DefianceAuthor: C.J. RedwinePublisher: Balzer + Bray, 2012Genre: YA FantasyWithin 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.
In a world where people live inside walled cities afraid of the monster called the Cursed One, women are expected to be meek, docile, and to follow their protector’s every command. Rachel isn’t like them. Her father has trained her to be a tracker and be able to defend herself against any threat. Or so she thought. When her father disappears, Rachel realizes there’s a bigger monster living and ruling the people of Baalboden. Things will escalate and difficult choices will have to be made as Rachel realizes the Commander has taken enough from her and it’s time for a little defiance.
C.J. Redwine’s Defiance has everything I could ask for in a book: interesting plot, great action scenes, heart melting romance, and kickass characters. Oh! And the slow-motion scenes? Brilliant!
When I first read of the whole protectorship of women and how they were supposed to obey the men, I almost blew a gasket. I shouldn’t have worried though. Redwine did a great job balancing the horrible injustices to women with Rachel’s achievements and wins against the system, so that I never felt too frustrated or angry enough to fling the book away. It took a while for Rachel to show just how badass she is, but her claims at being kickass are backed up as her troubles pile up. Also, Rachel’s anger scared the crap out of me.
Logan McEntire, Rachels father’s apprentice, is a brilliant scientist and inventor. And when I say inventor, I mean taking scrap and creating incredible shit out of it. Things like hand magnets to scale walls and DIY bombs. There are also other inventions that really gave a post-apocalyptic feel to the story. I loved Logan and Rachel. Their arguments were hilarious and the moments between them very sweet. There’s just something about Logan that made me want to tackle him and cuddle up to him. I think it’s his fumbling awkwardness around Rachel that made him so cute. Oh, and thank goodness for characters who know that lying to each other is wrong and complicates things!
There were several reasons why I didn’t give it a 5, mostly technical stuff and inconsistencies. For example, I found some sentences were too long. Like when you’re reading out loud and there are no comas or pauses and you run out of breath…yep. Like that. Also, when Rachel explains how the dragons came to be she says there were a lot of them that came out of the ground (very Reign of Fire, btw) and that they managed to kill some but not all. Then suddenly there’s only the Cursed One and everyone is afraid? Can’t they kill it? It’s only ONE.
Overall, Defiance met my expectations, surpassed them in some areas but not in others. Still, I can’t wait to see what comes next. I’d love to see more of the Tree People and more incredible gadgets, and I’m also hoping for more explanations of the Cursed One.
~Rachel (that last line makes MY skin tingle)~
He laughs, and the sound makes my skin tingle. I’m suddenly aware of how his shoulders fill his cloak. How his hair glows like honey in the morning sunlight. The tingle racing along my skin becomes an almost painful need I don’t know how to fill.
~Rachel in a dress~
Rachel dresses in the bathroom, and when she enters the living room, I take one look at her and feel a though all the oxygen has been suddenly sucked out of the air.
The dress fits her. The neckline dips down and curves over breasts I didn’t realize until just this minute were so…substantial. I force my eyes to scrape over her trim waist, but in seconds I’m starting once more at the way the glittering line of thread along her neckline barely contains her.
Every man who sees her will be paying attention.
I don’t want to admit my attraction to her is strong enough to rise above my grief and my sense of responsibility, but they’re breasts. And they’re nearly spilling out of the top of her dress. I look around for a scarf or some piece of cloth to cover her up, but all I have is a scrap of a kitchen towel, and I already know she’d never agree to it.
Which settles it. I’ll have to stand in front of her the entire time.
The deep blue of her dress brings out the blue of her eyes, and the diamonds sewn into the bodice sparkle in the light.
Which draws the eye straight to her breasts.
She’s wearing the dish towel. I don’t care what she says.