Deception picks up where its predecessor Contagion left off with the stories of Callie, Kai and Shay continuing to be told from their respective viewpoints. This again gives us a deep insight into their character and their motivations, and in some cases, the intentions of other characters.
We learn a lot more about what exactly happened in the world: what the outbreak was, who caused it and what exactly Callie is. We also learn what it means to be a survivor. As the survivors are hunted, they come together and we learn more about the consequences of surviving the plague and the interesting skills the survivors have gained.
Deception reflects a little more on the dying and the dead than Contagion did, and so we are able to pause and understand just how awful the events are and what the survivors and the immune are living through. There are some heart-breaking scenes of families being separated, and poignant lines as our trio of narrators encounter the bodies of the dead. Teri’s descriptions are beautiful and haunting:
“She, her husband and their son are all at home, forever: still. Quiet.
We make a pyre for them in their garden”
Through Kai’s story we see how hard it is to be with a survivor, and how he feels left out due to his immunity: he doesn’t really fit anywhere. Then Freja appears and offers him more than just friendship and the tensions run high.
There are some pretty big twists towards the end of Deception, and we discover that not everyone is who we thought they were. At one point my notes on the story read simply: “sneaky little witch”.
I am so excited to see where this goes next.