Series: Defiance #1
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.
3 Drink Me Potions
I haven’t read a post-apocalyptic kinda book in a while, so I was excited to see more from C.J. Redwine, although I am a bit late to this series. Defiance was mostly what it claimed to be with the minor exception that the pacing was slow and the ending was a bit anti-climatic.
Rachel Adams is a fighter. There’s no doubt. Where other girls just hope for their Claiming day (basically where men in their small city-state can ask her father/male guardian for her to become their wife), Rachel would rather hunt and spar as her courier father had taught her. When her dad doesn’t come back, she was torn apart. In this story, family matters more than anything else. Where would you be without family in a world ravaged by some strange creature called the Cursed One? (which if you ask me, is a very, very odd name for a crazy fire-spewing monster)
Stuck as Rachel’s guardian or Protector upon her dad’s disappearance, Logan makes for a rugged love interest with a loyal heart. As an outcast and orphan, Logan loved Rachel’s family as his own. No matter the issues between them, once the story got rolling, these two were just an adorable pair to follow along. With alternating POVs, it was interesting to see how each of them mistook the other’s actions and feelings. I also loved that Logan planned things out, laying out the Best Case Scenario along with the numerable Worst Case Scenarios. They felt like the bit of humour necessary to dissipate the tension and dark feelings they were both feeling.
The main thing I had problems with was the very slow pace. Even the synopsis suggests that Rachel and Logan embark on a journey to the Wastelands to search for her father. That honestly doesn’t take place until the very middle of the book at least. Yes, it was nice to get to understand the land and what had occurred in this world that they now lived in. But it took forever for true danger and suspense to kick in.
I may have admired Rachel in the beginning, but as her character “developed” over the course of the story, she grew colder and more silent in order to keep from falling apart at the injustices that were dealt to her. I could understand that, but sometimes, I just wanted to shout at her to knock it off. She wasn’t being strong in that sense. She was being a coward for not facing reality, and taking it out on those around her.
The antagonist of the story was obvious from the beginning, but the final confrontation just didn’t hit me all that hard. It definitely provided more questions and potential material for the following books in the series, but in itself? It was hardly very exciting. I was a tad bit disappointed, to be honest. However, I am still looking forward to the rest of the series. Hopefully the bits that I didn’t enjoy as much would only get stronger and better from Redwine’s debut.
For a debut novel, Redwine’s Defiance was enjoyable, albeit lacking a little in excitement and pacing. Rachel and Logan were opposites when it came to their way of thinking. She was all brash and action, a strong fighter who didn’t spend all her days wondering about boys and content with a life of meek obedience to a husband. Logan was the brain and planner, an orphan hardened by the realities thrown at him from a young age. Together, they made a wonderful pair and even better couple. However, the momentum of the plot took ages to move into the teensiest bit of suspense, and the ending just rolled off of me like it was nothing. I hope the following books can minimize these issues, but otherwise, Defiance was a quick and enjoyable read.