Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Defiance, C.J. Redwine

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-gray dusk of twilight like tiny daggers drawing blood. He isn't coming home.

I really, really loved some elements of Defiance, and was not fond of others. "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. 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 was immediately hooked into the story after less than twenty pages, and I thought I would end up giving it 5 stars. And maybe I still will. I'm still figuring things out as I write this review. But the story could be so erratic; at times, I really loved Rachel's character, but then all of a sudden, her entire personality would shift in the next chapter. At one moment, she would be a strong, empowered, young woman, the next, reduced to shaking and crying. And I was not particularly fond of Logan after some really bad things he said and did to Rachel. I was not fond of the romance in general, actually. There was way too much sappy prose that didn't advance the story. And clearly, both of them were in love with each other, so why did Logan reject her earlier again? Also, at the very beginning of the story, Rachel hates him fervently; a few chapters later, she's in love with him again. But I suppose it's true that if one starts to analyze any YA romance, it will come apart at the seams. I was glad that there was no love triangle. God, am I sick of those, even if some can be done well.

And yet...there were parts of this fantasy novel that I really loved. Like the main villain of the story. Plus, the plot was great, and when I disregarded some of the sappy scenes, Defiance was really suspenseful. There's no way around it. I also loved the villain of the story; he was creepy, and evil, and despite my dislike of Logan, I really wanted to see him and Rachel triumph. And really, I thought that Logan seemed like a jerk, but if Rachel loves him, who am I to criticize? 

I suppose Defiance can't really be a 5 star read, considering my criticisms, but I still really liked parts of it. Much like The Shoemaker's Wife, I disliked some elements and really loved others. If the plot sounds interesting to you, I would give it a try. I'm certainly glad that I did. Also, doesn't the author have a really cool name? Redwine, red wine...

Read Defiance:
  • if you like fantasy
403 pages. 
Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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