January 2, 2014

Review: Defiance by CJ Redwine

Defiance by CJ Redwine cover
Defiance by CJ Redwine
Series: Defiance #1
Source: Gifted
ISBN: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 401

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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.

Going into Defiance I thought it was supposed to be a fantasy book, but it ended up being more of a science fiction book, even though it didn’t read like one. There were certain things I did really enjoy about this book, but others, such as world building that just failed me.

I did like the premise that years ago a beast was woken while drilling deep into the earth when humans were looking for a new source of energy. But the world building just wasn’t sufficient enough for me. I ended up with so many questions and not enough answers. There was very little information or world building given to you other than the original background information. I wanted to know why do women have no rights? What happened to cause this? It seemed to be a pretty extreme society where a woman can be whipped to death for going to the market by herself, and no one blinks an eye. Unfortunately, you don’t really get any of the answers to my questions in this book. The choosing ceremony didn’t make sense to me either. It just seemed to be convenient for the plot as it was never mentioned prior to the one scene.

I enjoyed the characters. Rachel was a strong heroine albeit could be whinny at times, and a bit foolish. Logan was sweet once he came around. He was very standoffish at the beginning of the book. The romance was the best part of the book. It was slow building, but still tugged at your heart strings.

“Apparently, honesty is a crime in this group. Look. You’re all, ‘Revenge is all I want! I’ll figure out my love life later!’ and he is afraid revenge will kill you before he has a change to really touch you—“

The characters I liked the best were the tree people, Willow and her brother Quinn. Willow had me cracking up laughing at her candor and her directness. And Quinn I wanted to know his story. I wanted to know why they were thrown out of their tribe.

My Rating: