Review: Deception by Barry Jonsberg

DeceptionBarrySeries: Pandora Jones #2
Published by: Allen & Unwin
ISBN 13: 9781743318126
Published: October 2014
Pages: 288
Format reviewed: Paperback from Publisher
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Four out of Five

‘Deception’ by Barry Jonsberg is the second in the Pandora Jones series. We were left on quite a cliffhanger, wondering the whereabouts of one of the characters and our world turn upside down like that of Pandora Jones – we no longer know what’s true and what isn’t, and that’s what this novel sets out to discover. Has there been a deception, and if so, what’s the reality?

Jonsberg starts this novel with a cleverly used recap of the first book, shown in nightmares that haunt our main character, Pandora Jones. It easily triggers the main points to get us back on track, then throws us into the main story. Everyone in the School suspects Pandora of either being a troublemaker or in the least, being unstable. This isn’t going to stop her from trying to discover just what’s going on out there in the world the virus has torn apart, and now she has Jem for company now that Nate is as the first book left him.

Together they start to piece things together, but that knowledge will take them out of the little comfort they’ve managed to work up in the ‘prison’ the School has become. This is a short book at 288 pages, but it certainly packs a whole lot of plot into these few pages.

I said of the first book (in my short reviews post of June):

Admission (Pandora Jones #1) by Barry Jonsberg is one of Jonsberg’s first speculative fiction works – generally he is known for perfectly capturing realistic teen fiction set in schools. This was an engaging dystopian that has a few questions in the world building that I think adds more to the mystery of it all, and shall hopefully be answered as more books come out.

This continues to be true – engaging dystopian that maybe doesn’t have fully fleshed world building, but that’s showing to be a point – the characters don’t have all the answers, and we’re left just as much in the dark as they are. The point of view is kept strictly to Pandora, and it’s effective to keeping you reading throughout the night, unable to put the book down.

The character development comes through in this book, and it’s good to see Jonsberg confirm that we have a bit more diversity in our characters. Though we come full circle in this book you aren’t left thinking that we’ve gone no where, no, it only makes us so much more eager for the third book. Bring on May 2015!


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