Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Genre: Paranormal, Mythology, Fantasy
Trickery was chaotic. And I haven't decided whether in a positive or negative way.
“It’s your own fault, Will. What did I tell you about walking?”
“That I should leave it to the experts.”
Willa Knight is a freaking disaster of epic, almost-get-impaled-burned-killed-on-a-daily-basis proportions. She lives in a world divided between sols, the superior beings that strive to become Gods when they die, and dwellers, their servants/slaves who are equal to dirt. And...that's pretty much all the world-building we get, at least in the first book of the series. Of course there are also the actual Gods, but the information concerning their whereabouts is scarce and mostly confusing. But I'll come back to this later. Our aforementioned protagonist finds herself in a precarious situation (well, more precarious than usual) when she is chosen to attend Blesswood Academy as a servant to eligible future Gods, and is assigned (by mistake, mind you) to take care of the Ab(b)curse* Brothers; Siret (call me Trickery), Yael (call me Persuasion), Arol (call me Seduction), Rome (call me Strength) and Coen (call me Pain), who are extraordinarily gorgeous and suck Willa into their divine world infused with super powers, devious Gods and secret missions. Sounds like a fun ride, doesn't it?
And it is a fun ride. The reason I picked Trickery (besides the cover) was the desire to read something similar to Demons at Deadnight by A.E. Kirk, and the truth is that the authors indeed delivered a lighthearted, entertaining story that makes you chuckle at Willa's precious inner monologues and penchant for nudity and disaster, and thus you inhale it in one sitting. Add to the mix mythology and rivalries between Gods and five seriously hot dudes, and that's the recipe for success. At least it should be, but sadly I am a tad underwhelmed.
Like I said before, the world-building needs further exploration. My brain hurt from the confusion over the country of Minatsol, its history and its origins. It wavered between high fantasy and urban fantasy, there were trains and shorts and then godlike powers and swords but no explanation regarding this world's creation, only some vague and inadequate references to the past. And then there is the mythology. It was utterly underdeveloped and weak; we know there are Gods with varied abilities (cue some random names), and that some prominent sols become gods, but the reason of the division between sols and dwellers is a mystery to be solved.
The second thing that bothered me was the Willa/boys relationship. I loved their dynamics and their banters, and frankly, I loved all the guys (even though I have a crush on Siret), but the tension, the angst and the sexually charged atmosphere between Willa and all of them was... cringe-worthy. I'd preferred it if she picked one, hell I'd even preferred a love triangle at this point, but being equally attracted to five brothers? And all of them attracted to her? I'm about to believe that all those raging hormones will lead to a kinky sex pentagon** hexagon and I'm not very comfortable with that idea.
Even though I expected something more, I recognize the potential for improvement in the following instalments, and I do recommend this series if you're up for mindless fun and some delicious eye-candy(ies)!
*Because having abbs like those (cue excessive drooling) is definitely a curse.
**Vote for Team Blake!