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Destiny and Deception: 13 to Life #4    by Shannon Delany order for
Destiny and Deception
by Shannon Delany
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Destiny and Deception is the fourth (following 13 to Life, Secrets and Shadows and Bargains and Betrayals) in Shannon Delany's YA paranormal series. It's also the best to date, more smoothly written than earlier episodes and filled with well designed conflict between characters. Each episode is told from different points of view, in turn.

The series follows the Rusakovas family of werewolves, created from Cold War experimentation by the Soviets. Though this has given them power, it also abbreviates their lives. The Rusakova father was killed and the mother (Tatiana) imprisoned by government agents. Teen Jess Gillmansen loves her schoolmate, Pietr Rusakova, and has discovered that her blood can cure werewolves. Jess's dad is involved with librarian Wanda, an ex-CIA agent working undercover.

Early episodes focused on the desperation of the teen Rusakovas (Max, Pietr, and Cat) over their mother's captivity. There have also been interactions with the Russian Mafia, in particular involving the adopted Rusakova, Alexi, who loves Mafia princess Nadezhda. Bargains and Betrayals ended with the rescue of Tatiana Rusakova and the death of the manipulative Derek, who left a parting gift of dark memories in Jessie's head, in his death throes.

Now in Destiny and Deception, Tatiana, Pietr and Cat have taken the cure of Jess's blood. But Tatiana dies, while Pietr changes into what seems to Jess a lesser, nerdy version of himself - the electricity between them is missing. Alexi learns something shocking about Wanda, and Jess investigates experimentation on her high school peers. While all this goes on, the author introduces readers to a new pack of werewolves, led by the ruthless Marlaena - as it converges on Junction.

As always, Delany ends the episode on a cliffhanger, one that endangers Jessie, but sets Marlaena down a path to meet her own selfish needs, and to assure her pack's survival. Fans will devour Destiny and Deception and look forward to more exciting 13 to Life adventures.

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