The Book of Lies by Teri Terry

Book of Lies feels very much like a concept that was turned into a story; there are many well-worn tropes, random faery/fae influences, and a story that tends to fall apart if you look too close. However, it is decently written and I think less sophisticated readers will enjoy this tale of witches and the supernatural.

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Story: At the funeral of her mother, Quinn discovers she has a twin sister that she was not told about. Her sister, Piper, enjoyed a normal life growing up with their mother and father. Quinn, on the other hand, was shut away in the moors, living almost technology free with her harsh grandmother while working as a hotel maid. Piper, meanwhile, knew she had a sister and knew her sister is the key to getting their mystical ‘inheritance’. As the two come to know each other, they begin to piece together their mother’s legacy that has been hidden from them. And they discover the awful truth that they were separated at birth because one of them was destined to kill her sister and destroy the family.

I realized at the very beginning that I didn’t connect with or even like either character. Fairly unrealistic situations/dialogue didn’t help but it was clear from the beginning which twin was the problem. Granted, that likely was on purpose but it felt manufactured. I would have preferred a bit more subtlety rather than clearly making one sister the obvious problem. And then making both very deceitful meant I didn’t really care what happened to either.

As for the story itself, not much happens until the end. Quinn enjoys being Piper at school and then later Piper plays as Quinn in order to find something she wants. In the middle of the two is Zak, Piper’s boyfriend who loves her only because of her persuasion ability. Piper isn’t in love with Zak in return (she is pretty much shown to not love anyone) and of course Quinn falls for Zak hard. Queue conflict. The book alternates between Quinn and Piper and it gets very confusing – both girls had a similar voice, with the exception that Piper is always shown to be manipulative and selfish.

The story itself is very muddled and I think the author is a bit guilty of outhinking herself. The ending doesn’t make much sense and the solution to the girls’ problem is so easy and obvious, I have to wonder why no one else chose to do it. Add in the usual elderly person who has all the answers but chooses not to tell anyone anything except cryptically, even if it constantly puts lives at danger, and you get the problem I had with most of the story.

Because so little felt organic and too much was recycled (e.g., the Wild Hunt mythos), I had a hard time with Book of Lies. I understand what the author was doing with the concept, but it is hard to like a main character who succeeds and triumphs by learning to lie, deceive, and manipulate as well as her ‘bad’ sister. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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This entry was posted in ARC, teen, urban fantasy, YA. Bookmark the permalink.

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