Thursday, August 23, 2012
ARC Review: "Defiance" by C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
From Goodreads: "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."
When I first read the synopsis of "Defiance" and saw the cover I KNEW that I had to get my hands on a copy and read it (in fact, it quickly shot to the top of my "Most Highly Anticipated Summer '12 Books") as, as of late, epic fantasies have become my "thing". However, I must admit that I was quite disappointed by the ending of the book and that as such it altered my entire viewpoint of the novel.
That being said, I did quite enjoy the first three quarters of the book- I loved learning about the characters, Rachel and Logan especially, and I liked learning about their world (though admittedly I was confused by it at points- is it truly considered an epic fantasy? I almost got the sense that it was a futuristic novel of sorts, not unlike Julie Kagawa's "The Immortal Rules", that an apocalyptic event of sort had taken place, the rise of The Cursed Ones, destroying life as we know it, which lead to people having to resort back to a more simplistic/ medieval lifestyle, save for a few handy electronics and whatnot).
I loved that Rachel wasn't satisfied with sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the men in her life to do everything, she jumped right into the fold without missing a beat. While I was at times frustrated by Logan being over-protective of Rachel, trying to boss her around and whatnot, I can see where he is coming from- not wanting to loose her like he had another important woman in his life. Both characters were both so strong-willed and strong-headed and ones that I know I will continue to root for over and over again.
As for the aforementioned disappointing ending? I don't know if I can exactly pinpoint what about it felt off to me, but I will make all attempts to do so. As mentioned, this is an epic fantasy of sorts- therefore I was a bit confuzzled as to why technology played SUCH a large role in the end of the novel. Playing such a large role I almost felt like the ending felt like a video game (it felt a bit reminiscent of the first book in Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Chronicles of Nick" series) which didn't fit with the previous 3/4. Furthermore, I found the ending to be quite rushed- there is all of his build-up of THINGS TO COME, things that you wait almost an entire novel for, and when the end comes, it just kinda falls flat.
All in all, despite my complaints I do think that this is a wonderful novel from debut author C.J. Redwine and despite my complaints I don't have any reservations about continuing on with this series- I look forward to seeing what C.J. has in store for the gang next!
I received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review- I was not compensated in any way for said review.