Thursday, March 19, 2015

My 3-5 Star Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)

The Kiss of Deception
by Mary E Pearson

Click on the cover or title to go to Goodreads for the info on the book.
Important:  This was published last July and the next in the series won't come out 'til July '15.

I picked up this book at the library b/c some of my fav authors recommended it. I like books with great review quotes on the back cover!  My expectations were, therefore, a tad high and I might've be a bit picky about the story.

The pace, for me, was meanderingly slow with lots of extra details thrown in that I wasn't overly concerned about. I didn't think very much of Lia's idea to run away in the first place, it was a bit shocking even after reading the premise, and I wasn't endeared to her awesome choices along the way.

For example, all this time is spent on her great skills at covering her tracks, but it's not like everyone doesn't find her, so that was a lot of word count from 3+ perspectives for no apparent reason. For me. I mean, it's nice and gives her a bit of credibility, but it also proves how little she grasps of the big picture.

At once point one of the other characters comments on how much more good Lia could do from the palace if she chose and I totally agreed. If you care about a situation, use what leverage you have to improve things. So, anyway... I wasn't too excited about the first half of the book. None of the characters wowed me. I really didn't respect anyone.

But then I had to actually put the book down in total frustration because Lia apparently decides to follow this idea of abandoning everything she was ever meant to be and fall in love with whoever she wants to. The blackberry picking scene is quite pivotal (although how thrilled was I to go blackberry picking?)  Lia quite obviously loves who I felt was the wrong guy!!

I'm sooooo glad I kept reading b/c this is when everything picks up speed. All those choices catch up with everyone and we quit playing festival games and the world does this TOTALLY AWESOME switcheroo with who's who.  When Lia is kidnapped, I had to stop reading and go back to the beginning and verify that I had guessed some things incorrectly.

There was a moment of "What?!" Followed by "Saweeeeeet!!!!!"  And then I loved the book. Lol. The story is about deception and I fell for it and that's totally awesome.

Lia steps into her responsibility in her thoughts, even though she can't in action. The other two main characters, the prince and the assassin, also grow up into their characters. It's like all of them fill themselves out a bit and the entire story, past, present & future, falls into place and finds it's foundation. I see how they need to grow and how each faces decisions that could bend their futures and change their characters, but it's like I could finally SEE them all. So all that irritating stuff before was a smoke screen.  It still irritated, but now I didn't mind it quite as much.

We also ditched Pauline for a bit, who spent the irritating smoke screen progressing from honorable to whiney. That girl needed a challenge to wake up and quit fussing. It helps that she's heading into an awakening for herself when the story is cut off.

Yeah, the story abruptly ends. Until the last 50 pgs, I had naively thought this story would be complete in itself. What else would I assume if we had time to go pick blackberries? But no... the story picks up pace exponentially the closer we get to the end, expanding along with the characters and the world view 'til we reach an abrupt edge, both literally and figuratively.

I cannot wait to read the next book. I'm completely committed to everyone, from the individuals to the kingdoms at stake. Even if the author tortures me by meandering through silly details, I've caught on to the promise of MORE going on even if I don't see it and I won't fall asleep on the story again.

First half of the story earns 3 stars for good writing but obnoxious details and slow progress, not to mention irritating relationships.  The second half earns 5 stars for pulling such a great surprise and showing that great stuff really is going on... with pace of story, character depth and world building. I'm meeting the two in the middle at 4 stars for The Kiss of Deception, but I want to read the next book, The Heart of Betrayal, as if this series has the potential of being a favorite in 2015.