ARC Review: Deadly Sweet Lies

Deadly Sweet Lies
Deadly Sweet Lies by Erica Cameron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release date: December 17, 2015

Nadette Lawson knows when you’re lying.

Every night for the past two years, the Balasura have visited her dreams, enticing her to enter their world. And every night she’s seen through their lies. Now, they’re tired of playing in the shadows and they begin to stalk her in the waking world. It’s no longer just an invitation; if Nadette doesn’t join them, they’ll take her family. Forever. She needs help, and the haven she’s seeking may be just out of reach.

Julian Teagan is a master of deception.

To survive, he has to convince the world his mother isn’t useless, that everything’s fine, otherwise he’ll lose what little he has left in this life. He knows the lying won’t be enough to keep him and his mother in the shadows, but it’s all he knows. The only light of truth is Orane, a Balasura who sees past Julian’s facade and challenges him to face the darkness.
Then Orane is killed, and Julian learns his mentor was far from innocent. The Balasura have hunted children like him for centuries, and their next target, Nadette is his one chance at finally being a part of something real. If Julian can just convince her to trust him…

The timeline of Deadly Sweet Lies overlaps with that of Sing Sweet Nightingale, and a lot of events happening result from there. So, I had to do a little skimming through the previous one (my faulty memory) to get a feel of the characters again. This book focuses on Nadette and Julian, the two teens mentioned in the climax of the previous to have run away from their respective homes. Both are on the run from the Balasura, towards a safe haven in New York. Julian has the ability of deception and Nadette can spot a lie, so it is interesting in how their friendship develops.

Julian has been sent to aid her to get to the safe haven, which when they reach turns out to be not that welcoming. The people there are all quite young, living in fear of any attack, and the appearance of these two sets them on edge. Slowly, however, they learn to become a family, which is definitely what Julian needed after his horrible childhood – taking care of an alcoholic mother, and growing up to take care of the house. Nadette, meanwhile, has always been a little different, and is a bit lonely because of it. The writing, however, failed a bit in making their voices distinct; they sounded the same, and at times I had to backtrack to see who was the narrator.

This book gets point for diversity in sexuality, with a gay and an asexual character given importance with respects to romance. The friendships that Julian develops are also a beautiful thing, because he never had the chance to do so before. Mariella and Hudson both make an appearance towards the end and play some part in moving the plot along. The ending, however, was a bit abrupt. It seemed unnatural, and rushed, but overall, the book was good.

Received a free galley from Spencer Hill Press via Netgalley; this does not influence my opinion or the review.

Previous books

Sing Sweet Nightingale (The Dream War Saga, #1)

View all my reviews

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