Defiance has been staring me down since I bought it in August. The swoon worthy cover and the exciting synopsis had me at hello and I could not wait to get started with this book.
Defiance is a complex story that takes place in Baalboden, a stone encompassed city ruled by a cruel and malicious Commander. The story centers on Rachel and Logan. Rachel is the daughter of the Commander's most skilled tracker. While other girls in the city gossip about their future husbands and dresses, Rachel practices sword fighting and hand-to-hand combat with her father in their backyard. Logan is the apprentice of Rachel's father, a skilled tech worker and an orphan. When Rachel's father doesn't return from a mission and is declared dead, Rachel and Logan know that her father isn't dead and they will stop at nothing to try and save him.
Now lets start off with our author's name: C.J. Redwine. I highly doubt that that is her real name but I love it. As a frequent drinker of red wine, especially while reading, I had quite a few chuckles while curling up with Redwine's book with a glass of red wine. I know it's lame, but I LOVE her name. Okay, back to the review...
I'm actually extremely surprised I liked this story because of the interchanging points of view. I normally steer clear of alternating POVs. They annoy me rather than give me a broader view of the book. Redwine's story made me enjoy reading from both Logan and Rachel's perspectives for two reasons: First off, the majority of the book, Rachel and Logan are separated. Having the two different points of view served its purpose in letting the reader know what was happening on the journey and also back in Baalboden. Secondly, the story never overlapped when hearing from different perspectives. What I mean by this is that even when the characters were together, you didn't feel like you were reading about the same situation from two different perspectives, which can be boring. You were hearing about a sequence of events from Rachel and then what happened next from Logan. I ended up really liking the alternating viewpoints.
While the characters were lovable and the plot was interesting, what really set this story apart was the mood of the story and the creativity that Redwine had in weaving her tale.
I really enjoyed reading about Baalboden and the inhabitants of this land. It's a place that's sort of in it's own time and place. While the city seems as though it's in the dark ages with people living inside of a stone walled city where there are merchant markets and archaic laws about women being alone in public, and advanced technology. Logan is a craftsman and puts together tracking devices and cloaking devices and everyone has an identification chip inside their arms to help point them out in the streets. You're left wondering if the story is a post-apocalyptic tale set eons in the future, or if it's in a sort of made up past where technology reigns. The setting was sort of a character in and of itself in Defiance.
I also wanted to talk about the mood of the story. Redwine spun a very cold tale. In most YA novels coming out now, the main character goes from a naive young girl and after a series of trials and tribulations comes out happier and wiser. In this story, Rachel is a strong willed girl when we meet her. As the story progresses, she sees everyone she loves killed, she's forced on a mission that may quite literally kill her and her only hope, the man she loves, has been captured. Rachel goes from a young but strong young girl to being forced into adult hood by the tragedy that surrounds her. We leave her in the story as an almost empty shell of hopelessness and despair with the only light in her life being Logan.
Now I think I made is seem like the story is all sadness and depression, but don't let that sway you away from this story. This unique, spellbinding and action packed story will leave you laughing, crying and cheering for your the characters to succeed. This was a fantastic read and it's definitely in my top five favorite reads this year.
10 out of 10
Happy Reading :)