Wednesday 12 September 2012

Defiance by CJ Redwine

Pages - 403
Published by Atom in September 2013
Book kindly sent by publisher for an honest review.

The weight of their pity is like a stone tied about my neck. I feel it in the little side glances, the puckered skin between frowning brows, the hushed whispers that carry across the purple-grey dusk of twilight like tiny daggers drawing blood.
Goodreads Summary
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 realises 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.
This book is a bit of a time sucker! Normally 400 pages would take me at least 3 days to read; this one I finished in a day and half. My whole life seemed to come to a stand still as I lost myself in the story and I think my family were genuinely peeved by my evasive stance as I ignored all pleas for food and clothing, so desperate to find out how it would end.

The story has a dual narrative and is written in the present tense, which perfectly fitted with  the journey of the protagonists  and the immediacy of the action. The chapters were short and sharp each with a cliff hanging ending, that spurred me on to the next one.  The writing was so descriptive, I could visualise the characters and surroundings within my mind. The emotional descriptions of the characters were the best I have seen in a while and I found them an excellent source to study as this is an area I sometimes find lacking in my own writing. 

I really liked Rachel, but I loved Logan. He was utterly adorable, extremely geeky but hot at the same time. The way he would  repeat the elements in the Periodic Table in order to cope with the pain from his injuries was priceless.  The Commander reminded me a lot of the Mayor from the Patrick Ness Chaos Walking series - very cold and calculated, totally above the law because he is the law and everyone must abide by his rules or die. 

I hated the way the women were treated as second class citizens, always having to go every where with their Protector and not being allowed to be educated after a certain age. Their treatment really grated on me and I loved that Rachel went against the system and showed that she could actually be stronger and wiser than many of the men. 

The relationship between Rachel and Logan took a little while to ignite as Logan was very slow to realise he had feelings for Rachel. I loved the scene with the blue dress, where he finally sees what every other man in town has already discovered. His reaction was quite humorous and typical of a man who cannot see what is blatantly in front of him.  I did find the love scenes a little clunky to read, but I know these are not the easiest things to write, so I take my hands off to anyone that attempts them. 

As the plot progressed, I thought I could see predictability raising its ugly head, however each time the author would turn the story on its head and take us in a completely different route. Everything I  was convinced would happen, didn't!

This book really surprised me. I loved it more than I thought I would. It felt like a mixture of The Village, Dune and the Chaos Walking series, so I could never really tell how it would end.  From the final chapter I got the impression that there is more to be told, so I really look forward to the next instalment of this thrilling fantasy. 


  1. Love your review. I finished this last week and absolutely loved it - I know what you mean about Logan, he's up there on the geeky yet yummy fictional boys list :)


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