Review: Destiny and Deception (13 to Life #4) Shannon Delany

Destiny and Deception (13 to Life, #4)Destiny and Deception (13 to Life #4) by Shannon Delany

Publication Date: January 31st 2012
Page Count: 289
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Library

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakovas fighting to overcome their biggest challenge yet.

With the threat of the mafia seemingly gone and the company's headquarters in Junction destroyed, Pietr Rusakova is adjusting to being a normal teen and Jess is realizing normalcy may not be what she wanted after all. But both Jess and Cat know the truth--that normal can't be taken for granted. Their precious cure isn't permanent--and when a new danger stalks into their small town, Alexi decides he must overcome his issues with the mother who abandoned him to be raised by wolves and make a brand new deal to save his adopted family.

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I really like the 13 to Life series, and I was eagerly awaiting the 4th book, Destiny and Deception. Sadly, I am extremely disappointed that it did not live up to my expectations. (I wrote my review a day ago, then spent today reflecting on why I felt so let down after reading this book. And that's just it - it was such a let down. After all the life or death, love and hate, and emotional ups and downs of the first 3 books, this one just didn't have the emotional impact that I had come to expect.)

Like the 3rd book, we get narration from Jessie and Alexi's POV. But a 3rd narrator is added when a NEW bad person arrives in Junction. I really didn't care for this part of the story. It was obvious that adding this this third POV is meant to set up for a showdown with the Rusakovas in the final book, but I really didn't like it.

I love Alexi even more than before. I was thrilled that we learned so much about him in the 3rd book. In Destiny and Deception we continue to learn about Alexi and how strong his family ties are. I liked that Jessie stayed strong and constant. Pietr was just a shell of his former self and I did not enjoy him, which makes me very sad. I loved Pietr and Jessie's relationship in the first 3 books, and I had looked forward to reading more about them and seeing their relationship progress. Unfortunately, a cured Pietr is a boring Pietr. Jessie even remarked that taking the wolf out of the man also took the man out of the man, and I couldn't agree more. It was hard reading about Jessie's disappointment in their relationship, and I really felt for her. Pietr was just so boring! And he showed zero interest in Jessie or their relationship. Give me back the dashing and daring, cute and charming Pietr that I loved so much.

The pacing of Destiny and Deception was very, very slow. It was missing the action that the 3 previous books had. (I felt those 3 had more than enough action to keep me reading to see what would happen next.) The mafia presence is non-existent in this book. The company is still messing around a little behind the scenes, but it is not clearly understood what kind of threat they pose. The lack of any present danger is noticeable throughout the book.

While reading, I was aware that I thought what was missing most was the Rusakova family dynamics. The family just didn't seem 'together' like before. Was this due to them being cured and not in tune with each other anymore? I am thinking that this could have been a plot device just to show them torn apart now, and how strong they are to come together in the final book. We'll have to wait and see.

Destiny and Deception sort of plodded along until the last few pages. Then things took a turn and the pace picked up and something totally unexpected happened and then.... the end. Another cliffhanger! And it's a biggie this time.

The writing in Destiny and Deception is great and flows well, even when bouncing back and forth between POVs. I love the main characters - Jessie, her friend Amy, and the Rusakovas. I really like this series and I am looking forward to reading the conclusion. And I am really hoping that Pietr gets back to being himself and resurrects the relationship that he had with Jessie.

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
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