Monday, June 22, 2015

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

An Unforgettable Read

From Goodreads:
Defiance by C. J. Redwine is rich postapocalyptic YA fantasy perfect for fans of Graceling and Tamora Pierce.

While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

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.

Rating: 5 Stars
Defiance is C.J Redwine’s debut novel, the first book of a trilogy, and a must read for YA fans. The novel is an extraordinary blend of dystopian, fantasy, adventure, and steampunk. There are so many different aspects I loved in this novel that I struggle with finding a good place to start. Redwine is a remarkable storyteller with striking world building skills and an impressive ability to develop unforgettable characters.

One of my favorite things about this book is the abrupt way it started. From the very first page I had the feeling that this would be an extremely fast paced novel, and I wasn’t wrong. Even though the book is 400+ pages, the fast pace of the story made it end sooner than I wanted. I read this book in two sittings, and I was unable to stop thinking about it while not reading it.

The world created was absolutely fascinating; it had a historic feel, yet it was completely original and unique. Redwine provided many detailed explanations of the world she envisioned, which painted a crystal clear picture of Baalboden and the Wasteland. Also, a great deal of time was spent on building a very detailed political system. Baalboden is ruled by Commander Jason Chase, a terrible and controlling man that keeps his people oppressed, under the false pretense of keeping them safe from the dangers outside the city walls.

In order to avoid spoilers, I will refrain from mentioning all the secondary characters that were introduced as the novel progressed, but I will, however, say that each and every character was very well developed. I will instead focus on the main two characters; Rachel and Logan, who were easy to love from the very beginning. The book is written in alternating view points between Rachel and Logan, both narrating in first person, making it easy for the reader to get to know them in an intimate way.

Rachel is a very strong female character; she is fierce, fiery, impulsive, smart, and she loves the people in her life more than anything. She is willing to go to extreme lengths for others and sacrifice herself in order to protect the people she loves. Logan is fiercely intelligent, methodical, meticulous, and calculated. He would do anything to keep his loved ones safe, even if the price is his own life. Words cannot express how much I adored Logan. There is a huge contrast between the two characters; we get a very good sense of who Rachel is very early in the story. She has a lot of emotional walls built that we get to see crumble as the story progresses. Logan on the other hand, develops much slower, but I loved his journey to a fierce protector. In the beginning he is very insecure and we get to see a vulnerability in him that we hardly ever see in male protagonists. He finds himself in the most hysterical situations and we get a sense of how shy and awkward he is in social interactions. He is the ultimate nerd, which is what I loved most about him. I am a huge math and science nerd, and Logan made me fall in love with him when he said: “I wait until their footsteps fade. Until the door at the entrance closes. Until I’ve silently recounted everything I know about the Pythagorean theorem. The conductive propertied copper. The relationship between negative mass and negative energy. […] I clench my teeth and tell myself pain is just a state of mind. I can rise above it. My body doesn’t agree with my theory, so I force myself to recite the periodic table […]”

The story does have romance, but not the insta love we so often find in YA. Redwine took her time in developing all relationships in the book. The connections and relationships are extremely deep and beautifully written. Because I was so invested in the characters and their relationships, as the book progressed and events unfolded, I sometimes wanted to just crawl in a corner, curl into a ball, and cry. I often found myself gasping, laughing, cringing, grinning, and crying with each turning of the page.

Overall, Defiance was an exciting read that kept me captivated until the very last sentence; it was an outstanding read, unique in its composition, with amazingly strong characters.  I cannot wait to read the sequel!

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree! As usual! I loved this book. You did a good non-spoilery scoop on it. I adored reading from Rachel and Logans POV and yes he is a total lovable nerd! I can't wait to finish the series even more so after meeting the author and talking to her about it and hearing her discuss world building in her panel. Blown away.