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Dangerous Deception (Dangerous Creatures) Hardcover – May 19, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Bad girl and Siren Ridley Duchannes goes missing, and her boyfriend Link and his friends suspect Silas Ravenwood. They'll have to travel through the Caster Tunnels and on to New Orleans in order to rescue Ridley. This is the sequel to Dangerous Creatures (Little, Brown, 2014), a spin-off from the best-selling "Beautiful Creatures" novels. Accessible and fast-paced, this Southern gothic will be embraced by fans of the first installment.
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All that's certain is how much has changed already, and how much more change is probably coming. But we saw a paradigm shift in the Beautiful Creatures books, one that Stohl and Garcia saw through to at least a reasonable point of closure... so I am strongly tempted to think we'll see the same in this series, which contains its own radical reordering of reality: not only what the breaking of the Order has meant for the basic nature of the balance, but also what it means for caster powers. How muddied things are really getting. How "things fall apart" and then rearrange. What the new constellations will look like, constellations which are still very much forming.
If I had to pick a theme for this book, it would be this: power corrupts. But the Pliny quote at the beginning of the book gives me hope that that isn't the end, much less a nihilistic end, of the tale - the fear I think some readers have found most incomplete and dismaying. We see the Death card appear. And as is said in the book, Death means transformation. We don't see that card until relatively late in the book, either - and I don't think it just refers to the climactic - or some would say anticlimactic - final scenes. Too much is still in flux.
That said, I won't personally be horrified if this *is* the close of the series. Yes, it would leave a lot of story untold. So what? Things change. Things are left unfinished. That doesn't mean there isn't more story. There's always more story. I've read numerous other tales where you want to know what happens next, but you don't find out. I'm weird, I know, but I don't find this to be a bad thing. Sure, I wish the book were there, or at least more chapters - but I wish that of every series with characters in it I love. But sometimes the story goes on without you. What matters more to me is the sense that it goes on. And this one definitely does. That's part of the reason I'm giving it a 5, despite a few places I found a bit too predictable or melodramatic or suffering from touches of non sequitur, plot-wise. Garcia and Stohl don't pull their punches. I admire that.
Frankly, I have to wonder if this is the end for Dangerous Creatures... and the beginning for a third series. I have a difficult time not seeing Ethan and Lena getting involved at some point. Don't tell me they haven't noticed their own rings freaking out, and haven't done anything about it. Don't tell me Macon and company are out to lunch on this one. Stohl and Garcia don't operate that way. And don't tell me Silas is so thick as to not anticipate how Ridley and Angelique have responded to the changes he's forced on them - and that includes at least some of the psychological ones. The Blood Incubi of Ravenwood understand power better than most - though also less than most, in essential ways. That didn't work out well for Abraham. I doubt it will for Silas either. Evil often has a significant hand in its own undoing.
As I said, power corrupts. That includes plans. I suspect, like the Tower card in the same spread as Death, that cataclysm is coming, and not just in the form of Angelique. I suspect a major battle between two characters. I suspect at least one other character may buy it during that conflict, one we don't want to see die, and we'll throw the book across the room at that point, but it'll be who that character has come to be, and probably always was... and anything less won't be true to that character. It may even turn the tide, and show once again that the seemingly smallest acts are actually the largest, the ripples that travel farthest.
I look forward to finding out just what happens with all those TPs Nox is still carrying around. What Ridley's surprise power is, and what all she acquired in the first round, never mind the second. And from whom, which we still don't know, and I suspect is important, since it certainly was for Angelique. And if the infusions carry their donor's personality even after the donor's passing - assuming the donor really has passed on - what or even who else is still, essentially, on the playing board?
And to be honest, I'm very much looking forward to how all this concatenates so as to bite Silas really hard in the ass. ;-) What can I say? Like the Beautiful Creatures books, Dangerous Creatures is proving to be a big cherry lollipop.
One final provocative question: the title. Just which "Deception" are we talking about, if not more than one? There was certainly more than one dangerous dream going on in book one....
can they please kill Silas?! And good grief can Rid get a happy ever after - though I loved her summation in the last chapter!!!! I'm not that girl...it was perfect.