Sunday, 30 September 2012

Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses 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 one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a 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.

Defiance was a great read, and I devoured the book in one go. This is just the kind of book I like, with strong, easy-to-connect-with characters and a whole lot of action. The plot was intense, the characters well-developed, and I really liked the dual POV. I don't usually, but in this case it complemented the plot nicely. It also allowed me to get into the heads of both Rachel and Logan.

Rachel Adams is easily one of the best female protagonists out there. She's headstrong, brave, compassionate, loyal, and never gives up. Even though I've read a lot of books with characters like her, I never get tired of it. There's always something that sets them apart. In Rachel's case, it's her fierce loyalty. She will do anything to protect those she cares about, no matter what it takes. Her defiance seems to diminish over the course of the book, but I guess that's understandable considering what she goes through.

I loved everything about Logan. He's incredibly smart, but also an amazing fighter. Rachel calls him 'tech head' and gets a huge shock when she finds out he can fight! Logan is an orphan, and he's had a pretty rough past. He watched the Commander kill his mother before his very eyes. That would break a lot of kids, but he remained steady, and decided to lose himself in science and technology.

"I force myself to recite the Periodic Table to give myself something productive to focus on"

I found this line hilarious! While in a bad situation and in a lot of pain, Logan turns to science to help him get through it. His protectiveness over Rachel is admirable, though sometimes a bit too much. They complemented each other perfectly, with Logan's cautious and calculating nature balancing out Rachel's impulsive and headstrong character. There were delightfully awkward moments between them that made me laugh out loud while reading it. I won't give anything away, so I'd recommend reading the book to find out!

I loved Oliver's character too; he is a fun, doting grandfather to both Rachel and Logan. He is genuine and humble, and loves Rachel more than anything else in the world. The other secondary characters weren't as easy to connect with. The Commander was a cruel, dominating presence, but I felt like he was like a shadow compared to the other characters. There was no depth to him, but maybe C.J. Redwine wanted it that way.

Redwine's writing was beautiful, her descriptions so visual that I completely lost myself in Defiance until I finished it. There were no boring moments in the book; every chapter had some action or suspense. The only thing I didn't like in this book was the sexist society it was set in. Girls are assigned a 'Protector', and they can't go anywhere without them. In fact, they are punished severely when caught wandering about alone. It seems like the book is set in the 1800s, where women were just expected to cook and sew. Thank goodness Rachel is an exception to this! She doesn't bow down to anyone, and no one tells her what to do. She's one of the reasons Defiance is so captivating, so kudos to C.J. Redwine for creating such a kick-ass heroine!

All in all, I loved Defiance, it's an amazing debut novel. The plot is heartbreaking at times, but light and funny at others. It's also jam-packed with explosive fight scenes and suspense. Needless to say, I can't wait for the sequel! I really hope it will live up to the standards set by Defiance.

Rating: 4/5

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