cover image The Deceivers

The Deceivers

Kristen Simmons. Tor Teen, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-17579-3

Simmons (the Article 5 series) pens an action-packed thriller based in Norse mythology, starring Brynn Hilder, a high-school senior who can’t wait to break out of her current life. Brynn lives in poverty with her mother and the memory of her recently murdered father in Sikawa City, a fictionalized Chicago. To save for college and her future, Brynn has a job mopping the library, but she also cons people out of their money. When she’s recruited by Dr. Odin at the exclusive Vale Hall prep school, she assumes that the admissions department got hold of her scholarship application for college. The school promises “learning, growing, camaraderie, success,” but there’s a cost: Dr. Odin wants to capitalize on her conning skills to pursue his own secret agenda. Brynn is faced with weighing the future she’s always wanted and helping her schoolmates defeat the true villains, and she endures an emotional journey, from a cinematic romance to a full-blown identity crisis. While Simmons creates a convincingly conflicted heroine and lush, memorable images, the characterization of most characters is thin, the plot cluttered, and the fast pace hectic. Ages 13–up. [em](Feb.) [/em]