Review: Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-JonesDeceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
on July 14, 2015
Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Science Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Author
AmazonThe Book Depository

Don't miss this thrilling, high-stakes sequel to Illusive.

You don’t belong with us. These are the words that echo through the minds of all immune Americans—those suffering the so-called adverse effects of an experimental vaccine, including perfect recall, body manipulation, telepathy, precognition, levitation, mind-control, and the ability to change one’s appearance at will.

When immune individuals begin to disappear—in great numbers, but seemingly at random—fear and tension mount, and unrest begins to brew across the country. Through separate channels, super-powered teenagers Ciere, Daniel, and Devon find themselves on the case; super criminals and government agents working side-by-side. It’s an effort that will ultimately define them all—for better or for worse.

Emily was sweet enough to hook me up with an ARC of Deceptive. I even got to meet her at BEA, which was super exciting. I really enjoyed Illusive, the start of the series, when I read it last year, and it stood up to a reread just before I started Deceptive. With Deceptive, Lloyd-Jones raises the stakes even higher. There’s no second book syndrome here; Deceptive is faster-paced and more intense than its predecessor. If you liked Illusive, I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed in Deceptive.

The Adverse Effects series differs a bit from what I typically recommend. It’s not as character-focused as the books that I generally enjoy this much. That’s not to say that the characters aren’t strong, bantery, and interesting, but these books are very much plot- and action-centric. Since the plot and action are so well done, the characters are strong, and the writing solid, I can still really adore and be impressed by this series, even though I do think the third person writing style is a bit distancing, keeping the book quite from reaching fanatical fangirl favorite status.

That said, I feel like the writing has improved in Deceptive. In rereading Illusive, I noticed that it was clunky at times. I also struggled with the switches to Daniel’s POV, because he wasn’t really doing much that felt plot-relevant. Daniel’s now more directly fit into the overall plot, and it’s clear what his role will be. The addition of Devon as a POV character is great too, because I really like him.

Where Deceptive was incredibly strong for me was in plot developments. There were several times where something was revealed and I actually gasped because I so didn’t see it coming. What’s cool is that I have no idea where this series is headed but it very much feels like Lloyd-Jones has a plan. That sounds stupid, I realize as I type it, but sometimes when I’m watching or reading something I can just tell that the writer has no idea what’s coming and I don’t get that sense here.

Like Illusive, Deceptive remains intense. Lloyd-Jones doesn’t shy away from the grim realities of life in the criminal underworld. Yes, they’re sort of upper scale criminals, but they get their hands dirty. People die. View Spoiler » Also, Ciere and Alan both really level up in Deceptive. The mobsters teach Ciere how to illusion and Alan how to fight. Ciere was this adorable, tiny teenage girl who wasn’t very good at illusions before but now she is a goddamn force to be reckoned with.

Once again, ships are very much taking a backseat. The one that I wait on oh so fervently remains pending. Kit and Magnus will be together someday, I’m sure, but they’re actually not in the same place ever (at least not with the POV characters) during Deceptive. I will continue to hold out hope. However, my other ship continues to be cute, though I don’t have the intense shippy feelings of the other. Still, it plays into the “you saw me when I was invisible” trope that I’ve realized that I really like, so here for it.

I also wanted to take a moment to call out how much I love the diversity in this book. Of course, I’m still waiting for confirmation of my m/m ship, but one of the guys has sex with both men and women, so I’m hopeful. Anyway, I love that a lot of the wealthy, powerful, influential characters are not white, and a lot of the criminal element are white, which I find hilarious.

I have no idea how many books are going to be in this series, but I’m ready for however many are coming. I hope to see the series just continue to get stronger and darker as it goes along. If you’re into people with superpowers, do not miss Emily Lloyd-Jones’ series.

Favorite Quote:

“I like low-maintenance shrubbery. Coworkers kept giving me plants and Sia would be carrying out their corpses a few weeks later.”

Devon blinks. “I hope you’re referring to the plants.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif kitty pryde x men
Ciere has leveled up in BAMF.

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