Perception and Deception by Andre Hintz immediately drew me in with strong character development and a strong storyline. There were little bits along that way that added bright spots of enjoyment, like the mention of Vermont (where I live and not a common setting) that aren’t imperative to the story, but little extra treats. This was not the first book in the series, and there were references to the two prior books, but this easily stands as a read alone book. There would probably be a deeper understanding of some of the characters, but that prior knowledge is definitely not needed.
I think this story would be most enjoyed by the YA audience. The action is good, but the deeper development of the background information is a little light. For an adult read there would be a deeper development, but for a young reader it is completely fine, in fact appreciated, to give the surface information and not a ton of “boring” details. The only time I had a problem with this was a hand to hand fight scene that just seemed completely unrealistic. Sometimes the author wrote that the character “used a special technique” and sometimes the action was described in detail. It all seemed unrealistic. Most people will not succeed with a 4 vs 1 hand to hand fight with just some bruising to the face. Moreover, if she were willing to carry a gun, she would have also probably carried a knife. The action would be just as strong as a 2 to 1 fight with fewer details, and then more believable.
The development of Sierra, including her body language, was fantastic. The assumptions that the characters made about each other, and their observations, seemed right on point. The conversations between all the characters also seemed realistic. This character development is what makes this such a good read.Further, the language is clean, which makes this book appropriate for any audience.
I may recommend this book to one of my 8th grade students. She loves action adventure adventure stories. I would recommend this book to any classroom or public library.