Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, book one
Star Rating: 1 Out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Sigh. Where do I began with this book? I'm so sad, as I'm writing this review. But to be honest, I kind of expected this. I tried to read Pearson's debut series, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, and that didn't work for me either. I just think it's a little ironic, considering that I was eying this book like a kid in a candy store for my birthday last year. I wanted to love it, but I just couldn't finish it. I got to a hundred seventy pages and couldn't do it anymore. It was so slow. And that, unfortunately, is only the beginning of this novel's shortcomings.
This book had everything I wanted in a high fantasy novel: a runaway princess, magic, deeply steeped mythology, hot boys with not-so-legal professions. Sigh. I was in love, and when I saw this on the shelf at my local library, I snatched it up immediately. One of the first books I'd loaned from my library in a very long time, in over a year as a matter of fact. But God. Again, so, so, so slow! It felt like it was dragging, and it just couldn't hold my attention.
I did love certain parts of it: the world-building was excellent, the end papers of the novel, which was a gorgeously sketched map, the idea of a princess in flight from an arranged, loveless marriage, made more out of necessity and politics than anything else. I also loved the writing, which was beautiful, even exquisite, and the food porn. If a book has food porn in it, chances are good I'm going to love it, but it just fell short.
And I haven't even started on the characters yet. Lia, the runaway princess, determined to make her own way despite her parents' political climbing, and Kaden, the assassin sent to kill Lia in the night, but--shocker!--he becomes fascinated by his quarry. And then there's Rafe, the handsome, mysterious, swoon-worthy prince, who chases Lia despite having never met her, jaded and sad and instantly in love with the gorgeous Lia, despite her only just meeting him. Sigh. I get that teenagers are teenagers, but if there simply must be a love triangle, why can't it be done well? Without a ton of flowery prose, daydreaming, and flip-flopping?! Ugh! The bottom line: I had high expectations for this novel, but having read it not even halfway through, it just was a huge disappointment and a waste of time. Next on deck: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab!