Release Day Review & Discussion – Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

Release Day Review & Discussion – Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
Release Day Review & Discussion – Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

PJV Quickie: I love being surprised by an author and Kresley Cole does it every time. Cole is the type of author that sets the trends instead of following in other author’s footsteps. I was a little trepidatious when she released her first YA, especially in the dystopian/zombie type genres. But, while she went with a popular theme, she took the books to a whole different level. The second book in the Arcana Chronicles kept me on my toes the entire time, pushed boundaries, broke-down usual YA tropes and blurred the lines between good and bad in uncomfortable ways. All I gotta say is… “damn.”

Review: ENDLESS KNIGHT picks up where POISON PRINCESS left off. Evie is The Empress in all her glory, and she has just killed The Alchemist. Her friends are now realizing that her card is in play…big time. Evie’s character becomes a lot more complicated then it was in the beginning of the first novel, especially as she begins to remember more and more of her past lives those thoughts and feelings filtering into her present life.

Other characters are also developing along-side Evie and new ones are being introduced. Selena, Matt and Finn all become more  a part of the story and integral to Evie’s success and Jackson – oh Jackson – shows a new side of himself as his relationship grows with Evie. I liked his character before, but by the end of ENDLESS KNIGHT, I wanted my own alcoholic, dirty-mouthed Cajun. He is just one of many fantastically written characters, in this series, with a ton of flaws, but with a lot of “it” factors that just make them all wonderful.

Then there was Death, who is introduced as the bad-guy, out to get Evie from the beginning, his voice in her head, malicious, all-consuming and taunting.

“Your death is mine, which means your life is mine.—”

But as the story progresses and you learn more and more about The Empress, whom even Evie has had nightmares about, you begin to lose focus on who is the: “good card, bad card, good card.” Who is good? Who will succumb to their nature? Who will fight it? Finn hints that if he doesn’t use his powers of illusion it actually pains him. Is this true for all the cards? Especially as the really terrible are introduced, cards that are cannibals, lover/twins that decimate using an army…how much do they know? How much is their card, how much is them?

It all becomes really intense within the second novel, especially as things settle down and Death and The Empress are introduced face to face and the back-story of their prior games becomes revealed, which actually changed allegiances in my mind for the characters. And it is not about a love-traingle, or some usual young adult play on the boy-girl-boy trope. I’m not rooting for Death to win the girl, or even Jack to win the girl, I’m not even rooting for the girl. Cole threw everything out the window in how she set these books up. She threw in a lot of surprises, some I kind of figured, but only because I’m a huge fan of Cole’s adult series, so I think I have a certain understanding of how she implements her craft. And she did use certain elements that I’ve seen introduced in the IAD series, but nothing that is at all evident to the casual reader. It’s only because I do this blogging thing and I keep track of some stuff.

Because of this, I have certain expectations or predictions for book three (Please see discussion area of review for more). Which I believe is the final book? Kresley Cole mentioned she was shooting for three books in the signing for PP.

There is a reason this book is not a five star / amazing read, it is because at some points the novel became choppy and awkward. There was a voice transition problem that I did not notice in the first book, but it seemed a lot more obvious in the second. These moments I can only guess are caused because the novel does not stay firmly rooted within a Young Adult voice. The novel in itself is not really a Young Adult novel, even though it is published as one (the only reason being Evie’s age). The characters are mature, there is a ton of mature content, including multiple sex scenes, that do not fade to black. Between the content and the voice, this should probably be a type of New Adult novel…but Cole did try and maintain that Young Adult voice throughout the novel, even though it slipped at times. Problems arise with the characters though. Death himself is a millennia old character…who wouldn’t have a young adult persona. When Evie gets around him though, she loses her YA vibe, her teen speak only used as jibes or reminders of Death’s age. I guess it just didn’t feel seamless, which is what I expect with Cole. Who knows, with reading the ARC it might be ironed out in the final version. If Death would have had a YA vibe I would be saying — “why does a 2000 year old character act like a teenager?” So, this is me being picky.

Overall a great read, one that I would not with a clear conscious hand to a young teenager, but I would shove down the throat of my adult YA lovers and scream “read this s*** it is good!!!” Kresley Cole is just one of those great fantasy writers, with this crazy imagination and a penchant for passion and angst. Her writing keeps you on the edge of your seat through the entire novel, she doesn’t give you one moment to take a breath. She also keeps you guessing and surprised – which she achieved in this book. And thanks again, Kresley, for that wonderful cliffhanger, how much longer do I have to wait for book number 3 which doesn’t even have a name yet?!

Read the series if you haven’t, this isn’t a suggestion, it’s a compulsion.

Recommendations: Fans of Kresley Cole’s adult series, what are you waiting for? It might be Young Adult, it’s really not, you’ll enjoy it. Fans of Apocalypse fiction, dystopian and/or zombie craziness, with a bit of romance and angst, you’ll love this series.

 

 

 

 

 

Endless Knight Discussion Area

(don’t read past this if you have not read ENDLESS KNIGHT)

Is Jack actually a mortal? For someone who’s just a mere mortal, he sure hangs in there. Not to mention the term “fated” is used a lot. If she is fated for Jack, that speaks of a lot more, because why would a card be fated for a mortal? Also Death reveals a few secrets of Jack’s, which also gives hints of he being a bit more.

Why would Death know Jack’s motivations for initial contact with Evie, his relationship with his father and his alleged half-brother? How would he know this, unless Matt revealed this to Death? Unless Matt was in Jack’s head?

I actually want Jack to be a card. I don’t remember them bringing up the Emperor in POISON PRINCESS. Did they mention the Emperor card? I don’t think they mention it.

I don’t know about him being The Emperor though, because that card would be in charge of the game, the boss, the one that makes the rules. And if this were the case, then Jack would turn into a very manipulative bastard, now wouldn’t it? Unless he was unaware. But, The Emperor is the male persona, in counterpart to The Empress – so what other card could Jack be? This counterpart would fit the fated spot perfectly.

Jack is fated. Death is endless.

What do you think?

Parajunkee

Rachel, whom you might know as Parajunkee, is the blog owner of parajunkee.com and the design blog parajunkee.net. Rachel has been blogging for over to five years, designing / web programming for over twelve, but her real love, reading, has been her favorite hobby since childhood. Rachel has won numerous awards for her writing, the blogs she has created and her design work.
  • Rachel

    Oh awesome review. Reading it makes me want to read the book all over again. And I’ve read it twice already. Day-um.

    I didn’t have the problem/notice the switch in voice in a way that made it feel choppy. I did notice it was a bit more mature, but it didn’t affect me. But I am OLD. Though even if I was a teenager, it wouldn’t have affected me. Though I totally get not feeling comfortable referring this to a teen. If I was a teen I’d totally have made all my friends read it, of course.

    And oh my gosh yes, Jackson Deveaux definitely “shows a new side of himself” – a couple of “sides” actually. ;) ;)

    And poor Death. Though I would have expected nothing less of Evie given who she is, The Empress. So while I’m mad at her, I’m not really mad. She is who she is, a bloodthirsty witch/princess/queen.

    Please, please, please say it’s not going to be a trilogy. It’s a Chronicles, I want it to go on as long as the IAD series!

    I totally agree about the intensity and the characters. And as we discussed this before I have no clue what direction the author will take this in. I’ve only read three or four of her adult series books.

    I also really need to look up that word “tropes.” I know it’s one of the terms of art in the industry but I’m afraid to look it up and end up using it in a review, like I did awesomesaucetastic.

    Fantastic review & discussion. I may stalk comments to see what people have to say!

    • http://www.parajunkee.com/ Parajunkee

      I probably use it wrong, I know in literature it means something used in a certain way, I think…so usually literary tropes would be figures of speech, sayings…and I guess some people would say stereotypes. But I might be making a leap.

      Okay I went and looked it up, dictionary.com defines it as: any literary or rhetorical device, as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, that consists in the use of words in other than their literal sense.

      • Rachel

        Damn, you made me look it up, lol. And it took checking wikipedia to get what the definition actually meant as dictionary definition still had me confused. But it’s basically like cliches ooh, or crutches. Yeah I am sure everything I write is filled with those. The word just sits oddly with me. Maybe I’ll call them gnomes. Literary gnomes.

        • http://sherrysoule.blogspot.com/ sherry soule

          Literary gnomes? I like that. ;-)

  • http://sherrysoule.blogspot.com/ sherry soule

    Ohhh! I can’t wait to read this, and I’m jealous that you already have! You recommended the first book to me and I loved it. Great review. ;-)

  • Elle

    Hello,
    I think it is pretty clear Jack is the “unactivated” card, which ever one that is, and just needs to make his first kill of another card before we will find out.
    I’m just going out on a limb here in thinking it will be one or both of the lover’s perverse.

  • Elle

    I think Jack could be The Emperor – I absolutely agree that it would make sense. Or perhaps The Sun. Evie needs the sun for strength. I don’t know.
    My only beef with this book is it being titled for YA when it’s really an adult read in so many ways… hello sex scene, nice to meet you. Also, I get the fact that this is a Post Apocolyptic world in which these kids have faced so much hardship and death that they have needed to grow up faster… STILL, Evie, a 16 year old… death supposedly appears 22 or 23. Yet is soooo much older. Yuck. Why didn’t she just make Evie 18 and classify this book under what it should have been, an Adult Read? And Jack is how old? Meh.
    Rant aside, I really like this author. IAD is a fun series. Most of them are well rounded reads full of humor, adventure, ass kicking, sex scenes where all participants are of age… yeah, that way the adults whom read such books do not feel dirty or embarrassed to be reading about 16 year olds! Yeesh.
    I also know Evie is the main character, I just wish the author had expanded these books with first person perspectives from the other characters also. I mean, she could have capitalized on this and continued the series longer! Plus, it would be more fun – I get tired of Evie. I want to know The Fools perspective, The Moon, The Tower, Judgement — I think that would have been amazing!
    Still, Poison Princess and Endless Knight appear to be put together well in plot, execution, and copyediting, etc. I loved Posion Princess. I am NOT a huge fan of Endless Knight. However, I am really hoping book 3 makes it all worth it…
    Thanks for letting me vent!

  • http://unraveling-words.blogspot.com/ Nyx @ Unraveling Words

    It would make perfect sense if Jack was the unactivated Emperor card. I actually never liked Jack to start with so him being manipulative enough to be that card would actually make me feel very vindicated lmao. I really didn’t like this book actually. Hated the ending. It felt completely out of character for both of them. I just don’t get it. Either the character growth throughout the book should have made that ending nonexistant, or there was absolutely no point in the second half of the book and all that crap if it was just going to end like that. It just makes no sense either way. Oh and the sex scene? Ew. Was so utterly uncomfortable reading that ugh and I had totally forgotten Evie was only 16!! Once it was mentioned again was totally thrown lol. Was really disappointed with this one and I doubt I’ll bother to continue with this particular series. I love her IAD series though.

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