Friday, January 16, 2015

Review: Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole
Book Three of the Arcana Chronicles
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Rating: 2 stars
Source: Pre-ordered copy

Summary (from Goodreads):

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...?

What I Liked:

I am so disappointed, you all. With the book, but also with the fact that I really, REALLY wanted to love this one. I loved Poison Princess, and enjoyed Endless Knight, but this one fell flat (unfortunately). I mean, a ton of people are loving the book... but me (and Nereyda), not so much.

Evie has left Death and his luxurious life, in order to rescue Jack from the Lovers. She reunites with Selena and several other Arcana, in order to storm the Lovers' camp. They rescue Jack... but then Death reappears. Death, Jack, and Evie must leave the other Arcana in order to find the Lovers (who were not defeated when Evie and the other Arcana rescued Jack). All the while, Evie is seriously confused as to who she should "choose". 

The ending - I actually REALLY like one particular aspect of the ending, but I feel like that won't stick (because the author would neverrrrrrr - unfortunately for me). I so hope that one thing sticks, but I won't. But I like the ending right now.

Overall, I was never bored during this book, which is a plus. I like the progression of the ARCANA-related story, to a point. I feel like Evie is no closer to figuring out how to stop or end the game than she was in the first or second books, but otherwise, I liked the story. Minus the romance. But I'll get to that.

Actually, I'll get to that now.

What I Did Not Like:

The romance. The love triangle. The fact that this book was basically unnecessary. Ugh ugh ugh. Deep breaths. Here I go.

I. Hated. The. Romance. In. This. Book. Okay, fair, I knew that there would be a love triangle from book two. Even in book one, you could *kind of* tell that there would be a love triangle in this series. Kind of. But book one was "Jack's" book. Book two was "Aric's" book.

Aric = Death, by the way. No one be confused.

In this book, Evie is very and truly confused. She has no idea who to choose. She thinks she loves them equal. She has this endless (hehe) connection with Aric, but Jack was her first love. That's what it comes down to, in her mind - those two things. Evie will kiss one and kiss the other (in book one, two, and this one). She will let both of them touch her. What. What. What.

Honestly, let's be real. How often does this happen? You're getting it on with TWO guys at the same time (not at the same moment, but in the same period of your life), they both know that the other exists, you have equally strong feelings for both... really? Is this realistic? Someone please tell me. Love triangles to THIS DEGREE don't exist in real life, in my opinion. At the same point in time, you love two people that much? Really? I don't believe it. 

Aric and Jack fight over Evie all the time. Most of the time, she is RIGHT THERE, and DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING, until after like five minutes. Are you kidding me?! They're saying, she'll choose me, she's my wife, she's my girl, she was with me, blah blah blah, IN FRONT OF YOU, and you let it go on for like five minutes. They're discussing you like you're a camel and you're just going to let that happen!? Are you kidding me?!

And for the entire book, Evie's like, just DOESN'T KNOW what she wants to do about the romance. She keeps saying, let's focus on the issue at hand, or, I can't think about that right now, or, this is more important. Which is fair, but it sounds like a bunch of excuses and bs, in my opinion.

I HATED Evie in this book. I'm at that point where I think she doesn't deserve either boy, because that would be too much reward for her. I loveeee Aric, and I want him to get a semi-happy ending. Unfortunately, all he wants is Evie, and I want him that have what he wants... but on Evie's side, a life with Aric is too good for her. I honestly wouldn't mind one of the other Arcana offing her. LOL. She's so selfish - she has both men believing that she loves them (which she thinks she does), and she refuses to make up her mind. Instead of torturing them both, let them BOTH go, or pick one, or something! Honestly, you just seem like a cruel b**** to me.

I haaaaaaaaaaaated Jack in this book. LET ME TELL YOU. He is a MORTAL, yet he wants to go toe-to-toe with Aric. Do you know how many times Jack has threatened Aric saying, "my gun, your skull" or "I will kill you" or something along those lines. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Aric is an IMMORTAL BEING, not to mention the DEATH Arcana... he's hundreds of years old, has a ton of experience in combat and weaponry... you're this measly mortal boy, you PALE in comparison to Aric.

I liked Jack in Poison Princess, thought he was a child in Endless Knight, and I definitely think he's an immature teenage adolescent in this book. The author tries to make him seem more grown and leader-like and manly or something, but I thought that whole thing was HILARIOUS because it just proved to me how not-for-Evie Jack is, how stupid and inexperienced and petty and a**hole-ish Jack is. Because he has NO CLASS.

Didn't like the romance, Jack, Evie... let's talk about how this book is SOOO NOT NECESSARY. Like, you can skip this one pretty much. It's all about Evie's decision - Aric or Jack. She vacillates during the ENTIRE novel. The Arcana story plot does not seem as important as the love triangle. I would skip this book, honestly. Perhaps book four will blow our minds. Maybe it won't. But this one certainly didn't.

I think I'm just going to stop here. You want more "not likes"? Check out Nereyda's review at Mostly YA Book Obsessed.

Would I Recommend It:

Okay, if you're invested in the series, then sure, read the book. If you haven't read the series, definitely WAIT until the fourth (and hopefully final) book is published. I LOVED Poison Princess and Endless Knight, so two of the three published books so far are winners... and I LOVE the Arcana story. But I hatehatehate the romance, or how the author is spinning the romance. It's not cute. It's not sexy. I'm not amused. But I loveeee the Arcana story/plot thingy.


1.5 stars -> rounded up to 2 stars. I'll read the fourth book. If I found out that there will be more books in the series involving Evie's story after the fourth book (so far, there are only four total), then I'm going to reconsider that decision. I'm not interested in a love triangle lasting more than two books. The decision should be made BY the third book. Ugh ugh ugh. End review.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. I never started this series because I heard there was a major love triangle. Definitely don't regret that decision lol. I think I've seen one other review besides yours and Nereyda's, that gave this book a lower rating and you all have the same point. I definitely don't want to read a book that's all about the girl being indecisive about two guys constantly fighting over her. I can just imagine the frustration. Hope the fourth book wraps it all up nicely so you'll enjoy it more :)

    1. Yuuuuppp, that was a huge source of frustration. But I'm really invested in the story. I hope so too! Thank you, Eileen!

  2. So, I loved this book, I did. I do believe I may have rated it too high but alas, it is what it is. I feel, with Jack and Aric, one is lust and one is love. I'm sure you can figure out which is which and that shit is what pissed me off to no end. I love the characters, individually, themselves and the story but yeah, this romance is ridiculous now. And did she even kiss Aric? I don't remember it and that's what pissed me off. I might email you because I don't want to go in to too much detail to refrain from spoiling anyone but I had my issues.

    It was one of those books that I loved when I finished but then when I let it settle in, the love started slipping away. But of course, I wrote my review in the 'love' phase, sooooo...

    1. I totally understand! And she kissed Aric in the second book - in this book, not quite, but almost. They got intimate, which is just as bad (or worse). Honestly, I'm so over it!

  3. Carmel from Rabid Reads had the very same reaction that you, Alyssa! She was pissed that the whole book was about the love triangle!
    I still want to give this series a try, but I might end up simply taking my chances skipping reading this one once I do! ;)
    Thank you for a very honest review as always girl!

    1. Ahhh! See?! I would wait until the whole series is published, Pili!

      You're very welcome - and thank you!

  4. Alyssa! You are still the only blogger I know who didn't love this book... and I don't get it.
    I think that almost everyone is Team Death and things are definitely going Team Death's way so they are just happy that she'll most likely end up with him. Honestly, if this book would have been the last one and she would have just stayed with Aric and Jack with the archer girl (I don't know how you spell her name cause I heard the audio...Celena?) I would have been okay with it.

    I think this is why so many people loved ensnared. Because technicalley, what's his name won in the end (spoilers) even though she picked the other guy...

    And that two guys at the same time comment made me laugh. That's what I kept asking myself, does this happen in real life???

    1. RIGHT?!?!?! Everyone's like, GREAT cliffhanger, WONDERFUL story, WHO WILL SHE CHOOSE?

      And I'm sitting over here like -.-

      I would have been okay with those pairings as well! I thought that was the direction in which the author was going! But the author was like, nope, let's screw things up a little more >:o

      And I've heard Ensnared spoilers - I will definitely still read the book, but I'm already so pissed (not that I heard spoilers, because I asked for the spoilers, but because of that ridiculous romance in the end).

      And from what I gather, love triangles in general don't exactly happen... especially to this degree -_- UGH!

  5. I haven't heard of this book, but I want to check it out now, lol. Everyone has their tastes. I enjoy a good love triangle. I guess I'd want to know how old the characters are. I've been a teacher and youth group volunteer for the past 13 years, so I can testify that girls that age are forever torn between two guys, usually the 'friend' and the 'bad boy.' I was the same way in high school, torn between two guys. In the end, it wasn't really about who I liked more at the time, but who was better for me, and I did end up marrying one of them. Maybe the author has had the same experience? Us writers do tend to pull from real life while we're making up stories :-) Anyway, great review even though you didn't like the book.

    1. I really don't think that's the same degree of the situation. And if this floats your boat, cool!

      Thank you!

  6. I am SO ANGRY about this book. I can't believe I bought book one and two. I will get rid of them. I WILL. I am never ever reading this series :( damn it. I realized I wouldn't when I peeked at ending for book two, where she probably fucks Death. Really? Seriously? Did she sleep with him? UGH. I am not pleased. And then your review. You say she cannot choose. She kisses and touches and does things with THEM BOTH?! Seriously? Ahhhh. Fucking love triangles. I AM NOT PLEASED. So angry about it. I would never ever forgive it. I thought the love interest was supposed to be Jack, as I heard that about book one. What was the point of making another boy? So so so annoying. Oh, how I hate triangles :( Sorry for talking so much, lol. <3 ANYWAY. Your review is awesome Alyssa :) I'm sorry this book was so damn awful. I will get rid of my copies of the first two. They shall be sold. I hope. I haven't read them, and I never will. Sigh. You are awesome, though. <3

    1. She doesn't sleep with him but she did with Jack (if you remember). I hateeeeee love triangles too, but I also hate Jack, and I love Aric, so I'm team Aric. I'm sorry that this one won't work for you, but I had a feeling that you would feel that way. Just keep moving on with life! :D

  7. Like I told Nereyda, I kind of stop in the middle of book #2 because of the triangle. A lot of people seem to love this one though. I'm not sure if I should finish it now ;(

  8. Oh God. This is like my worst nightmare. I think all love triangles should rot in hell, but THIS kind is truly the worse. In what universe is it okay to be with both boys like that? And claim you love both equally? Sorry, not happening. UGH. Makes me itchy just reading about it. Don't know how you could stand to read the actual book!

    1. MMMMHHHHMMMM. Like, I thought a decision would be made, mid-way through this one or something, but NOPE. I have to finish the series to know what happens, but had I know from the start, I would not have picked up this series!

  9. I loved this series until this book. I found the love triangle utterly ridiculous and rather immature. How can Evie profess to love Jack and then admit to Selena that she is falling for Aric? That is not realistic. My personal opinion is that she just just not be with anyone because I don't think she is emotionally mature enough at the moment.
    Furthermore, the whole book was about her flip flopping between the two. I could have done without this book as I felt it was pointless I will read the rest of the series because I love the Arcana Story line and I have to know how it will end. I could have done without the romance!
    I know the majority of the readers are for the Evie/Death pairing but I can't help but feel like he might have had a hand in the Emperor attacking Jack and Selena in some way. Death has studied the empress for centuries and the scene with the twins father where death shook his head at him felt to me like he was hiding something. I may be wrong though!

    1. Totally agree with you, Caroline. My opinion of Evie just kept sinking lower and lower, with every time she kept going back and forth between Jack and Aric. It's one of those cases where she should probably end up with NO ONE. lol. I like Aric more as a singular being! Not necessary as a love interest.

      So sorry that you share the same frustrations! You know, I think I saw on Goodreads that this series will be like five or six books long. O_O I can't handle a love triangle that keeps going... and going... and going...

  10. Alyssa.. just curious.. do you still plan to read the fourth book Arcana Rising?

    1. I honestly have not decided yet! Now that the series is going to be longer than I expected, I don't know if I really want to continue. D:


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