Series: Defiance, #1
Author: C.J. Redwine
Category: Dystopian/ Romance
Genre: Young Adult
Series: 3.5/4 stars out of 5
Defiance by C. J. Redwine is rich postapocalyptic YA fantasy perfect for fans of Graceling and Tamora Pierce.
While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.
When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.
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.
I was a bit nervous going into Defiance, but you know what, I’m so glad I picked this book up. Now, why was I nervous? Well, I was looking forward to this book, but I kept hearing/seeing mixed reviews about it. Defiance sounded like my kind of book, so I took a chance and picked it up. I’m very glad I did. Now, I gave it a 3.5/4 star rating. That means I really, really enjoyed this book, but there were just a few things that I didn't enjoy. Again, just a few things.
Now, I would like to point out the cover of Defiance. I absolutely love that cover. It is one of the first things that sold me on this book. It’s very striking and draws my interest. It, in a way, does go so well with the book and with the story. I just really like it!!
“I never thought it was fair that anatomy decided what my brain was fit for.”
Rachel is a girl raised in an uncommon fashion, she is taught to fight, to wield a sword, and to survive on her own. Within the walls of Baalboden, where women are assigned protectors, this is frowned upon, almost against the very law. But Rachel’s father, Jared, knew Rachel needed these skills and in secret he taught her how to be a tough warrior. And alongside her is Jared’s apprentice, Logan, who was once a street urchin. A genius, who is not only great with a sword, but a wonderful tracker and an even greater inventor.
Years pass and both Rachel and Logan have grown; their skills great and able. Then one day Rachel’s father doesn't return home. As one of the most skilled trackers in Baalboden, Rachel knows there is a reason behind her father’s disappearance. When she confronts the Commander, after he claims her father dead, she knows the Commander is hiding something. Not only does he make her suspicious, but at Rachel’s father’s last commands, Logan is assigned her protector, this would be a good thing, if the two got along...
Then with a series of events, Logan and Rachel come to an unsteady pact, to find her farther. They escape Baalboden, and outside of the walls not only do they have to fear the Commander, but the monster that lives out in the wild, and the assassins that want them dead.
On there journey, they discover things that could change not only their world forever, but the lives of everyone within and outside the walls of Baalboden. And when Rachel and Logan think they have enough on their plates, it seems romance is blossoming between them. Love, adventure, treachery, hope and survival are all the things that Rachel and Logan must face now, now that they have discovered something that wasn't meant to be found.
‘I don’t know if Logan is looking at me differently now, but I feel like I can see him clearly for the first time in all the years I’ve known him.’
One thing that took me by surprise was that the POV’s change in the book! I had no idea, and all of a sudden I was reading in Logan’s POV. I was like, ‘wait a minute’ *turns back to beginning of that chapter* ‘what??!!! Logan’s POV, what the..........cooollll....* But I so enjoyed it! I’m really liking it when the authors switch POV’s, especially between the two main characters, and I so enjoyed it in Defiance. I got to not only understand Rachel, but Logan as well. I got to experience two different journeys.
Now, the characters, I really enjoyed all of them to be honest. Rachel definitely had spunk and she doesn't back down. She’s a fierce female, and I love fierce females. She also has the tendency to speak or act first then think about the situation later. At times, I didn't understand why she would do something, or I think she was just too rash for her own good. Then you have Logan, the guy, yup the swoony guy. Logan. The best way to describe him is that he is the opposite of Rachel. How she jumps first, ask questions later, he thinks then acts. I believe, in a way, they really balance out each other. I think that was why they also make a good couple. They do struggle with it in the story, but I can see each other play off one another, they balance out. And that brings a nice factor to the story. As they go off in search of Jared, they grow together and learn so much. I feel they did grow and developed as characters quite well.
The pacing of Defiance was good. I never had the sense that it was too rushed and it flowed nicely. Everything felt like it was happening right when it was supposed to. I never got lost or got sidetracked, I love when a story can keep me so involved! Redwine did a good job with that. The writing was enjoyable, smooth and involving.
I do know at times Logan and Rachel made me mad, confused me, and made me swoon. There were also times in the book that I would just start giggling, along with moments that made my toes curl! But even with that, something just felt... I don't know..off.
Now, I’m not sure what it was, but there was just something about the book that felt off. Maybe the romance aspect of it, something in the story or what, I just can’t put my finger on it as to what made it feel off. I really enjoy this book, but I just couldn't fall in love with it. But aside from that iffy feeling, I couldn't put this book down. I was really interested in the world that Redwine created. It was intriguing and fascinating. One of the main reasons I really enjoyed this book. All you know about this world is that something happened, and the characters still have a bit of technology, however it’s more of a dystopian world stuck in the middle ages. Hard to explain, but it definitely drew me in and captured me in the story line.
‘It’s probably my job to tell you life isn’t fair, but I figure you already know that. So instead, I’ll tell you that hope is precious, and you’re right not to give up.’
I really enjoyed Defiance, and I will definitely read the next books in the series, however, as much as I enjoyed it, it wasn't exactly what I expected.
Overall though, Redwine created an interesting and unique world filled with love, adventure, and hope. So many things wrapped up in one mesmerizing book, and I cannot wait to see where this series is heading!