Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ARC Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson

Title: The Kiss of Deception
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Author: Mary Pearson
Amazon Goodreads

Synopsis: 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.

 The Kiss of Deception is the first book in Mary E. Pearson's Remnant Chronicles

**** I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review in return. This fact has not affected my opinion****

When I finished this book I was left with a very odd feeling, a feeling of total contradiction and uncertainty. I wasn't really sure how to feel about this book because I loved as many things about this book as I hated. Then after a lot of talk on Twitter with Nikki from There were books involved (her review) I came to a conclusion. Despite it's deficiencies I really enjoyed the book and a, excited to see how this series develops.

When I started reading I was immediately struck by the mystery. It felt like a classic fantasy with a princess undercover and on the run and two men looking for her, one her spurned fiancé and the other an assassin. However you don't know who is who. I really enjoyed all the deception and guessing games. My guesses changed multiple times and the constant questioning had me so intrigued. Then about halfway in all answers are revealed and you started losing me. There was too much traveling and too little curiosity. I know a lot of bloggers thought the beginning was slow but for me that was the strongest part. I thought the plot development came to a screeching halt when the story shifted. It's hard to take this as a complete story because it honestly felt like two distinct stories and the shift was jarring.

Another thing that was jarring was the shift in character perspectives. Most of the book was told from Lia's point of view but every once in a while we would get a chapter from the Prince or the Assassin. This type of changing narrator is hit and miss for me. Usually I like it but sometimes it just doesn't work. At the start it wasn't so bad. It introduced each of the characters on their own terms and when the story was focused on the guessing game it made everything suspicious. And while I understood the purpose of these shifts even when it made sense they felt too irregular and ended up being more confusing. I would have been okay if the book had been completely told from Lia's perspective.

And while those two things annoyed me immensely there was also so much to love about this book. My favorite thing was without a doubt the world-building. Mary Pearson created a fantastic world in The Remnant. Throughout the book we get subtle references to what this world used to be, there are ruins and only a small section of the planet that has survived a kind of global catastrophe. It was unique and interesting and had me curious to learn more. It is also a world with the faintest bit of magic. We only get a hint of the magic throughout the story, and as Lia begins to learn more about the magic of the world and her inherent magic we learn about it with her. Mary Pearson built the world in a steady and consistent way that was interesting from beginning to end.

But what I also really enjoyed about this book was the characters. Lia was a wonderful protagonist. She's the kind of princess who wants more than her preordained life. Anyone who has ever felt like they are forced into something that they don't want to do will be able to empathize with Lia and her struggle to be her own person. But throughout the book she has to grapple not only with her decisions but the consequences they may have. She has a great development throughout the book and I'm excited to see where she goes in the next few books in the series. Then there were the male leads, the Prince and the Assassin. They were both compelling and dubious type characters that I love plus, they were pretty damn swoonworthy. And the book had a host of other fun and interesting secondary characters to round out the cast.

Bottom-line is I'm excited to see how this series develops. Despite some problems it was an enjoyable read with great characters and a fascinating world. It wasn't quite was I was hoping for but it was good.

I give The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson a 7.5 out of 10

I would recommend The Kiss of Deception to fans of Young Adult fantasy. It's not something I would necessarily recommend to someone to start with the genre but if you enjoy these types of stories, especially those with a lot of mystery then check this book out.

Have you read The Kiss of Deception? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!  


  1. Nice review! Glad that you enjoyed it despite a few hangups! This is in my TBR mountain and I am hoping to get to it soon! Of course I say that about all my reads and it's always true for each of them! Great review!

    1. Ah the infamous TBR mountain! I hope you get to it soon and enjoy. A lot of people are really obsessed. I feel like a bit of a black sheep just because I only thought it was good.