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[Book Review] - Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Title: Defiance
   Author: C.J. Redwine
   Series: #1 - Defiance Trilogy
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: August 28th, 2012
   My Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0

     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.

My Review:

    Defiance took my breath away, but left me asking why there wasn't more. This was one of those books that I loved that main character. Rachel was very impulsive but she did so with a reason behind every action. She wasn't rash by any means, okay there was a few times she was, but she knew the risks and wanted to face them no matter what. Yet as much as she risked, and however many times she defied everyone trying to protect her, and those frankly trying to oppress her, she never is punished harshly. A few slap on the wrists, okay a horrid traumatic event, but nothing to her. It just confuses me how she could risk so much without really anything to show for it.

     Baalboden, is a great medieval world, or what I envisioned from the description. The world is safe within the small town, well okay compared to modern towns it would be small. I would say there would be thousands to tens of thousands of people in the village. They all live under the rule of one Commander, who is (for the lack of better words) very sadistic. I'll save more on him later, but I don't understand how a revolt hasn't come sooner. In the world though going out is nearly suicide, the outside world is ravaged by well giant dragons that bury under the ground.

     The females are made to look completely useless and like the fancy/self-indulged or well, maybe self-indulged isn't the word for it, but I think of the 1800's and the ruffle dresses and the women who were just so high and might when I envision this girls. The catch is Rachel, who against most rules is taught to fight and and scout. She was the stark contrast to the norm in the village and the difference and strength in her to fight against the Commander early on, even if in small forms of defiance, it makes her character shine. Oh I forgot to mention that every female is tagged. I believe it was a bracelet, that transmits their location, so they can't leave their male Protectors. Lovely.

     Logan is a character that I wanted more of. He was an inventor, and every invention he makes is strict defiance. To Jammers for the bracelets, and even another invention to reverse track someone's location from their bracelet. He's a unique character that is inspiring, and smart. He tends to think things through and be a stark opposite to Rachel, and when things finally get underway, he wants nothing more than to protect Rachel, more so than his appointed duty. The issue I found with him, was that more than anything he internalized nearly everything. Most of what was going on in his mind, never really came out, and it was frustrating reading her perspective and not knowing that Rachel didn't know.

     The Commander, one of my favorite villains of the year and that's not hard to do. I haven't had a lot of good villains this year. Okay, Allegiant, but I found that villain was a bit soft and that's for another day. The commander is just brutal, he kills and maims and tortures throughout this book. The best scene of his nature is with Rachel and him in a wagon/covered carrier. It's just brutal, and the most gut wrenching feeling for Rachel to go through. I can't even imagine going through what she went through, and witnessing it. I wanted more of him in the book.

     Now what drug the book down? I found that with the split between Rachel and Logan, more of their internalization got jumbled and confused in the mess of the dialogue. I found I had to re-read pages to make sure that what I had read wasn't said and was internalized. I loved the idea though, I just don't think the style was great in this book/case. Furthermore, when Rachel left to go out and find her father, the pace slowed down. It wasn't that a lot of character building was happening during that time. You knew what Rachel was like, so it was just boring.

     The pace picked up when Logan came to her rescue, well to help her rescue. There were times, when I thought he was more of a hinder to her than help. However, he pulls her up out of a dark place and I loved that interaction. The best character building was when those two were together. I understand that Rachel's personality meant that she need and felt the need to leave Baalboden. And when you finally learn about Logan's feelings and why he feels the way he does about Rachel, it's just a bit too late, and I couldn't do much to make up what the book was lacking. I wanted more of them together, even if fighting or romance, it needed more.
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