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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt
A Young Adult Novel
Pages: 492
Genre: High Fantasy, Romance

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.
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.
*An Advanced Reader's Copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Sometimes, we come across a book that is so original and powerful that is changes the way we look at our daily lives, the way we live and the way we love.

Kiss of Deception is not that book.

Kiss of Deception By Mary Pearson is the story of Lia, a princess who rejects her duty to marry a faraway prince in favor of freedom and runs away from her responsibilities as royalty.  Once settled, Lia falls into a love triangle with an assassin and the prince she rejected.  Pearson is a talented writer, and that is perhaps one of the only redeeming qualities of this maddeningly bland and confusing book.  Easy to understand, and yet not sacrificing substance in favor of comprehension, Pearson has the potential to write an amazing book, but she doesn’t in Kiss of Deception.   

First things first, let’s talk about this plot, or rather the fact that there really isn’t one. If you are tired of the Love Triangle Epidemic that has been plaguing the Young Adult section of bookstores and libraries, do not pick up this book. While Pearson is an incredibly talented writer, she seems to have committed the cardinal sin of writing by allowing a love triangle to be the plot of the story.   It gets to the point where a reader may not even care what happens to Lia, and at points, I kind of wish that the torture of this plot-line would end.  Pearson tries to save the originality of the story with a unique plot twist that plays off the traditional ideas of a love triangle (and I’ll admit, you will not see it coming), but in the end, this plot twist does absolutely nothing for the plot and is more of an inside joke between the reader and author.   There was a point while reading this where I wanted to throw my Kindle across the room rather than continue with the same, silly and bland plot.
Next problem in Kiss of Deception is its characters. Pearson’s side characters are good, not necessarily complex, but good enough to support a couple interesting subplots and honestly, you could just read a novella on Lia’s friends. Pearson’s main characters, on the other hand, are so boring and genetic. Lia is the same heroine as almost every other heroine you've read in the past four years; she’s brave, she’s noble, loyal, kind, caring but she’s flawed because Lia is also so stubborn and arrogant about her skills and who cares?!  Lia does the same thing every heroine seems to do: she runs away from a life of privilege (but unbearable responsibility), she falls in love with a moody, but pure hearted hero and, of course, magically has everything work out. There is nothing special about her or her romantic interests. 
The two lovers in this book aren’t really worth comment. They are same two romantic interests that you see in every single love triangle, one’s kind, and open and sweet and the other is brooding and dark and sexual. The plot twist kind of saves these two characters, but not really because the plot twist has no effect on the plot. 

Kiss of Deception is not a book I would recommend to my friends, but perhaps I would give it to a thirteen year old who just wanted to read a love story. However, my main problem with Kiss of Deception is that it didn’t do anything to me. It didn’t make me feel good about life or love, it didn’t change the way I looked at something, or make me wish for an adventure. It didn’t do anything, and a story should do something to a reader, add on to the person they are. And if a book can’t do that, then we have a problem.
Only two targets slayed