By C.J. Redwine
Published on August 27, 2013
 Published by Baltzer + Bray
Source: 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.
Whew, C.J. Redwine is brutal.  I am not sure if she has a secret vendetta for her characters, or simply likes torturing them.  (If so, we need to get the woman a plate of cookies- stat!).  The characters in Deception are put through the wringer.  No that sounds too placid.  They were pwned.  No, not strong enough..... they had a really really really bad - year?  Disease, poison, savage attacks, explosions, fires, and I can't forget- dragons.  Man, I am so glad I am not them!

Deception picks up a few weeks (or months?) after the first book ends.  Things are starting to form some semblance of order and leadership has been created.  Logan has created a way for the Baalbodens who are left to essentially sneak out of town without the Commander finding them.  This begins a great chase that lasts the entire book.

There isn't much romance in this book.  (Which was a little sad consider how romantic the first book was.)  This book is harsher, meaner, and more desperate.  Rachel and Logan are both emotionally scarred.  Logan falls into the role of leader and devotes all of his time and attention on his inventions and trying to lead the group.  Rachel is taking the events from book one very hard.  She has chosen to follow the route of, "it is better to feel nothing than to give into my grief."

I enjoyed reading Deception, but I can't say it is a book that I will read over and over- it was a bit depressing!  I loved how high action it was, and it really held my attention the entire way through.  I am excited to read the third book- it needs to get here pronto!  (And Ms. Redwine - can you go on easy on your characters in the next book.  Maybe a nap?  A few bandaids? A cookie?)

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