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September 11, 2012

Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Series: Defiance 1
Format: ARC (Edelweiss)
Excerpt here
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

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.
I don't want to jinx anything but I seem to be having a really good streak with kick ass heroines in fantasy stories these days and DEFIANCE by C.J. Redwine just got added on that list. The plot for the first book in this brand new Blazer + Blay series is pretty simple but is packed with fantastical creatures and lots of mystery and treasonous plotting.

In a nutshell, Rachel Adams' father, Jared, was pronounced and assumed dead by the vicious Commander of Baalboden. As Rachel is still not of age, her father left her to the care of his orphaned apprentice and tech tinkerer, Logan McEntire, and this doesn't sit well with Rachel for several reasons one of which is she used to fancy Logan and the boy declined her advances much to Rachel's embarrassment. But something more important than her love life is at hand, Rachel doesn't believe her father is dead so she's on a mission to find where he is and if he has indeed passed.  But Rachel's luck is a little spotty because the Commander finds out about her plan and interferes by twisting Rachel's arm into submission through threats. Everyone knows the Commander is good in fulfilling said threats but as more information is dished out about Jared's death, Rachel is convinced that her dad was onto something and she's determined to find out what it is.

I'm no longer a daughter.No longer a granddaughter.No longer a girl with dreams. With hope.I'm a weapon now.I embrace my rage. Let it sink into my secret spaces and make it's own as I sit down beside the ruins of the fire,

There are a lot of things that I really loved about DEFIANCE, the characters for starters were vibrant in their respective characterizations. Rachel in particular grew into her new role, we see her mourn her father, get angry at his death and the circumstances he left her with, get reckless with her grief and shows us her vulnerable side. Some readers might find Rachel's carelessness irritating but I find it human. She lost her father and is frantic for details about his death and justice for it, she knows her father didn't die quietly so in her desperation she was left to her own devices and hatched imperfect plots to find her answers. When the Commander sent her to the Wastelands that we see how strong Rachel is and how much love she has for her father and friends that makes it hard for the Commander to break her.

Logan McEntire on the other hand is every bit a Knight and I think a lot of readers are going to love this guy! He's wise for his age and keeps Rachel grounded as she deals with her loss. At first he tries to deny his attraction to her but later on, he has an epiphany and finally succumbed to his feelings. My favorite part was probably when he noticed Rachel had breasts. In YA reads, the guys are usually impervious to the female anatomy so it's both funny and realistic that a 19 year-old boy full of teen hormones would notice and respond to boobs. Thank you CJRedwine for keeping it real, at least Rachel's primping didn't go unnoticed.
"Does yours have a happy ending?"His finger pauses, pressing into the dirst as he slowly raises his head to look at me. "I don't know. I haven't reached the end."
This is not a perfect story in the sense that everything the heroes do are flawless and well thought out. Most of Rachel's actions are impulsive which reflects her age and inexperience and though Logan knows better, all he can do is perform damage control as events started to unravel. The world building is not as specific as other books in this genre but CJRedwine gave us enough to visualize Baalboden, the politics and all the other pertinent elements that make up the story. The ending, I think, will draw mixed emotions from the readers because it's one of those imperfect plans that Rachel and Logan hatched. It was good nonetheless with Cursed Ones running around destroying cities and the Commander going MIA, setting up the next series of exciting events for book 2.

DEFIANCE is a strong start to a series that hopefully will remain consistent with its action-adventure theme.







11 comments:

  1. Great now I want to read this. I passed it up when I seen it before because I just wasn't sure. But after your review, I wish I would have gave it a try.

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    1. I had the same feeling with over that J.C. Daniels (Shiloh Walker) book and Inbetween! So many books I wish I have two more heads to read it all LOL.

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  2. me too! Wouldn't it be nice if we had more heads to read everything? or just more time? Anyway, love ur review! I've wanted to read this from the beginning because of the cover and the blurb. I'm not sure I'll like Rachel because I'm not really into heroines making bad decisions that puts everyone in danger, but I still want to read it, if only for Logan lol

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  3. Great review. This is a book that I keep on thinking I want to read and then I change my mind and so on. Your review has me leaning onto the I MUST read this side. I am all about the kick ass heroines!! One more book to buy :) Thanks!

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  4. Added this one. I know I have a streaked for kickass heroines in Fantasy as well LOL! Awesome review, the cover really grabbed me from the get go and it sounds like a great read. Thank you so much hon, great review again :)

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    1. I love the cover and I heard the one in the actual book is even more amazing

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    2. Oooh, I look forward to seeing that. Thank you so much again for the awesome review hon :)

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  5. Kickass Heroine...nice!! I skimmed the review but I loved that you loved it!

    :D

    Michelle

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