Jan 29, 2013

Defiance, by C. J. Redwine

Disclaimer: All reviews are the result of my personal opinion from a Christian stand-point. These reviews are provided for those who share my beliefs and morals, to help guide what fiction a reader may wish to pick up. For those who do not share these beliefs, please refrain from hateful comments. It is due to rude commenting that I must now include this note prior to all reviews. For more information, visit my purpose behind this blog. Thank you for your understanding.

Intended Age-Group: 13+
Issues of Violence: action violence, torture, murder, burning.
Intimacy Level: moderate attraction: kissing, sleeping together (in a non-sexual way), talk about breasts.
Swearing: very little
Recommendation: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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.

Initial Reaction: *****
Even a poorly plotted book can be delivered well with decent writing. Defiance first impressed me with the quality of writing. Descriptions were like oil paintings. Another strong positive came from the premise of the book. I loved digging into the created culture of women with protectors and tracking cuffs on their arms.

Characters: *****
The main girl character, Rachel, was the typical beautiful, headstrong, I-never-cry, sword-wielding daughter who knows how to survive in the wild and kills on instinct. Everyone appreciates the independent woman, but sometimes it's overdone. I, personally, grow tired of the man-woman who's only soft when she's with the man she loves.

The chapters switch point-of-views between Rachel and the love interest (and the man in charge of keeping her safe), Logan. This felt a little jilted in first person. The voices sounded fairly similar, though Logan's chapters had a little more wit and humor. Often times I had to double check who's point of view I was in.

I did like how Logan was an inventor, though. He created weighted weapons, bombs, and shields from the enemy's tech-devices. Very cool.

The basis of Logan's and Rachel's motives becomes a mixture of desperate survival and revenge. Rachel becomes a killer almost out of natural instinct. It's animal-like and...disturbing to me, but eventually she comes to a moment where her bloodlust leaves her filled with guilt and regret. This doesn't quench her driving pursuit of revenge; in fact, it fuels it.

Plot: *****
The book became less and less believable as it progressed with the Cursed One popping out of the ground with every stomp of the foot and a character "tree-leaping" for miles with a broken rib. Unless the people of Defiance inherited some squirrel talent, it's hard to believe anyone can leap from tree to tree through a forest silently, no matter how cool they are.

There is a moment when Rachel is suspected of being violated. The thoughts of Logan have moments of strong male essence. The first time he sees Rachel in a fancy gown, he grows acutely attentive to the fact she has breasts. Almost a full page is dedicated to his observations and his attempts to avoid looking at her when she bends over. There's really not much filter, though I admit it was rather humorous.

The book has mentions of "swearing" and a few mild words that honestly didn't stick with me enough to remember them for this review (oops.)

Overall Recommendation:
Overall, the book was entertaining, but turned boring for me.  I don't have must interest in reading the second book. The story remained fairly clean and appropriate (as much as a war-torn dystopian premise with a love-hungry couple can be.) It's solely a matter of preference with this book, but I found it disappointing (even though the cover is awesome and the author's name is very cool.) The biggest let down was learning about the Cursed One. When I finally read what it was, I thought, "Really?" and that's where the story started losing its believability.

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, released September 2014 from Enclave Publishing. When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband. You can find out more about Nadine and her books at http://nadinebrandes.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment