“Defiance” by C.J. Redwine
5 out of 5 stars!
I want to begin this post with, “WOW!” It has been a while (early this summer) since I have read an interesting dystopian society. There have been sooo many books that have come out as of late, and all of them follow a particular pattern: girl needs to be liberated, she falls in love, oops, a love triangle emerges, lots of people die, and girl turns into Katniss Everdeen (crazy, vengeful woman!). Generic is a great word to describe these trilogies (everybody wants to write a trilogy!), and only a few of these dystopian society books have actually caught my attention. Among these are Lauren Oliver’s “Delirium” trilogy, Lauren DeStefano’s “Wither”, and Kiera Cass’ “The Selection.” They were all really good, and I had so much fun reading them, and some of their societies were just so fascinating. Going into “Defiance” (which, again, was recommended by my awesome older sister!) I was expecting it to be good, but I was shocked with how much I loved it. Not only was the cover beautiful, but the story inside was even better!
“Defiance” is a dystopian society that is, in essence, generic. But instead of feeling bored out of my mind with it, I felt like I was reading something interesting and very entertaining. Sure, “Defiance” has a lot of similarities with those other books, but the way it was written made it so much better than them. Redwine was amazingly skillful in how she wrote her characters’ personalities, and she did a great job of making them stay true to themselves. C.J.’s characters grew and changed, but she didn’t change them in a way that was unrealistic (making them seem bipolar). Logan, smart and cool-headed, grew and changed, but his heart (his good and beautiful heart) was as faithful as ever despite all he went through. The same goes for Rachel, who was strong-willed to a fault, faithful, and a fierce lover and fighter. Rachel went through some major changes, but there are obvious reasons why she changed. I never felt like the story was forced, instead it felt fluid and well planned. Everything just flowed, as if you were floating along with the story instead of reading it. I also want to give C.J. Redwine kudos for not using language in her book. There were seriously TWO very mild swear words in the entire book! It was amazing and refreshing! Ahhh, time to end my spiel and get to the actual book.
“Defiance” begins with Rachel Adams standing by the city gate of Baalboden where she lives. She and her surrogate grandfather, Oliver, have been waiting for hours in the hopes that her father will return home this time, and in time. Rachel wants nothing more than her family to be reunited. But all of Rachel’s hopes and dreams of seeing her father again are dashed to pieces when Jordan Adams takes more than sixty days to arrive home from the Wasteland. Time was of the essence in Baalboden; gone sixty days and you are assumed dead by Baalboden’s leader and its people.
As the leader of Baalboden, the Commander can ask for anything and it will be done for him instantly. But the Commander never asks (has no need to), and when Rachel, his best courier’s daughter, is brought before him for the declaration of her father’s death and the reassignment of a protector, he finds a young girl that is perfect to prey upon. With the will of Jordan Adams read, all that is left is to put the assigned protector over Rachel, but the Commander has issues with him. Can the Commander still get what he wants with that boy in his way?
Logan is a nineteen year old know-it-all with a sorrowful past and painful present. Now added to his troubles is his mentor’s daughter, Rachel. Fiery like her red hair, Rachel is a handful and Logan knows it, has known it ever since she had declared her love for him on her father’s back porch and his reply had been unsatisfactory. Since then, Rachel has been like a frightened, and angry, horse around him, ready to rear back at any moment. Now he is to be her protector? What could his mentor and friend have wanted, and why did Adams trust him with his most prized possession?
Although Logan and Rachel have almost nothing in common, they eventually find a common goal to work together on, at least near each other, that is: find Jordan Adams and exact revenge upon the Commander for all the evil he has done. With fierce passion and determination, Logan and Rachel set out on their journey only to find themselves thrust into perilous circumstances that could cost them everything, even each other. Things get even worse when their plans for revenge turn sour and countless innocents are hurt because of it. Logan and Rachel realize they will have to put aside their grudges and personal vendettas to do what is right, not only for themselves, but for their people. But can they ever truly put aside their consuming anger and hurt, and look to their future; could that future hold more than just satiated revenge?
I recommend “Defiance” to anyone who wants a new and amazing read! It is also really clean, for those of you who are wary of such things. Again, it had almost no language in it, and it was just pure, enjoyable fun all around. I absolutely loved Logan and am looking forward to the follow up books, but I will warn you, Rachel is at times Katniss-ish. Other than that, though, “Defiance” was a well-written adventure that gives dystopian novels/trilogies a good name. C.J. Redwine has created a new favorite of mine. I hope that you, too, can enjoy it as much as I did!