Don’t be afraid, child
The stories are always there.
Truth rides the wind,
Listen and it will find you.
I will find you.
-The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
It’s called The Kiss of Deception. I know. Let’s try to get past that, shall we? Because it’s a really fun read.
I won’t make any crazy claims here. This is a book of its genre. It’s young adult fantasy all the way. Elaborate world building. Some pretty obvious prophecy. Lots of romance (but nothing icky or uncomfortably steamy). I mean, let’s face it, it’s about a princess who runs away from home. This is not ground-breaking stuff.
Still. I read the whole thing in a day and a half, and it’s been a while since I was absorbed enough in a book to do that.
This book is fun. It’s really straight forward, so even though the world (which is pretty clearly far, far, far in the future post-apocalyptic earth) is extensively developed, the fantasy elements don’t get in the way. The characters are interesting people, with reasonable motivations which are only the tiniest bit contrived in places. There’s enough of an element of surprise to the plot that you want to keep reading (though to be honest, the main twist in the middle was more jarring than helpful).
It’s about a girl coming into womanhood while still being more interested in the mysteries she is uncovering than her own self-discovery. That’s about the highest praise I can give a novel of this genre. I’ve had enough of teenage angst. It was nice to read about someone growing through their interaction with the world without endlessly belaboring their own feelings.
In fact, Pearson uses all the elements of this genre, and still manages to avoid most of the traps. There’s the princess who is so much more than her pretty clothes, but as the world develops around her, you can see that there is a reason for this. She’s not just a random special snowflake. There’s a love triangle, but it isn’t really that dramatic. There’s betrayal, but the plot eliminates the need for lots of hand-wringing about it. Best of all, the hero and heroine are brought together in the end, but not in the way you expect. It’s obviously leaving us hanging for the next book, but not in an unsatisfying way. Just in a “when is she going to release the next dang book” kind of way, which is the best way for a book to make you feel. The author has some other books out there, and her skill was such that I plan to check them out.
So there you go, my YA-reading friends. A new book to try. I promise it won’t make you cringe. Even if you do want to cover to up the title.
NOTE: Have I pointed out to you guys that if you ever want to trip over to Amazon and buy any of these books, you can do it through my store tab up there? Just click the cover of the one you want, and you’ll be supporting me without paying a penny extra. Thanks!