Monday, November 17, 2014

{Book Review} The Kiss of Deception (Remnant Chronicles #1): Mary E. Pearson

Rating: 72%
Series: Remnant Chronicles #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Fiction,
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Page Count: 492
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Barnes & Nobles ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?
Fans of the Fire & Thorns Trilogy (Rae Carson), The Shamer Chronicles (Lene Kaaberbøl), Throne of Glass Series (Sarah J. Maas) 

Would I Buy It?
There is actually a large possibility of me purchasing The Kiss of Deception because of 1) How much I enjoyed the novel and 2) How beautiful the cover is of both this book and its sequel

Background & Backstory

Fun Fact: I put off reading The Kiss of Deception for literally the longest time possible, even though it was one of my most anticipated releases of the summer. I had received this book as an eARC from Netgalley ages ago, like in April of 2014. Pretty much, life has gotten in the way of my reading this book, and I forgot about being accepted for it until the release date drew nearer and it was getting so much prepublication hype. Even that didn’t make me pick up the book immediately. Finally, I put it on hold at my library and borrowed. But wait.... there’s more. I renewed this book TWICE, which mean I had it in my possession for almost nine weeks. For an anticipated release, this sure was getting pushed to the back burner a lot. 
And then.... came the move.

for personal reasons, I had only recently (last Saturday) been notified that I was to move cross country to upstate New York. And as you know, I only recently (four months ago) moved around 30 miles from the home I had lived/grown up in almost my entire life. But enough about that, I had been forced to move, and because of this, I had had to return all 31 of my library books (I’m not an impulsive clicker at all). Because of this, I was forced to read books I actually owned (what a concept), and I saw this as a sign and a FINAL go-ahead to read The Kiss of Deception. 

What Was My Reaction After I Finished This Book?
Stupid, Stupid, Stupid male protagonist that makes me yearn for a sequel this very instant!

I conquered my hatred! If you’re new around here, you may not have seen a discussion post from September which was entitled, I Hate Big Books and I Cannot Lie. In this, I explained about my hatred of reading big books because of the sense of unproductively and dissatisfaction they gave me. And the number one time this hatred is felt is when reading large eBooks. There is an ongoing debate about eBooks versus Physical Books, and one of the best arguments for Physical Books is the sensation of turning pages and the visual representation of making your way through a book, something us 21st century readers like to see to have our egos stroked. Anyways, The Kiss of Deception clocks in at almost 500 pages, something I was blissfully ignorant to when I began reading. Yet, I sped through this chunkster in less than 24 hours. My eBook reading pace is usually three times as much as my physical book one for other reasons mentioned in [INSERT POST TITLE/LINK]. Reading The Kiss of Deception has made me conquer my hatred of big books, and made me believe in myself and the fact that, if I am loving a fat eBook, it can be read in an extremely short amount of time. The fast-paced intrigue of the novel is the most attractive aspect of it, and if you struggle, like I do, with chunkster, you may have no issues whatsoever. 

Multi-Points-of-View-Sensory-Overload: One of the most enticing factors for myself as a reader is multiple POVs (Thank the Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu for this). And The Kiss of Deception had a boatload of perspectives. The majority (60%) of this novel was told my Lia, aka our leading lady. The other 39% was told by her two love interests, Rafe and Kaden, or “The Assassin” and “The Prince,” as the ominous headers for each chapter state. The last 1% is an unnecessary chapter told by Lia’s best friend, Pauline. Anyways, one of the biggest appeals of The Kiss of Deception is the fact that Lia, and yourself as the reader don’t know if Rafe is the assassin or Rafe is the prince or if Kaden is the assassin or Kaden is the prince. I don’t know how many revisions and rewrites Pearson had to make to get the reader so clueless as to who was who, but she accomplished it. I felt intelligent (for once) because I actually guessed which name was attached to which person. On another quick side note, it doesn’t matter actually whose name is attached to who in the fact that neither man uses their real name. You have this idea of who each man is, but in the next chapter you read, you’re thrown off, and your presumption is *maybe* proved wrong. I will have to say that they weren’t the most distinct voices I have ever heard (June and Day will forever be that pair), but they definitely held their own and got the job done.

Length Not Needed? While I wasn’t bored, and the story was fast-paced, I do think that it could have been shorter by 100 pages or more. There was a lot of extra standing around, waiting for each, and every, distinct, little, event to happen a lot of revelations could have been made in a shorter span of time. 55% of the story took place in this ONE town and it got a little tedious. The other 40% of it took place in  a desert-like terrain which annoyed me a little, coming from The Fire and Thorns trilogy, and although that wasn’t The Kiss of Deception’s fault, there was still so much extra traveling time trekking across the desert.

Fantastical Tropes? Having only begun to incorporate High Fantasy into my regular reading, I can’t judge as to what is a “cliche” or “overdone” trope. But I sure as heck can point out the similarities between three separate series. I am talking about the Fire and Thorns Trilogy, the Throne of Glass Series, and The Kiss of Deception. All three of these had so many similarities in their royalty structure and the protagonist’s desires to break out of the mold and tradition set before them. I get it, it’s a common problem with royalty now, back then, and in these high fantasy universes, but you would think their systems would vary slightly. Yet, they don’t. Royalty doesn’t want to be royalty. Magic is taboo but some still believe in it. Protagonist has to make the decision to make a stand for her home. The end.... until the second book.

Love Triangles That Work: I am not in the party of bloggers who think love triangles are the devil. I am known to indulge and and enjoy a well written one every once in a while. The Kiss of Deception’s trio was, as usual, unprobable, but I just liked them together and thought their relationships worked well. Each man provided something different that Lia needed, and I enjoyed seeing the contrast between them a lot. What I will have to say is that the name (Rafe/Kaden) and the occupation (Prince/Assassin) of the guy who I was routing for ended up not coinciding, which would be kind of awkward if these book characters knew my wish of exchanging one for the other.

Ending 40%: I am such a fickle mistress when it comes to liking endings of books, because I usually don’t and they fall flat. Sadly, The Kiss of Deception continued this trend. The vibes I was getting felt so Crown of Embers, and the character’s motives for their actions unrealistic. Why did you have to let me down but entice me enough to pick up the sequel Mary E. Peason? WHHHHY?!?

How Likely Is It That I Will Read The Sequel To This Book?
Hell yeah, I’ll be reading the sequel. *Fast forwards a year from now and Sofia still hasn’t read it* I need answers. 

Conclusion: A strong series debut with lyrical prose, multiple points of view, fast paced, plenty of intrigue, a likable love triangle, and suspenseful ending.

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