La Crimson Femme
Review: Deceitful by C. Reilly
★★★ ½ @CoraReillyBooks @jennw23 #Deceitful
New writing direction from Ms. Reilly is spot on. In Deceitful, it is a cross between young X-men and Men in Black. Except, there are no aliens, just covert operations. This is the first book in the series and I'm eager to read more of it. I want to learn more about this special ops group, FEA - Forces with Extraordinary Abilities. This group seems to pull in unreasonably young "variants". Most of these are teenagers who are feared and unwanted by their families. Our main character, Tessa is one such child.
When I read the blurb of this book, I thought it was going to be more an urban fantasy or suspense story. I had no idea it was going to be a YA or I guess NA book because there is some sex in it. I am not a huge fan of YA so if you don't want to read a female lead who is about 18 years old and acts it, then this book may not be for you. If you don't mind a juvenile going undercover, then read on.
18 isn't exactly that young, because the US military takes soldiers at that age. Tessa is part of the FEA group which is government-funded. This is more of a boarding school for her since she moved in at 15. Coincidentally it is also the last time she saw her mother. I feel for Tessa. Her childhood is fraught with disappointments, uncertainty, and instability. When her first case is to morph into a dead teenage girl to find the killer, it is bittersweet. She gets to experience what family life could be like. Posing as the dead girl, Madison, she is showered with love from a father, mother, and twin brother. It is fantasy come to life. Ms. Reilly does an amazing job of compare and contrast of Tessa's short 18 years.
The suspense part is a bit frustrating because there are little clues as to what is going on. However, once a clue does manifest, the story's pace moves fast and the dark secrets spill out. I liked being kept in the dark and being just as frustrated as Tessa. Trying to figure out the serial killer and motive is fun for me. Finding the killer and how it all unfolded felt just a little too pat for me, but it worked. I am not surprised by the reveals of a couple of other teenagers in the course of this undercover mission. I do like finding out about a competing mercenary group. I look forward to the next book in this series. This paranormal suspense is recommended to readers who enjoy psychic powers.
* I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.