Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

(Defiance #1)

Author: C.J. Redwine

Publication Date: August 28, 2012

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Dystopian



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.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this novel.  After the first chapter I was completely hooked and could barely put it down.  It reminded me a lot of The Inheritance Cylcle, only with a bit more romance (not that I don't love Eragon and Aria, because I totally do) and some tech.

Trying to find a new fuel source, fifty years ago people released something they never knew existed.  These creatures destroyed mass population areas with the fire breath.  Only those who were living in the middle of nowhere were left unharmed.  Now, people live within the protection of cities guarded by their leaders and the remaining beast leaves them mostly unharmed, but under the strict tyranny of the people who are supposed to protect them.

This is quite the "coming-of-age" novel. The evolution of Rachel Adams, the main character, from the time mentioned when she was fifteen even up to the end of the book is fast but believeable.  At fifteen, she was a gulliable girl who believed in a fairytale ending, but could take down grown men in a fight.  She had her heart broken, but was determined to only get stronger from it.  Then, a series of events happen that make her question herself, her abilities, her decisions and even her moral system.  Some of these get compromised and some end up excelling.  By the end of the novel, Rachel is almost unrecognizable as the same girl she was at the beginning, but she is unsure if it is for the better or worse.

Logan McEntire is a genius with technology and was Rachel's father's apprentice.  He suffered at the hands of their tyrant Commander (who believes women are pretty much useless and need to be escorted everywhere, lest they be raped in the middle of the street or something).  Logan inwardly hates the Commander, but up until now only had a faraway plan to get out of the city that he never felt welcome in, other than from the Adams' family.

I loved this book.  It was dark and lots of tough decisions about life and death in extreme situations happen, which made the characters question themselves.  It was a trek of self-discovery for them, I found, and really just not letting go of what you love and not letting moments pass you by - you never know when or if you will have another one.  It is a coming to terms with death of loved ones, rebellion against worse than a dictatorship and above all, knowing yourself when the time comes.  I would definitely recommend this book.


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