Review: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

December 18, 2014 Review 47 ★★½

Review: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 496
Release Date: July 8th 2014
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love. The Kiss of Deception is the first book in Mary E. Pearson's Remnant Chronicles.


This might come as a surprise to some (even myself because fantasy is my favorite genre) but I didn’t care for The Kiss of Deception that much. In fact, if I could sum the book up in one word it would be: frustrating.

“Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.”

The Kiss of Deception had a strong start, especially with the first line ^. I was easily hooked from the first page, intrigued and curious as to what was going on and where the story was going to go. However, that went downhill as the action picked up. Scratch that-there was no action. We are thrown into the everyday life of our main character as a tavern barmaid. Riveting. I quickly came to miss the promise the first few pages held.

page oneHere’s the kicker: View Spoiler »

I felt like this book couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be a romance or a fantasy, as there is heavy focus on the romance (a love triangle, I’m not even going to get into that) and little explanation about the world building and overall concept of the book-being a revered “First Daughter.” Is that ever clarified? Not really. The fact that wanting all of things explained was the only thing that kept me reading, to find out that there is still no explanation makes me even more frustrated.

There are excerpts of poems and things in between each chapter that are interesting at first but since they have absolutely no context or reason for really being there, they have no meaning. I gave up on them towards the middle and skipped over them.

not even.

There is a twist. However, it is not a My Mind Is Blown type of twist, it was a Did I Read That Right twist, which turned into a No, Please No, twist because I literally had to go back and reread some chapters because my perception of some characters was entirely wrong, so much so I thought the author had actually forgotten the names of her own characters. In a shorter book, this might have been clever, but here I pretty much just have resentment.

As I mentioned in both of my most recent reviews, The Forever Song and In A Handful of Dust, books that have the characters traveling a lot are really hard to pull off. There is just so much downtime. Get on horse, ride, have awkward scene with love interest that kidnapped you, get off horse, eat, sleep. Repeat. There was a whole lot of nothing happening (especially for a five hundred page novel), and I just couldn’t bring myself to care about how much the main character’s butt hurt after riding so much or how messy she thought her hair was.


I wanted to like this one so much, it seemed to have all the ingredients in it that I enjoy, but it fell short. I don’t see myself continuing the series unless the reviews for the next book are out of this world. I need a break from fantasy.

All opinions are my own. None of these gifs are mine.

Rating Report
Overall: 2.1

47 Responses to “Review: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson”

  1. Kyra

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy this, Alise! I’ve heard such amazing things about this book and it’s high on my wishlist, so I will still be reading it but I’ll lower my expectations slightly. ;) Thank you for the fantastic, honest review! <3
    Kyra recently posted…My Bookish/Blogger Confessions

  2. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    Oh dear. :( I’ve heard mostly positive reviews so far, so now I’m definitely scared. Love triangles make me want to poke someone’s eyeball out, ESPECIALLY if they get in the way of the rest of the story. And I read the spoiler part (oops!) and damn, this book could’ve had no purpose, then.
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…A Deadly Christmas: Melissa Landers

    • Alise

      I know-I was so excited to read it! It started off good but… not for sure. This one heavily focused on the love triangle instead of the fantasy elements, which was sad. RIGHT?

  3. Lucia

    Bummer this wasn’t a winner for you. Premise sounds promising, but I totally understand your reasons for not enjoying it.

    “I just couldn’t bring myself to care about how much the main character’s butt hurt after riding so much or how messy she thought her hair was.”
    ^^^this always drives me mad in books too. So frustrating. Plus love triangle. Clearly, this is not a book for me. Great review!
    Lucia recently posted…STACKING THE SHELVES: December 2014

    • Alise

      Right? If I’m kidnapped and trying to survive I probably wouldn’t care much about my hair. There are so many other important things the MC should have been focused on.

  4. Andreea

    I keep hearing mixed things about this book. But even though I am not a fantasy fan, I think I want to read this one just to see if I will love it or hate it. All those reviews made me really curious about this novel!

    Too bad it wasn’t a great read for you. Hope your next pick will be better!
    Andreea recently posted…Winter Wonderland Book Tag

  5. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    Hmm I’ve been hearing basically the same things about this book. It clearly doesn’t stand out despite all the hype that surrounded it before it’s release. Definitely won’t be going anywhere near this one.

    Thanks for the helpful review, girl! <33

  6. Christy @ Novel Ink

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one more, I have it sitting on my TBR shelf to read and I’ve heard mostly great things. A love triangle? Ugh, why do they always go there? I’m definitely more weary, and I won’t be expecting as much. Thanks for the honest review!
    Christy @ Novel Ink recently posted…Find My Home

    • Alise

      Yeah, a lot of people enjoyed it so I wouldn’t immediately count it out, everyone is different :) The romance completely took over in this book, sadly. Sure!

  7. Sara L.

    I’ve seen the cover for The Kiss Of Deception here and there, but didn’t know much about the book until I read your review, Alise. A lot of the things that frustrated you would probably irk me, too, so I think I’ll skip this one. The review itself is very well-written, though. Spoiler-free while being specific about what bothered you.
    Sara L. recently posted…Recent Reads: “Over Sea, Under Stone” by Susan Cooper

  8. Naban

    This was pretty much how I felt about this book! Such a promising start, and it was disappointing to see things go downhill. And yes, I agree that the romance was so heavily focused on and ugh, adding to that was a horrible love triangle. I think I skimmed through some pages and it got a bit better towards the end but at that point, I was too frustrated to care, hah. Great review! <3
    Naban recently posted…2015 Releases That I Cannot Wait For

    • Alise

      It’s really cool that you felt the same! Yeah, I was frustrated after the whole bait and switch thing with the identities so even the ending didn’t really blow me away. Thank you!

  9. Charnell @ Reviews from a Bookworm

    YAY! Sorry, I am sad this didn’t work for you but… THANK YOU!!! God, I was beginning to feel like I was the only person who didn’t like this book. It had such a great start and then it all just went down hill. I hated that the author was trying to hide the guys identities, it was the stupidest twist for a book I had ever seen. I didn’t care for the romance. The main character frustrated me and the book was just really boring. I am sorry it didn’t work for you, but I am pleased to find I wasn’t alone in my dislike for this book.
    Charnell @ Reviews from a Bookworm recently posted…All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: Review

    • Alise

      Baha xD I’m really glad someone feels the same too! On Goodreads it’s mostly four and five stars so I get that. I didn’t even think the identities were hidden, it never even registered until that particular person kidnapped her and I was like WAIT WHAT.

  10. Tanja

    When I saw this book for the first time I wanted it badly! I mean it sounded so amazing, but then people started writing reviews for it and well here we are. I mean it’s really awful when a book starts amazing and you think it’s going to be awesome but it turns into this. Sorry that it happened with this one. Great review, girl :)
    Tanja recently posted…Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

    • Alise

      Me too, I was really excited! It really is a terrible feeling when that happens, you’re already invested LOL. Thanks!

  11. Mallory

    You nailed it with this review. The first chapter was great, but then the entire rest of the book was so slow. That love triangle…mmffgh. And when the twist happened, I, too, was very confused and went back to previous chapters just to see if I had completely missed out on things. I’ve heard that the author did that on purpose, making it so that you couldn’t pinpoint, but I didn’t like how it was handled.
    Mallory recently posted…List #2 — Red Covers, Recommendations

    • Alise

      Thank you! Yep, that was my exact experience with the book as well. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who had to backtrack-that was so confusing! It was on purpose but yeah, didn’t like how it was handled.

  12. Molly Mortensen

    This book looked interesting, so I was glad to hear what was wrong with it. Yeah I was afraid of the love triangle, but I liked the whole we don’t know which is the prince and which is the assassin gimmick. I agree that traveling books are so hit or miss. I think I’ll put this on my maybe list, because it just sounds boring. You shouldn’t blame fantasy though! There are lots of good fantasy books. Yep yep. You just need a different kind of fantasy.
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Demons at Deadnight by A&E Kirk

    • Alise

      I do think the concept of hiding their identities is clever but because you had to wait to the middle of the book so if you were like me then you spent a good portion of the book mixing the characters up xD Oh, definitely! Fantasy is actually my favorite genre xD

  13. Faye M.

    One thing is for sure is that I am NOT in any way in a rush to read this book. Most of what I’ve read for this book were really negative reviews, and I don’t really feel like diving into a love triangle right now (well, from what I read it’s a love triangle in which the reader is kept in the dark regarding who is who!). So sorry this book was disappointing for you, Alise!
    Faye M. recently posted…ARC Review: Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler

    • Alise

      Yup, an already frustrating love triangle that becomes even more frustrating because identities are hidden. Thanks, Faye!

    • Alise

      That’s true, I did follow stereotypes and mix the characters up so that proves that I judge based on descriptions xD Glad you liked this one though!

  14. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    I’ve read many similar reviews about how whiny the character is and how it’s more of a romance, so I’m glad I returned it to the library without reading. Those travelling books do take a while to get off the ground too, but if the skip the travelling it feels like we missed something. Lovely review Alise, I hope you find your next book enjoyable :)
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Chatterbox: My Top 10 Books of 2014

    • Alise

      She’s not a strong fantasy heroine, that’s for sure. That’s true, they are tough to pull off without being boring and this one was just very slow in those parts. In A Handful of Dust did it pretty well though! Thank you :)

  15. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    You know, as much as I wished you could have liked this one more – especially when your hopes were so high – I’m kind of relieved to see a ‘less-than-glowing’ review for this one. For whatever reason, I never got really excited for this one, no matter how high the praise got, I just did NOT think I’d like this book. Now that I’ve read your review, I feel like my suspicions were dead on! The lack of explanations for certain plot details, the love-triangle *cringe* and the pointless-book syndrom you described, where the book didn’t need to exist if the character had just done what she ended up doing from the start? Those all made me roll my eyes. Thanks for the honest review Alise, and I hope your next rea is/was much better!! xox
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…End of the Year Book Survey

    • Alise

      I’ve heard that from some other people-they just avoided this one for some reason. That’s pretty cool that you knew that, I wish I has those senses ;) “where the book didn’t need to exist if the character had just done what she ended up doing from the start” THIS. This is what made me the most mad, I think. Thank you so much!

    • Alise

      I’m glad I’m not the only one! This one just didn’t work for me either but yeah, so many people like it.

      It’s sad because it’s even considered High Fantasy :c I just want to rec everyone here some real high fantasy books so they know what the genre is really like. Whoa, does it??

  16. Kim { Book Swoon }

    Hi Alise! It’s been so long, too long since my last visit, but I’m happy to be back and saying hello :)

    I’m sorry this one did not work out for you as much as you had hoped. I think I enjoyed it a bit more, which may have been due to the fact I enjoyed the twist and the journey (the ending had me very intrigued)in the story. Thanks for stopping by Book Swoon and saying hi too!

    Lovely review : )
    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Young Adult Book Review: Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol

    • Alise

      Yeah, nice to talk to you again :D

      I wish I had been a little more open to the twist because it was clever and fooled me. The ending definitely makes you want to know what happens. Sure!

      Thank you!

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