Author: C.J. Redwine
Series: Defiance #2
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Dystopian
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
But soon their problems intensify tenfold: someone – possibly inside their ranks – is sabotaging the survivors, picking them off one by one. The chaos and uncertainty of each day puts unbearable strain on Rachel and Logan, and it isn’t long before they feel their love splintering. Even worse, as it becomes clear that the Commander will stop at nothing to destroy them, the band of survivors begins to question whether the price of freedom may be too great — and whether, hunted by their enemies and the murderous traitor in their midst, they can make it out of the Wasteland alive.
In this daring sequel to Defiance, with the world they once loved forever destroyed, Rachel and Logan must decide between a life on the run and standing their ground to fight.
First Sentence: “What are you going to tell them?” Rachel asks.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
When I first saw the cover reveal of Deception, the sequel to Defiance, the first thought that came to my mind was I must have this book! (I also admittingly fangirled all over the cover. Admit it, you did too.) If you don’t know why, just look at it! In fact, I loved the cover of Deception so much that I literally bought three different copies of Deception: two hardbacks (hey, Amazon was having a 40% off sale for pre-orders!) and a paperback (the international edition, which is shiny). Yes, I’m a freak, but hey, at least I’m a happy freak.
Remember in my review of Defiance when I said that I liked Rachel more than I liked Logan? Well, in Deception, it’s the other way around: I (surprisingly) liked Logan more than Rachel this time. Let me explain why. After killing/seeing people being killed, Rachel has changed drastically from the brave, fearless girl she was in Defiance. In Deception, Rachel will give up her life in a second if that means that she can kill the Commander. According to Rachel, who cares if people will miss her/mourn her when she dies? At least she gets to kill the Commander. Yes, I understand what Rachel went through and her suffering, but her mopey in attitude in Deception greatly annoyed me. I know Rachel is not herself after seeing death all around her and she has the right to mope after all she’s been through, but at the same time, I wanted her to snap out of her weak and self-sacrificing attitude and just be herself again.
I can’t admit to him that even with his promises, even with his love, I still feel lost. (ARC 102)
Most of Deception is about Rachel and Logan traveling with other people from Baalboden in the Wasteland, trying to get to another city-state to get help and rescue from the Commander. You may not think that’s anything much, but along the way, there’s tons of action and mystery: a traitor is hiding among them sabotaging them, the Commander and his army are ruthlessly chasing after them, and you can’t forget about the dreaded Cursed One.
However, I do feel like Deception is about a 100 pages too long though. There were some parts in Deception that I felt could be cut out like some scenes in the long, long journey. (I also wouldn’t mind if some of the death scenes were cut out, wink wink.) Some minor details of the Wasteland just wasn’t needed. Also, in some parts of Deception, the pacing was a bit too slow for my taste, while in other parts, the pacing of the book was fast and just perfect.
But don’t worry though. Deception still has the same awesome plot twists that I didn’t see coming. Seriously, some of those plot twists was just fantastic and gut-wrenching. It’ll make you want to curve yourself into a ball and read all day without any interruptions. There were moments where I just stopped reading to shake my head and think, wow, C.J. Redwine is a genius.
“If you’ve betrayed us, if you’ve taken part in the atrocity that cost those boys their lives, do yourself a favor and stay behind. Or better yet, crawl off and die, because when we figure out who you are, there will be no mercy.” (ARC 246)
I mentioned in my review of Defiance that I wanted more information on the world-building and never really got it. it’s the same thing with Deception, except that this time, I got a short sentence or two of information on the world-building. The only thing I know for sure is that the world of Defiance and Deception takes place during either present day or in the future because Deception mentioned the use-to-be existence of Ferris Wheels and carnivals. I managed to rule medieval day setting out because I highly doubt that the medieval era had Ferris Wheels, although I’m pretty sure they do have carnivals.
Just as I suspected, Deception is full of death. The very minute I start to like a new character, C.J. Redwine has the evil idea of killing them off. I was so shocked by one death that I literally yelled out “what!” in a very public place while reading. People were staring at me like I was crazy (but at least they didn’t back away from me in horror because they want to remain sitting on their seats on the subway). Don’t get me wrong, I like it when authors aren’t afraid to kill off their characters, but it is just so sad to see a character that I was starting to fall in love with/already fell in love with just die off with no way to save them. (Seriously, if I can somehow go into the book and save them, I would.) It was like reading Unraveling and Unbreakable all over again.
“What do you dream about, Rachel?”
Blood. Pouring endlessly. Those I’ve lost. Those I’ve taken. (ARC 216)
Overall, despite its flaws, I feel that Deception does not suffer from the middle-book syndrome. In fact, you can expect more action, more deaths (just like I predicted), more great plot twists, and more heart-wrenching moments like the ones you got from reading Defiance. Best of all, you also have a gorgeous cover to stroke and stare at.
And C.J. Redwine, just in case you happen to be reading this, I’m glad you didn’t kill Deception with fire and walk away. I enjoyed reading this book and I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.