Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (August 28, 2012)
Series: Defiance #1
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher
Cover: I think this cover is absolutely stunning because there is so much to look at. My eye is drawn to her red hair first but as I keep looking I see the gadget on her arm, the way her cape flairs out around her feet and the beautiful landscape that is ghosted above the title. I love the pose of the model and how fierce she looks. There is no way I would snatch this one off the shelf.
First Sentence: The weight of their pity is a stone tied around my neck.
Mini Review: An enchanting and vibrant story inhabited by intelligent characters you can't help but fall in love with page after page.
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.Review:
Defiance is a fast paced, dual point of view read that will keep the reader on the edge until the last page. The two main characters have a chemistry that is electric and with a cast of supporting characters to fall in love with or love to hate, it makes for one heck of a captivating YA fantasy.
My favorite thing about this novel is most definitely the two main characters. I immediately identified with Rachel's sorrow over her missing father and found her spirit refreshing, especially since she lives in a world where she isn't suppose to have any. It's nice to find a female character who didn't feel like a tomboy but who I also felt could take care of herself in tough situations. She felt capable without having to always be so tough that she comes across as unlikable. I really appreciated that about her and though her refusal to listen to Logan or confide him at times made me anger, the author did an excellent job of giving them a past that would make it hard for Rachel to trust him.
Logan felt even more interesting to me than Rachel. While I loved Rachel for being sort of a normal girl with a spirit, I thought that the way Logan thought was so different. My thought process is much more like Rachel so seeing how Logan saw the world--all moving parts and how things work and fit together--made a very interesting read for me. He always surprised me with the things he did. When he would lose his cool, I would be as surprised as Rachel even though I was just in his head and knew he would because he is often so good at keeping himself calm. His tinkering and his way of thinking to solve problems truly impressed me and always kept the read fresh and interesting.
Another thing I love about this book is hat I kept guessing where it was going to go and being completely wrong. When I started reading it, I thought "okay, Rachel, Oliver and Logan are going to take a long journey and find Rachel's dad". Then something happened to prevent this. I kept correcting the scenario in my mind but I kept getting it wrong. That made the plot feel exciting. There was always one more twist right around the corner that I couldn't predict.
I also loved all the side characters. There aren't many characters I take an instant liking to without rolling my eyes because the author tries so hard to make me like them. But I loved Oliver the way Rachel did from the second he appeared on the page. I believed in their bond and trusted him. The author is particularly adept at making the reader remember that these characters had pasts and lives before we were dropped down in the story and I felt their history in this novel. I also loved to hate the Commander and I have a feeling there is a lot more than meets the eye to that man. I'll be interested to see him again for sure.
While the setting didn't exactly feel fantastical, I liked how it felt different than a lot of the other stuff I've read. For me, it was more the creatures and people roaming this land than the settings themselves. It was the rules Rachel's society set out, the tricks of the trade her father left her with and The Cursed One that breathed life into the trees and rocks and quaint medieval town that Rachel and Logan are from. For me, this really worked and it made Logan's little cabin and her father's stop house interesting. The writing was also quite beautiful. I kept finding spots to mark, little phrases that were so insightful and clear action scenes that I wanted to mark up my copy.
My favorite thing about this book though was Rachel and Logan's relationship. At the heart, that is what this book was about. I loved that they had a really complicated past that came into play from the beginning. It explained to me why they couldn't trust each other. I love that they found each other slowly like grasping out blindly in the dark. They each had to change in order to finally fit together and when they did it was absolutely electric.
Falling in love with Defiance isn't like Rachel and Logan's relationship. It's like the pacing--fast and effortless. Through an unique society, riveting characters and a place that felt full of history before you ever opened the book, Defiance is a stand out in the YA fantasy genre. It definitely ranks as one of my favorite reads this year. Give it a try and watch as it, like Rachel, defies all your expectations.
The memory burn within me, a bed of live coals I swear I'll stop walking across.--Pg. 20 of Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Lower Market is laid out like a man's back. The main road forms the spine and leads toward the North Tower, while smaller roads and alleys branch off like ribs...--Pg. 31 of Defiance by C.J. Redwine
...I learned that true family is found in those who choose you.--Pg. 70 of Defiance by C.J. Redwine
His words felt like a gift I want to keep reopening when no one else is looking.--Pg. 127 of Defiance by C.J. Redwine
"And one day, I'll make him pay for it in full."--Pg. 184 of Defiance by C.J. Redwine
I don't actually have proof that Peter Carmine is stupid, but he looks like he could be, and that's enough in my book.--Pg. 175 of Defiance by C.J. Redwine
I silently promise myself I'll...deliver justice before the Commander realizes the girl whose loyalty he purchased in blood will be his final undoing.--Pg. 190 of Defiance by C.J. Redwine
I wear armor on the inside, a metal forged of fury and silence, cutting me off from myself.--Pg. 295 of Defiance by C.J. Redwine