Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Defiance - C.J. Redwine

Defiance book cover
Defiance by C.J. Redwine
Series: Defiance #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

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. (modified, from Goodreads)


When I picked up Defiance, I was anticipating falling completely in love. A number of bloggers had loved it, and based on their reviews, I thought I would love it too. I know that this introduction makes it sound like I didn't love it - which isn't true because I really liked it. But it did take me a while to get invested in this story, so if you do pick it up, you don't get discouraged and stop reading it right away.  

Defiance brings us an interesting new world, characters that I absolutely adored or hated and a plot that's simple and complex all at once - which is pretty much a formula for a book that I would like.

Rachel Adams is so difficult girl to like because she's stubborn and impulsive, and those things often made me want to toss something at her head. Knowing the reasons for her actions, however, changes everything: she believes that her father is alive somewhere in the Wasteland and will do what it takes to find him and prove it. It took a while for her to grow on me, but once I started feeling for her, I almost wanted to take it back because she goes through so much emotional and physical trauma. My heart broke for her again and again, especially as the stakes got higher and the enemies she faced increased in amount and intensity. Readers get to experience the full spectrum of her complicated emotions - grief, anger, denial, pain, fear - and it pretty much dragged me through the mud.

Logan McEntire is the other narrator of this book and, unlike Rachel, it was pretty easy to get into Logan's head. He's a very analytical young man, always coming up with contingencies and back-up plans for back-up plans. He's also skilled when it comes to creating things, like new technology or gadgets. This makes him sound like a bit of a nerd, right? WRONG. Well, right, but also wrong. He's also a really good Tracker, with fighting skills that were taught to him by Jared, Rachel's father. This combination of smart and strong obviously appealed to me, and I really liked him! His dedication to his duty, as well as his regard for Rachel, Jared and Oliver (the third member of their unconventional family), were also bright spots when it came to his personality.

Obviously, it is no surprise that they butt heads a lot. They each think that their way is best, and often try to protect the other by (a) not telling the other person or (b) telling the other person what they should be doing as part of the plan. It was surprisingly fun to see them at odds, but it was heartwarming to see them working together. They start out the story barely speaking to each other (and you find out why at the very beginning), but they eventually start to develop feelings for each other. The romantic tension was so apparent to me, and I spent at least 3/4 of the book wanting to yell, "JUST KISS ALREADY!". When they finally do something, I breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed all the swooning.

Anyway. Apart from these two and the romance, we're brought into the world of Baalboden, which is one of cities surrounded by a wall that protects them from the Cursed One. It's ruled by a very disciplined and straight-laced guy known as the Commander and he is scary. He's got rules, and if anyone disobeys them, it's basically their death sentence. He also knows how to manipulate people to get them to do what he wants, and you just know that his motives are mean and selfish and that he possesses no morals at all.

The world that we get to explore in Defiance is actually pretty interesting. A large chunk of the novel is set within the walls of Baalboden, so we experience a few of the daily routines of the town. But an even larger chunk is set outside the walls in the Wasteland, which is desolate, scary and basically somewhere you don't want to get caught in. Despite the fact that there are really only two main settings, I think C.J. did a great job with bringing them to life for the reader.

What really, most likely, made it hard for me to get into this book (apart from Rachel being incredibly stubborn) was because I felt like the plot was moving so slowly at first. Though I understood eventually that it was basically to set up the situation and let us get to know the characters, I was really just wondering the whole time when the action would start.

When it finally does, it is the cruelest, vilest and scariest thing ever (and I won't say what it is because that would definitely count as a spoiler) - and then we're basically just tossed into the adventure. So many things happen all at once that it's a sudden shock to the system, but I loved that. It was interesting to see the story progress so rapidly after that, and I was hooked on finding out what happens next.

Defiance ended on a high note for me, because the situation was pretty much wrapped up but there was the definite possibility of another story happening because of a few loose threads. Even with the slow start and the (initially) slightly annoying main character, I ended up really enjoying this book. The romantic tension, the interesting turns and twists of events and the intrigue that rocks Rachel and Logan's worlds - all of these just added up into the perfect package for a reader like me. I'd urge people to try this book, and simply say that being patient and persistent through the first few chapters pays off in the end.

27 comments:

  1. Books like this are the reason I can't ever DNF anything --- I purposefully try to give them the benefit of the doubt until the bitter end, because so often, my initial feelings are proven wrong. I've read a bunch of books lately that start out slowly but eventually they culminate into one really exhilerating story which totally makes it worth the wait! And I kind of like having an initial dislike of a main character because then it makes their arc and personal growth that much more impactful in the end. So pleased you enjoyed it!

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    1. YES. I have problems DNF a book, because I am one of those optimistic people who always believes that things will turn out to be AMAZING in the end. I love when you get to experience a character's transformation through the course of a book - it always bodes well for how you end up relating to the character.

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  2. This book sounds fascinating!! I love books with two narrators for some reason. Maybe it has to do with the fact that you get to fully experience and understand more than one characters emotions? I don't really know. But what I do know is that I am adding this book to my TBR list right now! And thanks for the heads up that it's a little slow in the beginning, it's always nice to know that ahead of time! :)

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    1. I think that's true! Having two POVs allows the reader to have an idea of what's going on from two different perspectives, which is always a good thing, in my opinion. Logan and Rachel were such interesting people to read about too!

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  3. Eeeee I am such a fan of this one and cannot wait for the sequel!

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    1. Me too! I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with them both after the way Defiance ended.

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  4. I liked this book and it was very dark in places, wasn't it? I am looking forward to book 2!

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    1. It was TOTALLY dark at some points, but I loved the way it ended. I can't wait to discover what happens next!

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  5. This one is definitelny on my list. I think it will help to know that it starts slowly. I'm already FREAKED out about the BAD BAD thing coming, though. Yikes. And I am excited to see the tension between Rachel and Logan. Though I've been reading a lot of books recently where the heroine is the one who is difficult to like. I don't know why that happens so much, but it does tend to frustrate me! Glad for the heads up. Great review.

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    1. Haha, that's okay, I know you didn't do it on purpose! It's a really good book, even though it started quite slow for me. I ended up really enjoying it though, so there's that.

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  6. I just got this book. I've been meaning to read it for a long time, since I've heard so many good things about it. But I feel like I'm going to have the same experience with Rachel. Impulsive and stubborn characters can get on my nerves pretty quickly. But I think I'll like Logan enough that it'll override the annoyance -- and hopefully Rachel will grow on me. Great review, thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think, given some time Rachel will grow on you. She's a hard character to like, but that's just who she is. Eventually, when you understand why, she's actually easier to accept and to root for. I hope you enjoy it when you read it!

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  7. You forgot to mention the part about the boobs! LOL, inside joke! :D

    I get what you're saying, yes it was a bit slow and dense, but I def loved it overall and glad to see you at least enjoyed it. Yes, the Commander is awful and a great villan! I can't wait to read the next book! Great review!

    Vivian
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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    1. LOL, oh Vi :P

      But yes, I agree. It took me a while to really get into it, but I eventually did, and now I just need to know what happens next!

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  8. I want to read this one too. I remember when it first came out, I was lucky enough to have it out from the library but I wasn't able to get to it before it was due back and there was of course a line of people waiting for it. I appreciate knowing that it had a little bit of a slow start for you because I will most likely remember than when I do get back around to it. Thanks Alexa!

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    1. I think, as a reader, I like knowing that I might have to go through a bit of a slow start to get to the good stuff, so I figured I'd include it in my review. I hope you get a chance to borrow it again and hopefully read it - it's REALLY good.

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  9. It's so good to know that the plot starts off slow. I get so impatient lately and need things to be HAPPENING, you know?

    But it sounds like these characters (and eventually the plot) are worth the investment.

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    1. Basically, YES. I really liked how everything turned out, and I enjoyed seeing how Redwine wove the stories together and made the characters come to life.

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  10. I told you the book gets better! I think most fantasy books start off slowly. The author always wants to build this ridiculous tension and then, when you finally get there...

    Poof. It's over. Still, I loved DEFIANCE. It's really hard not to fall in love with Logan. I'm so relieved and glad you ended up enjoying it. BRING IT ON, DECEPTION!

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    1. The next one is called DECEPTION? How awesome is THAT? You've got me extremely excited about that.

      And yes, even though it started slow, I LOVED IT. And I'm so glad that you encouraged me to keep going with it!

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  11. I get really annoyed when I cannot connect with the main character, especially if they are annoyingly stubborn. But I am glad you eventually grew to like her. To be honest, I've seen tons of talk about this book, but it wasn't until now that I actually read the summary (and I may even have a copy somewhere too!) I definitely want to check this out, because I love romances like the ones you describe goes on between Rachel and Logan. Thanks for the great and honest review :)

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    1. I hope you get the opportunity to read this book. It's really good, even with the slow start, and it concludes magnificently. I'm really excited for the next one!

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  12. Yay!! :D I've been wanting to read this book since I first heard of it, the description and the badass looking girl on the cover made me want to have it in my hands right that instant. AND SOMEHOW I HAVE NOT YET READ IT O_O I should be ashamed really, I've only heard of fabulous things about it from fellow bloggers, but I guess I have a subconscious reluctance due to the fact that I get really annoyed at slow beginnings because if I cant get into it I'll get bored and if I get bored I'll probably put it down on my shelf, never to be seen again *dramatic music* Anyways great review!! :D

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    1. I hope you have the opportunity to read this! I promise, even with the slow start, it eventually becomes really good. It's totally worth the investment of your time, I promise!

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  13. Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes! I love fantasy, and while this book isn't quite as much fantasy as it is dystopia, they small aspects of fantasy make me really happy. Even if you're sick of dystopias, you may enjoy this book, because it doesn't feel like a dystopia novel!

    Cleo Rogers (Plumber Puyallup)

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  14. saat ini masyarakat kita semakin banyak orang yang memilih untuk sendiri atau kebanyakan kasus terpaksa untuk menyendiri karena Keadaan ini mendorong mereka untuk mencari cara-cara alternatif menangani dorongan seksual pada dirinya, Untuk itu kami hadir menawarkan alat bantu sex wanita yang bisa menjadi alternatif pilihan dalam memuaskan dorongan seksual tersebut.

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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