Wednesday, July 16, 2014 23:15

Review 273. Mary E. Pearson - The kiss of deception.

16429619Title: The kiss of deception.
Author: Mary E. Pearson.
Pages: 492.
Published: July 8th by Henry Holt.
Sort: The remnant chronicles #1, fantasy.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met. On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.
Rating:

The overall feeling of this book was ‘meh’ to me. I really liked the beginning and ending, but the middle part dragged. I was bored and I definitely had some moments where I wanted to DNF it, but after reading other reviews who raved about the ending, I decided to give it a chance. I’m happy I did, because the story picks up and leaves us with a huge cliff-hanger. I’m most of the times not a fan of those, but I liked the timing to end the story. I’m between a 2.5 – 3 stars, but I feel generous today.

The story starts with Lia running away after getting ready to marry to a stranger. Her father married her off to a neighbor kingdom for an alliance, but Lia isn’t planning on being used. She wants her own life and her own happiness; she wants to pick her own husband. Together with her maid Paulina, Lia manage to escape to a small village where she works in the inn from Paulina’s aunt. One day, two attractive and mysterious guys appear in the village. One is dark-haired and gloomy, the other fair-haired and flirty. One of the is the prince. One of them is an assassin from Venda.

Lia starts a short romance with one of them, but the other also has his eyes on her. You don’t know their identity and that was a fun twist to the story. The only downside is that I already guessed who they were. I wouldn’t say there is insta-love, but there is definitely insta-attraction and the dreaded line:

“Because ever since that first day I met you, I’ve gone to sleep every single night thinking about you, and every morning when I wake, my first thoughts are of you. When I’m not with you, I wonder where you are. I wonder what you’re doing. I think about how much I want to touch you, loads of other crap.”
I’m not blown away by the romance itself. I don’t feel a lot of connection between Lia and the guy. There could have been more development and chemistry if you ask me, but I was already happy that she didn’t want to get his babies after their first meeting. Lia was a pretty good character. I like that she stands up for her rights and how clever she is. They can’t find her after her escape, because she threw everyone off with her tricks. She’s also not afraid to speak her mind and she is not arrogant or lazy. Her unique friendship with Paulina was nice.

Another thing that let me down was the world-building. I still have no clue what being a ‘First daughter’ exactly means. I know you are supposed to have the gift of sight, but where does it come from, why that name, etc? Overall, an okay book that makes me want to read the sequel after the open-ending.

32 comments:

  1. eh.. I can see how the romance might not appeal to you.. insta-attraction is now something in YA books!! Still.. I really like the story of it so I'll definitely give it a chance! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  2. I've seen this book around and it looked really good - it's too bad it was a disappointing read! I like the idea of Lia not knowing which guy is which though! I'll probably try to read this, but I won't keep my hopes too high. Hopefully the sequel will be better though! And more informative on the world-building!

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    1. You should, it wasn't a bad book at all :)

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  3. Perfect timing! I just finished this book today and I definitely feel you. For me, I'm thinking this is a 3. The beginning was enjoyable, but I wasn't blown away. What kept me reading was not knowing who was who. Though I did guess (because I had forewarning), I still psyched myself out some and it kept it interesting. However, I wasn't really too interested in either guy. I feel like the guys were exactly the same. It worked because you're not supposed to know who is who, but they seem to have very similar personalities. In fact, I'm trying to think up a difference right now and can't. Either way, I wasn't head over heels for either. Maybe that will change? It wasn't until the end when things finally start happening that I got really interested. In all honesty, I'm thinking (hoping) the sequel will be better.

    Great review. It's nice to know someone else felt this way after all the raving reviews I've read. You're not alone!

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    1. Their difference.. uhm. One was fair haired and the other had dark hair? And one of them was a little moodier, but that's about it..

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  4. Interesting. I like the premise of this one, but the romance seems like it needs some work. Lia sounds like a great character though, and I think I'll still end up giving The Kiss of Deception a try, except I'll be cautious with it.

    Thanks for the review!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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    1. I think, being aware that it's a bit slow, will helps with the book!

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  5. Nice. I too am reading all sorts of positive reviews for this one and I really want to read this one soonish! Every time I get close, I get more review books that must be read, sigh...oh well. Glad to hear that despite a few things that you did enjoy it! Great review!

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  6. Eeek. I am sorry to hear that this was a let down for you, Mel. People have been raving about it so I have high expectations and throw in the fact that I adore the author's previous works... I am pretty much sold but.. some of the reviews I've let lately make me think it would be wise to lower my expectations some because I might end up being let down. :/

    Lovely review, Mel and I hope the sequel will be way better for you!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. I liked her previous work too, but I hope the second book provides more action :)

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  7. As much as this one seems to be getting a lot of buzz, for whatever reason I never really felt drawn to it enough to add it to my wishlist/tbr. And since we usually have quite similar tastes, reading your review here makes me think I was right to not get excited about it. Despite Lia being a pretty solid MC, the lack of world-building and predictable romance just don't warrant me checking this one out. Thanks for the lovely review Mel and I hope your next read is/was a lot better :)

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  8. It seems that the reviews I read are very disappointed with this book. I actually want to read this when I first saw it; it looks promising. But when I saw everyone's review and they weren't impressed, I decided not to read it. And looks like I'm not missing anything. I don't think I'm up for it anyways.

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  9. I've read a lot of mixed reviews on this. So far, I'm intrigued by the story, but it doesn't sound like the first novel alone is worth the read. I'll wait and see how the series progresses from here before deciding whether to give it a try. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mel.

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  10. I had read ONLY good things about this book going into it, so the fact that I wasn't as enamored with it as other people made me question my sanity, lol. I'm glad I'm not alone! I actually really loved the worldbuilding, though... First Daughter literally means that you're the first daughter to be born in your family. Apparently they have visions, of the future, or events that are going on at the same time, or things like that; but Lia was learning all that on the fly, so I was okay with the vagueness there. I feel like the next book has a LOT of potentially awesome stuff to add to the worldbuilding, so I'm super excited for that!

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    1. YEAY. So many were raving about it, so it's good to hear I'm not the only one who was underwhelmed by it. And thanks, I guess I was making that 'First daughter' thing bigger than it was, haha.

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  11. "First Daughter" sure reminds me of the term "First Lady" ^^;; she's a Princess, right? I wonder if there's a connection there, since she's the Princess, her mom's First Lady and she is First Daughter, although that sounds terribly terribly awkward.

    In any case, I don't want to read this due to the shallowness. I read it's more Romance than Fantasy and that really makes me cringe. I want to avoid books like that for the meantime. But at the same breath, I want the mystery, or the twist in this book where you don't exactly know who's who from the start. Would be fun to deduce and see if I prove myself correct!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. It is! There is no real element of magic here, it's only introduced and I think will be explored more in the upcoming sequels :)

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  12. Oh kind of disappointed to read this because I had such high hopes for this one!! It does sound like it does have some good elements, but I'm not 100% sure I want to carve out time to read this one if it's not going to amaze me. The logical step seems to be to wait until the sequel comes out and see how that goes over and hopefully it is well received because you did like the ending after all. I hope your next read is more engaging, Mel - thanks for your thoughtful review!

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    1. I'm really hoping the next book provides more magic and action. Those two things would have made this book more exciting :)

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  13. I loved this book so much! But you are right the world building in terms of this First Daughter issue was missing. I was always hoping for more, but I guess this will be part of the second book! I loved the identity twist and I honestly can't remember if I guess right or wrong, as I was constantly torn :)

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    1. I think the identity twist would provide an interesting twist if you couldn't guess the identity!

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  14. Amazing review Mel. <3 Thank you so much for being honest :D Hah. I didn't like this book much at all :p For me, it was a two star. Just not exciting enough at all. I didn't like the romance either.. I just didn't like much of it at all :p Sigh. I'm sorry you had issues too; though not really, lol :D

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  15. Thanks for your honest review Mel, it sounds like the relationship is a bit cheesier than I anticipated. Too bad the world building was kind of minimal as well, I mean if it's going to be a fantasy I want to know what it means.

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  16. Hi Melanie, thank you for the honest review. This is actually one of the books that I am eager to read. I heard that it was good. But then again, considering your thoughts, I'm a bit scared. But then again, thanks for letting me know. :)

    Precious @ Fragments of Life

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  17. I pretty much felt the same way you did about this one, eh. To be honest, I only really liked the beginning; I hated how the story ended because it was like, "You dragged me across nearly 500 pages and you're ending on a CLIFFHANGER?!" It was like the worst joke ever. T_T I don't think I'll be checking out the sequel even with this ending now.

    To be honest, the fact that I didn't know who was who bugged me a LOT. I don't know, but I didn't like being kept in the dark about it because I didn't want to fall for the assassin, and I definitely didn't want Lia to fall for the assassin as well. So I put in a lot of brain power into figuring out who was who and when I finally came to my conclusion it was a lot easier for me to read, haha. And turns out I was right, too! Lol, I'm just thankful that there wasn't instalove, though that line was definitely cheesy.

    But yup, I didn't feel much for the romance either. It took up most of the book, so the fact that I couldn't relate to it a lot was probably the reason why the book was so meh for me. And the world building definitely had room for improvement as well. I'm still confused about all these kingdoms and the whole myth behind the First Daughter thing, too.

    Glad that I wasn't the only one who wasn't blown away by this! The average rating on Goodreads was so high. O_O Anyways, great review as always, Mel!

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    1. Haha, that is also true Meg! Yes, at least there was no insta-love, but I could have done without that sentence.

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  18. I was so blown away by the way this was written that I just ate it up. I loved Lia, I loved the mystery of the two men (and I didn't get it right the first time). But I agree that the world-building wasn't all there. This isn't a make or break for me though. I am sad that this didn't live up to the hype for you but I am glad you stuck with it. Hopefully the sequel works out better for you!

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  19. I saw this book on netgalley and was thinking of requesting,but now I have my doubts.I am really tired of insta love and love triangles in YA books,so I think I should stay away from this one.
    The cover looks really pretty though.

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  20. Ohh, this is the first meh review I saw for Kiss of Deception, but I definitely agree with you. I started reading Kiss of Deception a while ago, really enjoyed the beginning, but now it's dragging. I'll pick it up later when I feel like it. o:

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