Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: August 2012
Genre: young adult, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, fantasy
While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.
When Rachel’s father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city’s brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father’s apprentice, Logan–the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.
As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
Rachel Adams — fierce, impulsive, strong, and daughter to the best courier and warrior of Baalboden — is filled with anger and grief when the brutal Commander declares her father dead and assigns her Protectorship to her father’s apprentice, Logan. Logan, a techie inventor who always has a plan, is just as determined as Rachel to prove Jared Adams is alive. But as Rachel throws caution to the wind and acts impulsively, all of Logan’s plans crumble, and the two are sent out of Baalboden on a death mission into the Wastelands, where the Cursed One is bound to turn up at any moment.
I eyed this book for months. I rolled my eyes at every dystopian or post-apocalyptic book I saw on the shelves because, really, it felt overdone. But this one, with the cover and fierce female protagonist and enticing first chapters, kept calling to me. I’m so glad I bought and read this book.
Rachel is impulsive to a fault, and she knows it. That’s the beauty of her character: she’s aware that she reacts without a plan, and it only heightens as more of her loved ones die. Every action screams rage, regret, and revenge — her desire to rid Baalboden of their dictator is justified. What started as anger and frustration and a need to defy authority turned into something realistically deeper and more meaningful. Her reactions are very much like a soldier’s, a war victim’s, a person with PTSD. Beautifully written, expertly explored, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Logan is really neat and clever! He’s easy to love. His character starts off as that quiet nerdy boy who loves to play with metal and wires, and bit by bit we discover he’s extremely protective, fiercely loyal, an excellent fighter and huntsman, and quick on his feet. There is always a plan, and you can count on Logan to come up with all sorts of scenarios and how to respond to them. Logic and fear control him, another natural response to a horror he witnessed when he was younger.
The world, of Baalboden and the Wastelands, is so fascinating! Set in the future, the continent was ravaged by Cursed Ones disturbed by noise and oil drills from above. The Cursed Ones are wingless dragons, and though they should be feared, they did remind me of cranky neighbors or roommates that constantly nag at you to shut up and be quiet. These beasts are unstoppable, and now there is only one left. Survivors of these attacks banded together and formed city-states, under the protector-ship of Commanders. However, like Medieval and Renaissance Italy, these city-states no longer trust one another. People are trapped within their walled cities, trade in markets, go back to male and female spheres, are Claimed for marriage, and have little access to advanced technology unless they work directly for the Commander. Past and future collide in this fantasy and it’s brilliant.
Action-packed with each chapter, bloodshed and fights and explosions, fear and love mix with plots for revenge, and a tracker or Cursed One looming around every corner — this book cannot be put down.
Deception will be out August 2013!