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.
I feel it is only fair to warn you all that this review is going to be extremely gushy. Before reading this I had a lot of expectations which normally leads to me being disappointed, well not this time because this book blew me away. I utterly adored it. Defiance is one of those books that just seem to get everything right. I loved the plot, the characters and the writing. Redwine took a risk mixing dystopian with fantasy but it worked extremely well, and she managed to take the best of both genres and mould it into something new.
Another thing I loved about this book, and what made it stand out from the rest of the pack was its ability to constantly surprise me. I don’t mean that it was a mystery novel that did its best to keep its truths hidden, what I mean is that the characters would do the unexpected when challenged instead of traveling down the well-used, and overly dramatic YA route that we are all used to seeing. It made such a pleasant change and managed to keep me on my toes.
I really have to applaud Redwine for managing to write in a beautifully descriptive way whilst keeping the excitement of the action scenes. It was extremely well done. I love to see beautiful writing in YA and there are beautiful moments in this book. Redwine also proves that she is not scared to take her writing to some dark places. There are moments of brutality, violence and death. Also The Commander is probably one of the most shockingly brutal and menacing villains I have seen in YA fiction.
The Commander is not the only character that stands out. Rachel is a great female lead. She is tough, head strong and smart without being arrogant. Other characters like Oliver and Melkin are also worth mentioning but it is Logan who really stands out. I really liked this guy. He is strong, caring, gorgeous and smart. He is all the things you expect a male YA character to be, yet despite his strength as a warrior and stealth he is actually really socially awkward and embarrasses easily, he often had me laughing out loud. He is also a nerd and, well, I love nerds. His slowly deepening feelings for Rachel were adorable. The peril they are and his natural awkwardness made for some pretty funny and at times intense scenes. The chemistry between them was electric and I swallowed up every bit of it.
Are there negative things about this book? Of course. There are maybe a few to many characters and a couple of moments that weren’t needed but these are little things and they didn’t bother me at all.
Defiance is a beautifully written and thought out book. It is action packed, humorous and at times touching. This book dares to be a little bit different and asks some big questions about the consequences of your actions, revenge and morally what is right and wrong and how you distinguish between the two.
Believe the hype, this book is brilliant and is one of my books of 2012.
Published August 28th 2012 by Balzer + Bray. A free copy was provided for review. Image courtesy of Goodreads
Review by Kate Phillips
Review by Kate Phillips