Defiance by C.J. Redwine Book Review
Monday, September 3, 2012 9:43 AM
Author: C.J. Redwine
Published: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: Courier's Daughter #1
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Rating: 5 stars
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“It’s probably my job to tell you life isn’t fair, but I figure you already know that. So instead, I’ll tell you that hope is precious, and you’re right not to give up.”
― C.J. Redwine, Defiance
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. (Goodreads)
I've been eagerly awaiting Defiance for months. From the first time I saw it, I have been counting down the days till it hit bookstores. I can't seem to articulate why I was so excited for this book. I just knew I'd love it, and it was worth the wait!
I loved every single page of Defiance! I devoured this book as I would any other wonderful read. The world-building leaves nothing to be desired. We're given detailed descriptions of Baalboden and the Wasteland, and I could almost picture North Hub and South Edge and Logan's little cottage in my head. I loved the names of the different parts of the citystate, and while there was a lot of suffering within Baalboden's walls, it possessed a dark beauty that appealed to me.
The premise was fascinating. Decades ago, businessmen had teams dig into the earth for oil, and they awakened a terrifying race of beasts that lived deep beneath the surface. These beasts resemble wingless dragons, and they destroyed every densely populated area with their massive size and ability to breathe flame. Kind of reminded me of the Balrog the dwarves awakened while mining in The Lord of the Rings. Baalboden is terrorized by one of these beasts, The Cursed One, and the citizens must remain within the protection of Baalboden's walls. This premise really applies to the present day, where we're drilling for oil all over the place. Except, I hope there are no beasts living deep underground in our world. That would suck (understatement).
The Cursed One was terrifying, but the true villain is the Commander. Even though the citizens are safe from the Cursed One inside their citystate, they are victims to the Commander's brutal authority. The Commander was a convincing villain. He was merciless, and I couldn't help hating his abuse of women. This dystopia was a legit dystopia. There was the constant threat of the Cursed One and the Commander's heavy punishment if the law was broken, but there were also bands of highwaymen and other citystates' battalions wandering the Wasteland. I was bothered by the treatment of women, as they were raised to be submissive and they couldn't go anywhere without their Protector, but my anger at their laws did not decrease my enjoyment at all. In fact, the darker elements only strengthened the world building.
Rachel is one of my favorite heroines of all time. She was feisty, strong, and devoted to her loved ones. She was the opposite of every other woman in Baalboden. She was raised by her father to be independent, and I couldn't help admiring her courage and the fire inside of her. Even when she was scared or grief-stricken, she still fought and wouldn't allow her feelings to consume her. Logan. I loved Logan so much. He was a bit of nerd, and I couldn't help finding his awkwardness and his love for his inventions adorable. But when it came to Rachel, he would suddenly fight like a mad animal, revealing how he had stayed alive as an orphan on the streets during his childhood. Their romance was so sweet, and it was developed wonderfully. No instalove. Redwine shifted between their POVs smoothly, and I enjoyed hearing from both of them. I just loved Rachel and Logan. And also Willow and Quinn and Sylph and Oliver. They were all amazing characters and they were developed so well!
I can't wait for the sequel! I hope we learn more about some characters and I'd like to know why women needed Protectors to begin with. Plus, there are some questions I can't wait to have answered! The suspense is killing me. Defiance is definitely a new favorite, as shown by this long review of gushing.