Home / Book Review / Book Review: Deception by C.J. Redwine

Book Review: Deception by C.J. Redwine

Although Deception by C.J. Redwine was one of my hotly anticipated YA sequels of 2013, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. Sadly disappointed.

Book Review: Deception by C.J. Redwine

Goodreads | Amazon | C.J. Redwine’s Website

deception c.j. redwine

Title & Author: Deception by C.J. Redwine

Genre: YA Fantasy – Dragons

Release Date: August 27, 2013

Series: Defiance #2

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

How I Got the Book: ARC via Publisher


“Baalboden has been ravaged. The brutal Commander’s whereabouts are unknown. And Rachel, grief stricken over her father’s death, needs Logan more than ever. With their ragged group of survivors struggling to forge a future, it’s up to Logan to become the leader they need—with Rachel by his side. Under constant threat from rival Carrington’s army, who is after the device that controls the Cursed One, the group decides to abandon the ruins of their home and take their chances in the Wasteland.

But soon their problems intensify tenfold: someone—possibly inside their ranks—is sabotaging the survivors, picking them off one by one. The chaos and uncertainty of each day puts unbearable strain on Rachel and Logan, and it isn’t long before they feel their love splintering. Even worse, as it becomes clear that the Commander will stop at nothing to destroy them, the band of survivors begins to question whether the price of freedom may be too great—and whether, hunted by their enemies and the murderous traitor in their midst, they can make it out of the Wasteland alive.

In this daring sequel to Defiance, with the world they once loved forever destroyed, Rachel and Logan must decide between a life on the run and standing their ground to fight.”

Deception Deceived Me

Full disclosure: I read about a third of Deception then skimmed the rest.

I remember really enjoying Defiance so much! Rachel was so spunky and tough and Logan so protective and nerdy. So what happened?!

For me, there was nothing in particular in the book to pull me forward. Logan is the makeshift leader of their citystate and is coping with the responsibility of keeping his community safe. Plus, Rachel is in such a dark place after very rough events from the previous book. I think knowing Deception was going to be darker did nothing to help my initial mood going into the story.

In that sense, I think about 50 percent of my feeling about the book is my own fault. I wasn’t in the mood to read it but because I didn’t want to wait too long before it is officially published, I read it anyway. I wasn’t in the right mindset for a darker book with traveling (<--- it always seems to slow things down).

However, the other 50 percent was totally Deception. Despite foreboding battles and new mysteries, I just wasn’t hooked. When I picked up the book to read it, it was because I consciously thought, “I need to finish this book.” and not, “YES! I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Like I said, I eventually gave up and skimmed the book for major plot points. It definitely seemed like things picked up a bit after Logan formulates a plan for the city, but I just couldn’t muster the energy at that point.

Relationship is Defined….Now What?

Aside from the slower movement of Deception, there was also another problem many sequels face. It’s the dreaded “The will-they, won’t-they couple finally gets together, so now what” situation. Defiance had a ton of sizzle because of the tension between Rachel and Logan.

In Deception, it’s still there but kind of sadder. There is so much going on, the reader can’t even enjoy Rachel and Logan’s relationship because so many things are trying to pull them apart. The reason for that is, the relationship was defined at the end of the first book. So as a ploy to keep readers guessing, couples often have problems of all kinds in the second book.

This normally works on me, and I’m intrigued all over again but it wasn’t so here. I think Deception suffered from a lack of humor and lightness. When things get dark in most books, there’s some comedic relief to give the reader a break. I just felt weighed down by the story.

I will say – Logan has got to be one of the most adorable characters ever. He’s smart and cute and makes being a total nerd really cool. He also thinks in Best Case Scenario, Worst Case Scenario situations, which made me love him all the more.

Second opinions:

“If you’ve ever read a book that you loved so much that it made you incapable of paying attention to another book for a long time afterward, you’ll know what I mean when I say that Deception gave me a serious book hangover.” – From Reading Lark.

“And from there on, the story grabbed me and didn’t let go! The pacing was fast and action-packed, with danger at every turn.” – From Auntie Spinelli Reads.


I just wasn’t feeling it. The story was too dark, and I felt like I had nothing to hold on to. I chalk up my experience to 50 percent of a mood read and 50 percent sophomore slump. Deception and the remainder of the series just aren’t for me.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Stephanie

    I loved Defiance (tons of swooning) so I’m so sad you didn’t like Deception. I still think I’ll pick this one up when it comes out because I want to know what happens. I also love Logan who reminds me of my nerd husband. I’m actually looking forward to the darker atmosphere in Deception. Thanks so much for your reviews. I totally love your blog!

    • Definitely let me know what you think of Deception! I hope you enjoy it more than I did! And, thank you so much for your kind words! They mean so much!!

  • Jen

    Oh nooooo! I was so looking forward to this one 🙁

    • Jen, I feel like you might still like this one. I think I just wasn’t in the mood, you know?