Friday, August 23, 2013

Defiance by C. J. Redwine

Title: Defiance
Author: C. J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (August 20, 2012)
Source: Library

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 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.

Defiance by C. J. Redwine was definitely a pleasant surprise. I found it when I was looking for an interesting YA romance and, oh my goodness, was this book right up my alley! What I got wasn't exactly what I expected, but I couldn't have been happier with the book or finding such a great debut author. 

I immediately fell in love with the story, setting, and characters. I had picked it up hoping for a good story with romance, but I got so much more. I was actually surprised by how muted the romance was compared to the summary above. Don't get me wrong, romance plays a role, but I wouldn't consider this a romance book. This is an adventure-oriented fantasy with action, romance, and superb story telling. Fans of historical fiction may enjoy this as well because of the setting. The culture and setting is more traditional, with gender stereotypes, but there is also originality with how the characters interact in that environment.  

The story is compelling, but it was the characters that wouldn't let me put the book down. Told alternatively from Rachel and Logan's perspectives, the readers have the opportunity to see more of the adventure, because the characters are separated at different points and time. And, both Rachel and Logan are strong, interesting characters. Usually, I prefer one perspective over the other, but here, I was equally pleased to read from each viewpoint. 

Seriously, C. J. Redwine got into my head, figured out everything I wanted in a book, and cranked out Defiance to meet those needs. Successfully. I can't tell you how satisfying a read this was for me. I am fully committed to following her career and super excited to read Deception. I highly recommend Defiance for fans of fantasy, romance, and cool stories. 

Final thoughts: Buy it. 


  1. I wasn't sure about this one at first. I was in dystopia burnout but I really enjoyed it. It's quite the wild ride.

  2. Absolutely! The only reason I haven't devoured Deception yet is that I want to reread Defiance. Such an unexpected thrill!