With The Poison Princess, Kresley Cole has made a successful debut into the young adult genre. The book is a good, intense read that is well-written and engaging, but is not completely without flaws.
Firstly, the book is written in a first person narrative, something which has become pretty normal in the YA genre these days. Kresley Cole is one of my favorite authors, but even she can't make me like first person narration one bit. I'll state it quite bluntly - I HATE first person narration (with a passion), so for me this is a (very personal) problem with this book.
Secondly, the characterization in this book was somewhat weak. While there were interesting parts in the book, most of the characters felt underdeveloped and somewhat stereotypical. Part this is probably due to this book being more of a prologue to get readers into the plot, setting and characters before the actual story starts than anything else.
Thirdly, Evie was not a particularly great character. My problem with first person narration is mainly down to the fact that the story is told through one person's perspective. While that can lead to some fascinating, personal and introspective storytelling, it generally requires an exceptionally interesting, well-developed character to pull off. Sadly, Evie is every single girl-who-seems-to-have-it-all-yet-is-unique-and-special-and-magical-stereotype out there in YA. She's a popular cheerleader, but is nice, clever and has prophetic visions, but wants to get rid of them to be normal. Evie acts like you would expect a regular stubborn, bitchy teenager throughout most of book, which honestly left me quite unimpressed not to mention puzzled. I expected more from a survivor of the apocalypse. That being said, the end of the book does promise some good things to come I the next books, and hopefully Evie will be a more likable, memorable and tolerable experience next time around.
Fourthly, if there was EVER a time for Kresley Cole to use her talent for fun, witty banter it was in this book. This is probably one of her most serious books to date. No witty banter, no pop culture references and no fun. None. I didn't laugh once, not even unintentionally (a first for a Cole book for me). I am not saying this is a massive problem, throwing humor into a story of the apocalypse might be tricky, but I missed the lighter moments and I honestly expected Kresley Cole's YA series to be more fun and flirtatious.
That being said, I did very much enjoy this book. It is a quick read and definitely left me intrigued about the future of this series. The plot and the world building was great and very atmospheric, though I wished there had been more to this story than simply introducing and establishing stuff. It is definitely worth a read, but some might want to wait till the paperback version come out before investing in this.