Destiny and Deception

A 13 to Life Novel, #4

I want to start this with a quote, which will only be a spoiler if you hadn't read the end of Book 3. "I expected victory...I never expected a single hard-won victory could still feel so much like defeat." (pg 280) That quote sums up this book spectacularly well in my opinion. Everything the Rusakovas have wanted is theirs at the beginning of this book. They rescued their mother, found a cure to their werewolf issues and have each other.

So how does everything go wrong so quickly? When does something that should feel so right start to feel so wrong?

I've been hooked on Delany's "13 to Life" series from the very first book. There have been ups and downs, but by in large I've found myself drawn into Jess and Pietr's world and eager to watch their story unravel.

For the majority of the book this wasn't the Pietr and Jess I knew however. With the cure comes a change in all their personalities, but Pietr is...a shadow of his former self. Uninterested in anything (not even making out with Jess), quiet and studious you'd never guess this was the passionate, impulsive Pietr Rusakova from the first three books.

Jess is also at odds with the strong, independent girl from the past three books. Whether it’s because she's dealing with the changes in Pietr, and how emotionally distant he becomes, or the sudden menace at her school making her friends ill, Jess is very often lost at sea and struggling to remain afloat. She remarks to herself at one point that Cat has been the one to stand by and bolster Amy, something that Jess regrets and laments because she wanted to be the one to bring Amy out of the funk she was in. This almost lovesick and fuzzy Jess is a bit grating at times. She made me wish to shake her so she'd get her sense back and fight harder.

DESTINY AND DECEPTION however is a good reflection of this change. The threats in this book are of a more personal nature, impacting everyone in an individual way and as a group. Their classmates falling ill and mysteriously undergoing their own changes, a return of a person from Alexi's past--the stakes are much higher and as the ending shows, nothing should be taken for granted.

Word of warning, Book 5 RIVALS AND RETRIBUTION, comes out in August--don't read the synopsis. The end of this book is all but ruined by the synopsis of Book 5 and even though what occurs at the end of book 4 is a stop gap measure at best, I really would have liked if the tension wasn't suddenly gone by a few badly chosen words.

Book Blurb for Destiny and Deception

The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakuvas fighting to overcome one of their biggest challenges yet--the possibility of a cure for lycanthropy.   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.

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2012 4.00