Author: C.J. Redwine
Series: Defiance #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Dystopian
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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.
First Sentence: The weight of their pity is like a stone tied about my neck.
This isn’t the first time I’ve read Defiance and I hope this certainly won’t be the last time I read it either. When I first started Defiance, it was long before I started book blogging – back when I was still developing my bookish tastes, what I like or didn’t like, etc. When I got my hands on a copy of Deception, the sequel to Defiance, I wanted to re-read Defiance all over again because I didn’t remember much about Defiance when I read it over a year ago. I just remembered that I liked it a lot and that’s it. Another reason I re-read Defiance was to see if my taste in books changed much, if any. Let’s just say that ever since I started book blogging, I have entirely different expectations, but Defiance managed to once again meet my expectations.
The Commander’s voice booms across the Square. This is the man who shattered my life. The man who covered me in crimson. (180)
I absolutely adore Rachel. She is just so strong. Rachel refuses to cry about her father in front of others because it’ll make her appear weak, something I know for a fact that I absolutely can’t do. If I was her, I’ll be sobbing in front of everyone; who cares about the consequences? I wish I can also fight like Rachel does – I could easily protect myself and others if I had her fighting skills. She knows how to use swords, knives, the works. The best part about Rachel is that she won’t give up. She’s just so fierce – in fact, she’s one of the fiercest female characters I’ve ever read about. I, however, won’t want Rachel’s recklessness. As you guys should know, recklessness almost always gets you in danger.
Logan, meanwhile, I’m not that impressed with. At some moments, he was impossibly dumb (you’re locked up in a jail cell with the guard who is supposed to be following Rachel’s family. Why do you think that the guard’s family is with you there? It took me half a second to figure out the Commander’s plan while Logan got beat up badly trying to figure it out). Oh the other hand, I gudgingly do admire Logan’s skills for making very helpful inventions. Why wasn’t I born with that useful skill?
As readers can immediately tell from the summary of Defiance, Rachel and Logan are obviously going to get together. Here’s the thing: I kind of felt that their relationship is based on insta-love. According to Rachel, her and Logan haven’t spoken for around two years ever since he first rejected her. Two years later, when fate pushed them together, they hang out for about a month at most (it’s the feeling I got from the book) and got separated. While they were apart, Rachel and Logan realized that they had loved each other all along. Yes, I accept the fact that Rachel has probably never stopped loving Logan even after he rejected her (she told him that) and yes, I also accept the fact that Logan has been denying himself to be with her all along because he felt that he wasn’t good enough for her, but their relationship still feels like it’s a bit of insta-love to me.
I don’t want to die without Rachel, either. I’m a fool for not seeing it before.
It takes facing imminent death to realize I love her.
I love her. (336)
I have to say, C.J. Redwine is really good at writing plot twists. Every time she throws a plot twist my way, I never see it coming. Here’s the thing: I can easily predict most plot twists miles ahead of me before they actually happen. However, I couldn’t predict C.J. Redwine’s many plot twists, which had the ability to literally mess me up – I was worrying for both Rachel and Logan, hoping that they’ll survive whatever plot twist was thrown their way. My heart was pounding and I was starting to sweat as I gripped the book tightly, reading on and hoping that Rachel and Logan would somehow get through whatever obstacle was thrown their way.
C.J. Redwine’s writing is also so beautiful. Some of her descriptions were so beautiful that I just wanted to stop reading and write the entire page down, to memorize it and to cherish it. My note-taking notebook is filled with pages of passages I loved and awesome emotional quotes taken from Defiance.
Willow accused me of wanting nothing but revenge. She was wrong. I want redemption. I just don’t think I can get it without exacting revenge first. (363)
Despite the many positives Defiance has, it also has its flaws, especially with the world-building. There were so little details given about the world-building in Defiance. Yeah, I get how the world got to the way it is, but when did it happen? Did it happen during present day (the names Rachel and Logan indicate that the book may have taken place during modern-day), the future (all those inventions Logan makes with such few supplies indicate that they have some advanced technology that we don’t have), or during the medieval times (in Baalboden, women lack of power and need “Protectors.”)? I want a better timeline. Hopefully I’ll get that in the next book.
I have to congratulate C.J. Redwine on her special skill: She’s not at all afraid to kill off any of her characters. Like Elizabeth Norris, author of one of my absolute favorite series, Unraveling and Unbreakable, C.J. Redwine tries to scare me with all the deaths happening in her book. Starting to like a character? They die. It gets to the point where I can’t fall in love with any of the characters, except Rachel and Logan of course (because I highly doubt authors will kill off their main, main characters), because in the next instant, they could be dead. The worst/best part is that I can already tell that the sequel to Defiance, Deception, would have a lot of deaths in it too.
The crimson has seeped beneath my skin, entered my veins and become a part of what’s left of me. No amount of scrubbing can erase that. (353)
Overall, Defiance has gotten me all pumped up to read the next book, Deception. In fact, I’ve got my copy of Deception with me here, right now. (Yes, I’m currently stroking its gorgeous cover.)
Do I recommend Defiance? YES. If my review couldn’t convince you to give the book a try, just look at the gorgeous cover. It’ll totally convince you to give Defiance a chance.