The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

*Review* Defiance by CJ Redwine March 24, 2014

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date:
28 August 2012
Publisher:
HarperCollins, Balzer+Bray
Genre:
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Dystopian
Format:
paperback, personal copy, signed
Status:
Book one of the Defiance trilogy

 

Summary:

 

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.

 

My thoughts:

 

I’ve been mulling around how to write this review for a while. Even now as I’m writing, I’m not sure where to go with it. From the cover, it looks like it would be historical fiction/fantasy. You start reading and you would think steampunk learning technology. It’s such a thrilling mix and the mix actually turns out to be dystopian and fantasy. That’s right. You read it correctly. How awesome is that mix?!

 

I was so excited to read Defiance. I’m a bit upset with myself for how I did read it. I charged through it before I met CJ back in January. I think by rushing through it, it lost a bit on me and it reflected in my rating. This is fully capable of five stars and it may change with a future re-read.

 

CJ did a fantastic job in her world building. The danger and intrigue kept me pulled in the whole time. In a futuristic, war destroyed, tyrannical ruled United States, things are not even remotely recognisable. Female freedoms have been stripped. Their situation very much brings to mind the Taliban treatment of women and just like our leading lady, Rachel, it left me bristling at the injustice the entire time. As much as I love history and culture, I would NOT do well in a culture that demands females to essentially be seen and not heard. Nope. Nope. Nope.

 

Again, there has been an exception to my multi point of view hating rule. Meeting Rachel step for step is the incredible Logan. They do so well together and CJ does such a great job with their development. The story flows easily back and forth between them. Their stories are woven together and have their own separate threads. They are very similar but also very distinct in their personalities. Along their journey is a splash of romance. Not enough to make it a complete romance, but enough to make things interesting. It will be nice to see where their relationship goes in Deception and Deliverance.

 

I think with this mix of genres, Defiance is a good pick for fans of fantasy, post-apocalyptic, or dystopian novels. It may even intrigue romance lovers, but since it’s not overwrought with romance, it may not satisfy them. It is not a quick read, but it is a good read. It’s a story that commands to be told, but not a story that demands to be devoured in one setting.

 

I’m looking forward to continuing with this series and I do recommend you check it out. Deception is out now and Deliverance comes out in August and is the conclusion to this trilogy.

 

About the author

 

C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband and children. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. To learn more about C.J., visit her website at www.cjredwine.com

 

 

 

 

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*ARC Review* Infinite by Jodi Meadows March 20, 2014

***I was granted permission to read this by the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotations may change between ARC and publication. Many thanks to Jodi and HarperCollins!***

Rating:5 stars
Pub date: 28 January 2014
Publisher:Katherine Tegen Books a HarperCollins Imprint
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format:ARC via author & publisher
Status:Book three of the Incarnate/Newsoul series

Summary:

DESTRUCTION
The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

FLIGHT
Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

CHOICE
The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

My thoughts:

Honesty moment. I read this ARC in November. I was so overwhelmed by its perfection and beauty that I was incapable of writing my review then. Since I was passing it along to Mary (Mary Had a Little Book Blog) and Alex (Peace, Love, and Fangirl), I just wrote down a synopsis in the format I wanted for my review. I even went ahead and scheduled it for January, closer to the release day. I knew I would have it done by then. Life happened and along comes January and my most embarrassing blogger moment. My notes went up. I’d never completed my review. OOPS! Thankfully, before too many people saw it, Jodi let me know when she checked out my “review” Oh, I was MORTIFIED. Thank you, Jodi, for not going postal on me! (:

I was so surprised when Jodi handed me the coveted Infinite ARC at the end of October when we met up for lunch. I was already losing it that I was getting to have lunch and hang out with one of my favourite authors. I really don’t know how I held myself together! Jodi is a super awesome person and if you ever have the chance to go to an event, DO NOT hesitate!

It’s such a bittersweet moment when you’re faced with reading the conclusion to a beloved series. I left Infinite in my TBR pile for a few weeks because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Then the time came. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, but I was ready to read. And after reading, I was ready to fangirl EVERYWHERE. Now it’s time to fangirl and give my final review of the Incarnate/New Soul series.

Infinite was hands down my favourite of the trilogy. It was simply superb. Jodi time and again ripped out my heart and stitched it back together. Bringing back Cris? *dies* Sam and Ana drama? *dies* Sam and Ana makeouts? *dies* The feels. Oh, the feels. I can’t even begin to talk about the feels!

Right from the beginning, Ana & Sam are in danger. That’s to be expected with the way things ended in Asunder. Ana’s been exiled and Sam is going with her. An earthquake strikes as soon as the Year of Souls begins. Sam is hurt (of course, he can’t escape chapter one before Jodi starts being mean!) and Ana helps bandage up his hand.

“It’s probably smart to get away from Range. I’m glad you’re coming with me.”

“I’ll always go anywhere with you.”

Ana and Sam, pg 11

Um. OMG. ❤

The danger increases from the beginning. Jodi does such a fantastic job with everything. The thing she does the best, as she has in the previous books, is develop Ana and Sam’s relationship. From their chance encounter in the woods in Incarnate until the epilogue at the end of Infinite, Jodi continues to add layer after layer of depth to their relationship. Not only are they eventually a couple, but they are great friends. A good relationship needs love and friendship and Jodi gets Ana and Sam spot on! Not only are they talented musical duo, they also prove that they can be accomplished burglars in Infinite.

“So I take it you’ve broken into a lot of private archive rooms?”

Snow quieted his reply, keeping it from carrying. “I admit to nothing except that Stef is a bad influence.”

I snorted. “You can’t fool me. I know better than to assume it’s all Stef corrupting you.”

“But you know her well enough to realise that most of the trouble I’ve gotten into is her fault, right?” He flashed me a look of boyish innocence.

– Ana & Sam, pg 62

Oh, Stef. Always a bad influence!

Another relationship Jodi does well is Stef and Sam. They are the best of friends and it’s an easy friendship, but also a friendship that continues to build. I loved getting to see how their friendship began in Phoenix Overture and it adds so much more insight into the relationship in the rest of the trilogy. Stef also is a great friend and ally to Ana and that relationship continues to build too. I love Stef. Jodi also throws in a bit of humour at Stef’s expense by showing that her technology is not infallible.

“Can’t you take back control?” Whit asked.

If I had more time, and a data console. My SED just isn’t powerful enough.”

“Stef’s Everything Device isn’t everything after all?” Whit teased.

Stef glared, and no one laughed.

– Whit and Stef, pg 98

Don’t mess with Stef’s ego!

While the group is searching for a way to destroy Janan, they run into trouble and in the nick of time the sylph come to the rescue led by Cris. YAY CRIS! Oh, I love Cris. I still wish he would ‘fess up his story to Jodi. I need more Cris! I really loved getting to learn the back story of the sylph. My heart really went out to them. I wanted to cuddle with them (but not get burned, thanks) and tell them it would be okay. Fine, you caught me, I really only want to cuddle with Cris, but you catch my drift. Sylph = screwed unless Ana helps to redeem them. (No extra pressure on Ana, right?)

I was really excited to finally discover why the dragons hate Sam and are always bent on killing him in every other life. Jodi did a great job with the dragons. (: It would’ve been nice to see more banter between them and Ana! Oh, Acid Breath! I also really enjoyed the role the dragons played in the great battle.

Speaking of battle… there’s an epic battle at the end. Of course, right? We KNEW this is where we were heading. How could it not? Battle = death. Death = what Jodi does best by torturing her characters and readers. Amirite? Things hit the fan. Big time. Loved characters die (I cried, a lot), options are offered, and choices are made. Jodi is definitely evil and a true artist at her craft. You’ll have to read it to see just how evil she is and how it all comes together in the end. Does everyone get a Happily Ever After? Does Acid Breath eat Sam? Do Ana and Sam finally, you know? (;

For me, Infinite was the perfect ending to this glorious trilogy. I am so sad that it’s over, but I am happy to have been a part of this ride. I highly HIGHLY recommend this incredible series. Jodi is forever and always on my read ANYTHING she writes list. PS Be sure to check out her brand spanking new series Orphan Queen when it comes out in 2015. You better believe I will pimp it out just like I do Incarnate!

 

About the author

Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy and the forthcoming ORPHAN QUEEN Duology (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen). Visit her at www.jodimeadows.com

*A Kippy is a cat

I said I pimp out Incarnate, right? Well, that’s fortunate for you, dear reader, because I happen to have a SIGNED copy of Incarnate just waiting to be won and devoured. This giveaway is open to US only (Sorry international readers! I promise I will one day have giveaways for you too!) Entrants must be 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open March 20th 2014 (12am) through April 10th 2014 (12am). I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies. All entries WILL be verified. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

GIVEAWAY LINK!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 
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