Release Date: 8/28/12
Synopsis from goodreads.com:
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.
At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.
As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
My thoughts on the book:
Defiance is an enjoyable dystopian fantasy novel from debut author, C.J. Redwine. The narration alternates smoothly between first person Logan and first person Rachel. Both characters have unique voices, and it's easy to tell them apart. However, the secondary characters could have been better developed, some of the plot events felt rushed, the romance felt oddly paced and a bit unrealistic, and the concept itself is not that unique. Regardless, the constant action and likable main characters will ensure that dystopian fantasy fans will love this novel.
The two main characters, Logan and Rachel, were extremely well-developed and easy to sympathize with. However, none of the secondary characters felt real to me. They were all vague representations of humanity, and I couldn't bring myself to care what happened to them. I would have liked to have gotten to know Oliver more, and I would have liked some stories and/or flashbacks about Rachel's father. Sylph, Rachel's best friend, was a cookie cutter bimbo/wanna-be trophy wife. Also, I don't know why the Commander was such a jerk. There had to be more to him than was being shown. Additionally, all I know about Logan's mother is how she died. For as long as this book was, more character information should have been given. I think I would have enjoyed the story much more if I'd known more about the secondary characters.
Some of the plot events felt rushed and incomplete, and not the kind of incomplete that means it will be revisited later. I didn't like that. I felt that I didn't fully grasp the entire situation, more often than not. I mean I understood what happened, but I didn't feel what happened. That being said, I was never bored. I just didn't fully connect with the plot. There was a lot of action, but I never had that "I'm on the edge of my seat" feeling that I get when I am fully immersed in the story.
Another aspect of the story that fell short for me was the romance. I was rooting for Rachel and Logan simply because I knew I was supposed to, not because I felt any real attachment to whether or not they got together. They loved each other, but their epiphanies happened in weird spurts, and I think it would have been better if they hadn't explained each one. Also, Rachel's numbness combined with "I love you" just didn't work for me. There was also no wondering about whether or not they'd end up together. It was just sort of a given. That made the entire thing a bit anticlimactic.
All of my complaints aside, this book does have potential. The plot reminded me a bit of Darkness Before Dawn with the wall and tyrannical government, but there are no vampires. There's an evil dragon-like creature instead. The rulers are human, too. That makes it different. The ending tied things up nicely and left room for the sequel, which I'll definitely be reading.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to lovers of fantasy who want to try dystopian, and lovers of dystopian who want to try fantasy. It's a nice mix of the two, and with all the action going on, you're sure not to get bored.
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