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Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Friday, August 17, 2012
Defiance (Defiance #1)
by C.J. Redwine

Publication: August 28, 2012
Pages: 416
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depository

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.

The synopsis suggests that Rachel is different from the other girls in her society, and she is. She is passionate, headstrong, quick-tempered, and refuses to sit around waiting to be saved. She doesn't need a Protector to escort her around the city being able to fight as well as any man. She is also very impulsive and makes many rash decisions without considering the consequences, which made it hard for me to connect with her. I wanted to like her, but she kept jumping into things without much consideration for the consequence, complicating already difficult situations for Logan. It was much easier for me to connect with Logan, and I loved reading from his point of view. He's a thinker and rationalizes things through, which is probably why it was so easy for me to relate to him.

My one problem with him is how much he loses it around Rachel. We learn early on that he broke her heart, believing that he needed to focus on his future and didn't have time for a relationship; also, he's her Protector. He is supposed to look after her. It isn't really explained why he is so quick to throw away the rules, throw away his qualms about starting a relationship with her. I can see how their feelings can develop quickly after having been thrown into so many life or death situations so fast; however, it still feels rushed and underdeveloped.

There wasn't enough world building for me. It took me a while to figure out that this isn't some fantasy world; it's our world, or what remains of it after having been ravaged by the Cursed Ones. We also see very little into the female role in this society; rather, we mostly see how Rachel behaves and hear about how inappropriate her actions are. For me, I like to see more world building in fantasy and dystopian novels, as I don't understand the workings of the world otherwise, and it would have helped me better understand the workings of the plot, especially the apparent differences between Baalboden and Rowansmark.

Defiance is a thrilling dystopian novel with fantasy elements with many intense, action-packed scenes that had me flipping the pages like crazy. As its title suggests, Defiance is filled with many strong characters with strong morals and the resolve to do what it takes to do the right thing. I didn't always agree with what they do, especially when Rachel loses it after losing people who are close to her (one time, she really hurts somewhat innocent people). However, their hearts are in the right place. This book seems to be setting up the plot for something bigger. I am looking forward to reading the next book to see what happens next!

Rating: Borrow this book. It's one you'll enjoy if you like passion and individuality in a heroine.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
9 comments on "Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine"
  1. I did find Rachel angrier than most YA characters but I could relate given what she had to deal with. I agree with you--Logan is really a good guy. I really liked this book. Sorry you're not as excited about this. I'm looking forward to book 2.

  2. I understand that Rachel feels like the entire world is against her, and I understand why she doesn't trust Logan immediately. The problem was that she wasn't considering how close he was to her father as well and that he might be trying to lookg out for them. Then again, it's hard to think rationally when everyone seems to have given up on your father. It may also be that Logan is so mature that Rachel seems like a child in comparison. I really wanted to like Rachel, but I just couldn't connect with her.

  3. Great review, Chris! I'm starting this one tomorrow and very curious about it. The review are fairly mixed. Too bad there's not more world building for a dystopian I find it's very important to get me truly captivated in the story. I like that it's action packed though maybe i won't think about the world so much >.<

    1. Yeah, I had mixed feelings about this book. Still, action is always good, and there is Logan's POV! I'm looking forward to your review for Defiance!

  4. I adored this book! Rachel is an angry girl, but she had a lot on her plate and was an individual in a world of conformists. It was hard. Logan was such a great guy, I couldn't get enough of him. Definitely a unique tale, though I never want to live in Baalboden. Great review!

    1. I agree, Lili. I wouldn't want to live in Baalboden either, not unless I was a guy. Girls have too little freedom. I absolutely cannot wait to get more of Logan either. He's such an awesome guy!

  5. tnx for the honest review. i think i''ll skip this1

  6. I didn't like this one as much as I wanted to, and in fact, didn't even finish it. The voices of Rachel and Logan were too similar for me to distinguish. I thought some of the writing was a little lazy, too. Sadface. I really wanted to love this book. The author is such a sweetheart.


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