Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review: Deceived by the Others (H&W Investigations #3) by Jess Haines

Deceived by the Others is the third book in Jess Haines' H&W Investigations urban fantasy series. In this installment, Shia is taking a little vacation to recuperate from recent injuries and events. She decides to take the time to strengthen the bond with her on again, off again, werewolf boyfriend Chaz by joining him at a resort in the Catskills and getting to know his pack the Sunstrikers during the full moon where they'll be shifting and hunting through their change. She goes as far as bringing a binding contract along with the hopes of proving her love for Chaz. However, once they arrive things don't work out as smoothly as they planned. Some pack members are not happy that Shia is there, and after their cabin is ransacked and Chaz is attacked, Shia puts her P.I. hat on and goes on to investigate. What she finds is a shocker, and after that everything spirals out of control.

This is the first book I've read related to this series, so as you can imagine, the characters and the story were all a new discovery for me. Events and relationships are explained and the story is easy to follow, however, I do recommend that this series be read in order.

As a character I really like Shia. She is a "normal" in the midst of "Others" -- Weres, vampires, mages, witches. Her job is to eliminate the monsters, and in the past she has been quite vocal in her anti-Other sentiments, except that she's found out they're not all evil. The tough part for her in this installment is coming to terms with who is who. Shia puts on a great show as a no nonsense kind of gal but is not overconfident of her personal abilities, and I also like that she is not the typical sarcastic or cynical narrator. Instead, I find her to be quite amusing and love those moments when she just doesn't know what to do. Shia isn't the typical "kick ass" heroine in this installment, except that somehow she always figures out how to take care of herself and doesn't take crap from anybody even when scared.

Chaz on the other hand didn't turn out to be a favorite character from the beginning, which is unfortunate because both he and Shia are the focus of this story. The two biggest problems for me where he's concerned were that I had trouble seeing Chaz both as Shia's boyfriend and as the Sunstriker's alpha. On the other hand, there's a character that is mentioned throughout the book and that makes an appearance at the end, the vampire Alec Royce, who just steals every single little scene where he appears in the book. I want to know more about him! Hopefully there will be more from this character in the next installment.

Although Deceived by the Others is a quick read, the pacing of the story itself is not a quick one. There is a lot of build-up as events unfold between Chaz, Shia, and the pack with small incidents here and there, but the real action doesn't really kick in until after the first half of the book. This worked out for me personally, as it afforded me the opportunity to learn a bit about the characters and the background story. However once the action finally picked up, so did my interest and I rushed to the end to find out the outcome. This in itself was a letdown, as there were really no answers to the two big issues that were raised throughout this installment, although there is a big reveal about Chaz, and something that happens to Shia in this book that I won't spoil for fans of the series.

Deceived by the Others was interesting enough for me that I'll go back and read those first two installments to catch up with this series, and I'll definitely read the next one to find out what happens next. For established fans of the series I would say that although this installment is not packed with action, there are enough new revelations in this book to maintain excitement, plus those issues mentioned above that are left unanswered? One of them is huge for Shia! The next book is a must read.

Category: Urban Fantasy
Series: H&W Investigations
Publisher/Release Date: Zebra - July 5, 2011
Source: Kensington Publishing
Grade: B-

Visit Jess Haines here.

Series:
Hunted by the Others, #1
Taken by the Others, #2
Deceived by the Others, #3

8 comments:

  1. Lovely review Hils! I love characters that come in and steal every scene they're in! This is the third book in the series, yes?

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  2. That's a good endorsement - you started on book 3, enjoyed it enough to want to read the previous books.

    I have the first book but am trying to catch up on some series before starting a new one. Great review Hils!

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  3. B-, that's not a bad grade. I have book 1 in my TBR pile, but I don't know... something's off in my opinion with the covers :(

    In any case, I'm happy you enjoyed this... definitively a good endorsement :)

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  4. Orannia, that one character certainly got my attention even though he was mostly mentioned throughout the book and made a small appearance. I can't wait to find out what's going on with him. *g* Yes... this is the third book in the series. :D

    Leslie, I will definitely read the first book to find out what's going on with the world building... enough was given in this book for me to understand, but you know how that is... those details are missing. I want to know. :)

    Nath, lol on the covers! I agree with you in that respect, not the best looking cover for this book or the other ones either. However, I'm intrigued by the story itself, so I'm ignoring the cover. LOL!

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  5. I don't know if I have room in my head or on my shelf for a new UF right now, but I'm keeping this one in the back of my mind for now because the series does sound fun.

    You guys don't like the cover? I love Shia's hair!!

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  6. Christine, I'll let you know how the first and second book turn out, since I'm definitely going to read it. ;P

    The cover? LOL on the hair... I don't know that it's the hair exactly? However, there's almost a cartoonish aspect to the artwork that doesn't quite work for me. However, covers don't really influence my reading.

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  7. The hair's great, bu tit's the face... something's off with her face or the way she looks at. ah well.

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