Deceptions (Cainsville #3) by Kelley Armstrong
Urban Paranormal, Mystery
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published August 18th by Random House Canada
Note: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are completely honest and completely my own.
I’ve only read a few Kelley Armstrong books, but I’ve loved the ones that I have read! I chanced upon the first book in the Cainsville series and have been obsessed ever since. I haven’t dived into her YA yet, or her Otherworld series really, but I love her writing! I was lucky enough to be able to meet her at BEA and will be reviewing her upcoming title The Masked Truth later in the fall! Also, she is a fellow Canadian. Love that.
In the first book, heiress Olivia Taylor-Jones learns that her perfect life isn’t so perfect after all. Not only was she adopted, but her biological parents are convicted serial killers. During the media frenzy that ensues after this gets out, Olivia flees to nearby Cainsville, a small, insular town that’s practically off the map. Here she hides away from the world and tries to piece her life back together. However, instead she gets drawn into the mysteries of Cainsville.
Deceptions is the third book in the series, so from here on out the review may contain slight spoilers for the first two books. However, check out my reviews of them—Omens and Visions.
Deceptions picks up where Visions left off. Olivia is dating Ricky and working for Gabriel. She has been staying with Gabriel in Chicago rather than stay in Cainsville now that she is no longer sure she can trust the motives of the town Elders. Everyone one seems to want something from her. Everyone except Gabriel and Ricky. Olivia’s visions have been growing more intense. She keeps seeing this little girl in a sundress that seems to want to send her a message. This frightens both Gabriel and Olivia. Together they try to find out more about the fae and about the crimes Olivia’s parents supposedly committed. This tied with Olivia’s stalker-y ex lead to some tense moments!
This instalment answers a lot of questions, and throws in some more. We know about the fae and the Cŵn Annwn, but what are they really after? What do they want with Olivia? The paranormal factors have been building throughout the series, and I’m really enjoying it. I appreciate that this urban fantasy didn’t start off too strong in the fantasy department. We get introduced to the supernatural alongside Olivia and Gabriel.
Another thing I really appreciated in this novel was the character development. We get to know Gabriel more in this novel as we spend some time in his perspective. We see the emotional changes he goes through and the struggles he undertakes. His upbringing has taken a toll on him and made him largely emotionally unavailable. But here we see those walls crumble a bit here and there. I know that some people don’t like the love triangle in this book, but I really like the whole slow burn scenario. I’m solidly in the Gabriel camp, but I still like Ricky and see his appeal. I can see how attractive he is to Liv and how she digs his strength and availability—he can open up to her. I really like him as a character. But I do see, however, how when such comes to shove, Liv is always going to choose Gabriel. He is her best friend. Her rock. For most of the first two books, there has been little to no sexual tension between them, but in this book there is a bit of a spark at times, and I’m excited to see how that plays out. But can Gabriel fully let Liv in? I also liked how we get to know Ricky a bit more. He now seems more of a person and less of a Gabriel-place holder. Although still ultimately not the one for Olivia…
There’s a new mystical aspect in this book that is both interesting and weird at the same time. I’m intrigued to see where it goes but I’m also hesitant that it’s a bit too… I don’t know. Out there? Furthermore, Cainsville isn’t actually featured that much in this one; only in like one scene really. The rest of the story is mostly set in Chicago. I missed it’s creepy-coolness. I missed Rose, too.
On reflection, there are a couple of things that I might have liked to have been a bit different, but when I was reading it, I was completely engrossed and turning the pages like a manic. I couldn’t put it down. This series is amazing. I love this world Armstrong has created inside our own. Can’t wait for the next book and hope the story doesn’t go down hill.
I recommend this book if you enjoy fast paced plots, eery settings, and a hint of the magical!