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
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.
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