire is a very consistent theme in Levana’s narrative, as it is obviously the way that Princess Selene was “killed,” and it was apparently the cause of Levana’s own low self esteem and supposed constant use of glamour/veils.

We learn that Levana was a girl searching and desperate for love, which almost makes me sympathize with her as a character, but I think Meyer did such an excellent job of showcasing how a Lunar’s abilities to glamour and control the mind and emotions can really do more harm than good.  Not only do we get to see how painful and frustrating for people on the receiving end of this manipulation, but how it can lead to delusion and hurt on behalf off the impressionable person utilizing these powers.

Something else I really liked was that, no matter that this narrative was definitely focused on Levana, readers were given an adorable look into the childhood friendships between Selene, Winter, and Jacin.

If anything else, I can’t believe how long we are going to have to wait for the conlusion to this brilliant series, but I am so excited to see where Meyer is going to take the story.  I do hate Queen Levana but I love her story.

4.5 Bards

four.fivebards

 

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