Review: Prime Deceptions by Valerie Valdes (Chilling Effect #2)

Prime Deceptions by Valerie Valdes // VBC Review

Prime Deceptions (Chilling Effect #2)
Valerie Valdes
Published: September 8, 2020 (Harper Voyager)
Purchase at: Amazon or Bookshop
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference events from the previous book. If you haven’t yet started, check out VBC’s review of Chilling Effect.

For the past six months, Captain Eva Innocente and her crew on La Sirena Negra, have worked hard to continue thwarting the evil crime syndicate The Fridge. When Eva’s sister comes to her with an opportunity to earn a lot of money by finding a missing scientist, Eva sees it as a perfect opportunity for a big payday for good honest work. Even when she’s not ultimately sure about the end goal.

Their search will take Eva and crew across the galaxy embroiling them in bot fights, never-ending fan conventions, and put them smack dab in the middle of planetary unrest on a planet that has ties to Eva’s past. A past she’s never reckoned with and one in which she’s ashamed. Does she sit on the sidelines this time around, or does she continue to fight for what’s right?

Prime Deceptions continues what Valerie Valdes started in the first book, but kind of ups the ante when it comes to introspection of why we fight the battles we fight, why we choose to get involved where we do. Eva wants to continue to stick it to the Fridge, but at what cost? Having trust issues with her sister, who also works under a cloak of secrecy, means that she’s not sure their mission is on the complete up and up. This time around Eva, and by extension her crew, have to decide which side they’re going to fight on knowing that, depending on perspective, they may not be everyone’s savior. There are always two sides to every story and two sides to history. Learning of Eva’s past and seeing her past brought into the present really highlights this idea.

This time around, though, Eva is not as isolated as she was in the first book. By committing to bringing the rest of the crew in on decisions she also opens herself up to the people around her and builds upon those relationships which is something I was hoping for after reading the first book and which Valerie Valdes really delivers on here. The found family dynamic is strengthened especially when we see it compared to the relationship between Eva and her sister and even Eva and her mother.

The standouts of course are Eva’s Co-Captain/oldest friend Pink who has known Eva for so many years she’s immune to all her tricks. Pink is a steadfast, grounding force in Eva’s life and we would all be so lucky to have friends like her. Also, of course Vakar and Eva are probably one of my most favorite fictional relationships right now. I liked the sweet moments when she’s interpreting his scent and his overly-literal exposition.

I loved the direction that this book took towards the end. We get a little more of a glimpse of the Proarkhe technology—the mysterious species behind the gate travel systems—that has now become my new thing I want explored in the next book. Overall, with Prime Deceptions Valerie Valdes gives readers another fast-paced, exciting read with a Captain who is learning what it means to lead.

 Sexual Content: Kissing and references to sex

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