Publisher: Tor Teen
Author: Kristen Simmons
Release: February 5th, 2019
I received a copy of The Deceivers from Tor Teen through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Deceivers is the first novel in the Valhalla Academy series by Kristen Simmons. The book description calls it a blend between Pretty Little Liars and Ocean’s 11, and after having read the novel, I can strongly agree with that assessment.
The novel follows a teenage girl named Brynn Hilder. She hasn’t had the best luck in life, so when she gets the opportunity of a lifetime, she doesn’t waste any time thinking about it. She just goes for it. The only thing is the opportunity isn’t quite what it would seem like at first glance. It is, however, perfectly suited to Brynn’s skillset.
I’ll confess that the title was totally the thing that first caught my attention. It’s a perfectly accurate description of the novel…but it’s also surprisingly eye-catching and memorable. When I spotted it I was immediately intrigued, and the cover helped support my lingering curiosity, as of course did the actual description.
I may have been a bit impulsive, in immediately requesting a copy of the book, but I ended up loving every moment of it. As far as impulse reads go, I sure lucked out with this one.
The Deceivers is an exceptionally well-written novel. The intrigue, broken backstories, and convoluted schemes were all perfectly balanced with one another. The end result is a fast-paced novel that’s as unpredictable as it is interesting.
The best part, in my mind, was the fact that when I took the time to look back over the events in the novel, everything made sense. The new information revealed always fit in with what we had been shown previously. It all felt plausible.
Brynn was the perfect character for this story. She’s tough, talented, comes from a rough past, and while she tries pretty hard not to get close to anybody, it’s actually fairly difficult not to like her. I’m including myself in that statement, for the record. I was enchanted by her determination and sheer force of will. This was a girl not content to follow the path of her mother or mother’s boyfriend. This was a girl that wanted something better for herself. Who can’t respect that?
I was actually a little bit shocked by how many emotions this novel was able to pull out of me. I dealt with a slew of emotions while reading; happiness, concern and anxiety, justified anger, frustration…you name it. To me, that’s the sign of a well-written novel and perfectly designed characters.
The intrigue and constant assessing of who is conning who was really well done in this novel. There was this ever-present concern about who was lying and who was telling the truth. I can’t imagine living in a world like that. But it did a good job of showing us the reason why people that live those lives need clear lines and rules for themselves.
I’m looking forward to the next novel in the series. I know there’s no news yet, so I’m being just a bit impatient there, but can you blame me?