Author: Lee Nichols
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: June 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 1599903083 (Bloomsbury Teens)
ISBN-13: 978-1599903088 (Bloomsbury Teens)
When Emma Vaile’s parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age “knight in J.Crew armor,” Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.
After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can’t shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can’t explain, as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Emma doesn’t trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he’s about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.
Quick & Dirty: A completely compelling and suspenseful read.
Opening Sentence: Six weeks ago, my parents disappeared.
Emma Vaile plans to live it up and break all the rules while her parents are gone on a business trip, but naturally things take a turn for the worse. Emma’s appointed guardian leaves her all alone to be closer to her own daughter. Now, Emma is stuck with running her parents store, as well as maintaining her school duties. To make matters worse, Emma’s best friend is no longer speaking to her and she doesn’t understand why. Alone and feeling isolated, Emma turns to her new friends. Wanting to be accepted into the group, Emma agrees to throw a party at her house. The party comes to an abrupt end when the police arrive. One of Emma’s so called friend’s reports her to Child Protective Services. Betrayed, Emma finds herself facing some pretty bleak options. Become a ward of the state or enter the foster care system. Luckily, Emma is saved in the nick of time by Bennett, her brother’s friend. He takes Emma to New England and enrolls her at Thatcher Academy.
Deception is set in a rich, imaginative world that blends mystery, suspense, and romance. Emma is funny, strong and driven. She went from being immature to accepting major responsibilities head on. Some of the scenes are a touch melodramatic, but Emma is a very sympathetic character. Emma is lonely and worried about her family. She’s essentially been abandoned. Emma can’t seem to get a hold of them and she’s battling danger at every turn. Emma discovers that she has powerful abilities, and battling evil ghosts is just the beginning. She’s a Ghostkeeper, which means that she can communicate with ghosts. I’m definitely intrigued by the Ghostkeeper mythology.
I’m not really sure how I feel about Bennett. I never established a connection with him and he didn’t come off as a particularly likable character. He’s a bit too mysterious, suspicious, and I’m not sure what his real motivations are.
Overall, Deception is a great gothic ghost story. Deception has plenty of twists and a number of intriguing events. Strongly drawn characters and plenty of conflict help draw the reader deep into this genuinely spooky tale. The result is a wonderfully creepy, well-written story. Readers will eagerly await Betrayal, which is the next book in the series.
I smelled and felt the cold salt wind as it rose from the ocean and heard the waves rippling against the rocks below. The soft glow of the house fell into the darkness over the cliffs, as a thread of spectral fog thickened in the air and crept toward us.
As we watched, the fog morphed into a shape that looked nothing like other ghosts I’d seen. It had a skeletal, malformed body and wore tattered clothing. Except that it wasn’t clothing. It was skin. Its bones were joined in the wrong places somehow, making it look more insect than human.
FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury provided me with an ARC of Deception. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.