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Saturday, April 28, 2012
Book Review: Deceived by the Others by Jess Haines
Author: Jess Haines
Series: H and W Investigations, book 3
Source: From publisher for review
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For more information visit Jess Haines' website
Shiarra is a P.I. who has decided to take a vacation with her werewolf boyfriend, Chaz. He thought it would be a good idea to introduce her to his pack. As the weekend progresses it is clear that someone has some issues with Chaz, and soon these other people are not the only ones.
This is the third novel in the H&W Investigation series. I had a like-hate relationship with this novel. It starts out slow. In the last two books big things happened, huge things! In this the problems don’t seem that big at first. There are a couple people pissed at Chaz, and because he took Shiarra along, she becomes the perfect bait. The mountain vacation, among all the pack members makes for a lot of meet and greets. This was handled well, and wasn’t overwhelming. What made it move at a crawl was that that our two main characters start to get pranked, and death threats. The threats are chalked up to younger pack members giving challenge to Chaz, who is the Alpha. The fact that this was shrugged off annoyed me. Another problem is that the characters constantly tell Shiarra to be safe, don’t go places alone, etc… but she doesn’t listen. Instead she is constantly off getting into trouble, kind of like Carl on The Walking Dead.
During the unveiling of what was behind the pranks Chaz and Shiarra suffered, something else is uncovered. I can’t say much more than that. If I did it would give far too much away, but it rocks the very foundations of Shiarra. What is uncovered happens towards the last half of the novel. This is where the story heats up, and then ends. The thread running through the novels has been, ‘the Others (Others- everything that isn’t strictly human) use Shiarra.’ I hope this novel is the end of that.
The novel suffers from the same issues as the ones before it. The story is told through Shiarra’s eyes, and she is not my favorite narrator. Her narrative is nearly always heavy. She also repeats her plans or thoughts to the point that I want to knock on the window between us, to say I got it. I really, really enjoyed this novel, and at the same time I really didn’t like it at all. There are some major flaws, the biggest one being that it isn’t finished. It was all building to the next book instead of a complete story. The ending feels like it is the middle, and a ton of the beginning feels like it shouldn’t have been there at all. Despite this the end of the novel is where it is at. Shiarra got a slap in the face, and I felt it as a reader. Towards the end, once Shiarra discovers something on her own, the novel picks up. Mainly because I wasn’t expecting what happened. It is a race to the end, only it has no end. It is a cliffhanger, but didn’t feel like that for me. Instead it felt like it should have been the middle, or turning point in the novel.
It isn’t this often I am torn between liking something, and disliking it. At the same time this isn’t a middle of the ground novel. It will invoke feelings in the reader no matter what. Yes, I cannot wait to read the next book, but not for the usual reasons. I was left unsatisfied, and because of that I want to read the next book. While the characters have continued to be the same, and the stories in the first two books were self-contained. This is not the case with Deceived by the Others. It suffers from the same flaws as the first two books, and has a couple more issues with the story. As much as I look forward to the next novel, I hope it does more.