🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Defiance by C. J. Redwine is rich postapocalyptic YA fantasy perfect for fans of Graceling and Tamora Pierce.
While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.
When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.
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.
Wow! C. J. Redwine had me hooked from the first page of this book! I remember thinking that that Defiance sounded like my kind of book when it came out but I had no idea that it would be this awesome! I like to take time to digest a book after I have read it to see if I can find fault with anything and I couldn't think of anything that I didn't like about this book.
The story was crafted well. The pacing was amazing because there was always something happening which ensured that I was never bored while reading. The author was able to strike the perfect balance of having an action-packed story but not overwhelming the reader with too much at once.
We first meet Rachel as she is waiting by the wall for her father to return after one of his journeys. It is clear that she is feeling desperate for some shred of hope that he is out there somewhere alive. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the world is not what it once was and that the leaders are bloodthirsty and have been driven mad with power. Surprise, surprise...leaders that are horrible. I feel like every book has them to come extent but I didn't care about that.
I loved the characters in this book! They were each strong and powerful in their own right. Oliver was a gentle soul that fought to keep his loved ones safe in a more subdued manner. Logan had a darkness inside of him that he attempted to keep under wraps around others and was highly intelligent but also an amazing fighter. Rachel acted without entirely thinking things through but was not afraid to be herself. She could be ruthless at times but it was in the quest for revenge. I actually really enjoyed the villain in Defiance as well. He was intense, brutal, and cunning. He tried to be three steps ahead of his enemies and would use or kill anyone regardless of the consequences. I loved to hate him while I read the book.
I enjoyed the relationships in the book and was happy to see the relationship between Rachel and Oliver due to its familial nature. Sometimes, books will only focus on the love interest so it was fun to have the book spend some time on this particular relationship. I thought that the pacing of the relationship between Rachel and Logan was really well done. It didn't seem rushed or forced. It felt natural.
Overall, Defiance was a fantastic beginning to the trilogy and I am excited to read what the author has in store for the characters in the next book!