Deceptions takes us to Washington, D.C., always a dangerous place. This turf belongs to Olympias, ancient vampire and exceedingly powerful Enforcer of the laws; not only does she have to keep the local population of blood-suckers at bay, she has the added task of making sure no one in the government learns about the actual existence of her kind. After centuries of exercising vast power, she has begun to slip a little, entrusting a lot of authority (not to mention work) to her slaves, especially her secretarial slave Sara. Olympias has chosen a bad time to start nodding at the wheel because Roger Bentencourt, the Companion of a local vampire, is bent on revenge and the acquisition of power without having to wait around for his eventual transformation from vampire's Companion to actual vampire. Bentencourt sets in motion a plan to turn the local nests against Olympias, culminating in what should be unthinkable – usurping her power and replacing her with one of their own (one whom Bentencourt knows he can manipulate and control). Olympias indirectly plays into the usurper's hands by ordering all of the nests out of the territory and seemingly stealing a young fledgling's chosen mate. Bentencourt is slick, gaining influence over members of Olympias' own slave nest as well as some special humans who enter the picture. Michael Falconer leads a group of Watchers (men and women who practice something akin to remote viewing), and Falconer finds himself in the middle of a vampire mess when a young vampire seeks to make him her Companion, after which point Olympias takes a very strong interest in him. The inclusion of the Watchers into the story adds a new and fresh element to events that works quite well. As if all of this isn't distraction enough for Olympias, the presence of a suicidal vampire makes things even more interesting.
There is a lot of exciting action throughout this book, and several nice touches that play well and add originality to Sizemore's vision. I just thought there were a few too many coincidences for my blood; the very source of Bentencourt's hatred for Olympias is rather laughable, and there is another highly coincidental plot point I won't mention for fear of giving something away. I also have trouble accepting the fact that a vampire Companion, no matter how smart he might be, could hide his nefarious intentions from a number of incredibly psychic vampires – that is the major sticking point for me. Characters also have an annoying habit of engaging in flirtatious dialogues in the midst of trouble with a capital T. Still, you will find some of Sizemore's most fascinating characters in Deceptions, with Olympias assuming the distinction of being my favorite character of the series up to this point. Whatever qualms I have about the story, there is no denying this is a book that can deliver loads of entertainment to the reader.
Sara, Maggie, and Gerry are Olympias's slaves. They are the ones that Olympias delegates most of the work to. Sara is the one considered to be Olympias's right hand person. And it is she that is sent to talk to Andrew, a suicidal vampire in the area wishing for Olympias to kill him. Why? Because Andrew thinks he is going insane. Andrew is convinced he is seeing ghosts.
The local vampires are upset at Olympias, who is demanding all the nests to vacate the area within a month. Rose, a local nest leader, is the most upset due to the fact that she has lived in that area longer than any other vampire. It is the only place she has ever considered to be "home". Her companion, Roger, sees potential and begins using everyone in an attempt to kill Olympias and eventually take over as leader.
Then there is Colonel Mike Falconer, who is over a government project, the Walker Project. His group are very "gifted" and walk the astral plane. And for the first time in centuries, Olympias is considering having a companion. It all adds up to trouble with a capitol T.
***** Excellent! Very well executed! (Pardon the pun.) Book 4 is even better than the last, and that is definitely saying something. I hope to see these main and secondary characters again in future books. With all that I am seeing, this is shaping up to be series that fans will want to keep reading about for years! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
The story is split between three central lines - Olympias and Michael, Sara (Olympias human assistant / slave) and the vampire that wants to die Andrew, and the human companion who wants to rule it all some day. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. I love the original concept of the series and the essentially predatory nature of the Enforcers and all the positives and negatives that brings into their relationship with mortal humans. There is an underlying dark nature to this series that I enjoy greatly. In this book, however, the split in concentration between the characters lead to me becoming less involved with them. I would begin to get into their story, and the focus would switch to another.
I've read and greatly enjoyed the previous 3 books in the Laws of the Blood series. The fourth is not as intense as the previous three books, but is certainly worth reading as a part of the series. I'm not convinced if someone new to the series would get the most out of the book that the knowledge of at least one of the earlier three would bring to the reading of this one, but especially for fans of the series this book is a must.
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