Book Reviews

Review: Prime Deceptions by Valerie Valdes

Did you read Chilling Effect and think, I could use more cats? Well the sequel, Prime Deceptions has you covered! This sequel was an action packed story which just further developed the exploration of family and sacrifice from book one. Keep reading this book review to find out what theme caught me by surprise!


Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra find themselves once again on the fringe of populated space—and at the center of a raging covert war. When Eva’s sister asks for help locating a missing scientist, promises of a big paycheck and a noble cause convince Eva to take the job despite lingering trust issues.

With reluctant assistance from her estranged mother, Eva and her crew follow the missing scientist’s trail across the universe, from the costume-filled halls of a never-ending convention to a dangerous bot-fighting arena. They ultimately find themselves at the last place Eva wants to see again—Garilia—where she experienced her most shameful and haunting failure.

To complete her mission and get paid, Eva must navigate a paradise embroiled in a rebellion, where massive forests and pristine beaches hide psychic creatures and pervasive surveillance technology. Can she find her quarry while avoiding the oppressive local regime, or will she be doomed to repeat past mistakes when her dark deeds come to light?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

My favorite element, time and time again, for the Chilling Effect series is the element of (found) family. The ways we can find family, love, and acceptance while cruising in a spaceship with some psychic cats. What else could you want? Prime Deceptions is a thrilling action packed sequel. Valdes only continues to expand the world of aliens, new games, and the reach of their spaceship. At the same time, Prime Deceptions becomes increasingly personal for Eva.

The worst mistakes we make. The guilt compounded with years and efforts to atone, never seems to escape us. In Prime Deceptions, we find out more than ever before about Eva’s past. What will we do to save our own lives, to save the people we love, and can we afford the price? It’s a theme that has been explored throughout the entire series, but even more so in Prime Deceptions. Eva’s past comes to call and the question is if the ones we love can survive its reckoning. Full of complicated family relationships, Prime Deceptions is about the wounds, hurt, and pain they put us through, but also the love, memories and loyalty that hold us.


While there are certainly more psychic cats in Prime Deceptions, what I loved was how Valdes talks about knowledge being a form of colonization. Eva and her crew visit an entirely new planet where they stumble across something they even don’t understand. How much should they interfere in the lives of others? In a science fiction world, technology is crucial. But while technology might not be inherently good or evil, the purpose, the impact, makes an astronomical difference. What is the role of technology, surveillance, rebellion, and government in these new worlds?

Find Prime Deceptions on Goodreads, Amazon (US) (UK), Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite literary cat?

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