There are mild spoilers in this review for “Defiance” and “Deception,” so proceed with caution.
“Deliverance” by C.J. Redwine
5 out of 5 stars.
Logan is locked in a Lankenshire jail cell with Rowansmark soldiers biding their time until they can clear the chess board. He and his friends have fought for their lives before with great odds against them, but somehow this time is different from the others, and there is the likely chance that no one will make it out of Lankenshire alive. Odds have never frightened Logan, but the stakes are now higher than ever before and he is struggling to come up with a good enough plan to get himself out of the dungeon. He hasn’t given up, though, and he is determined to protect his friends, his family, from the evils that are the Commander and Rowansmark. Sacrifices must be made to save those he loves, and working with Commander Jason Chase is one of them. Logan has promises to keep and if Baalboden’s ex-leader is the only way to stay alive, so be it; he will swallow his pride and make this plan, his only plan, work to save those who are counting on him. He promised Rachel he would always find her, and that is not a promise Logan is willing to break.
Rachel has endured the unspeakable. Her whole family is gone, killed by the Commander, and her dearest friend was murdered by a maniac. Darkness surrounds her, but Rachel knows that she is not alone. Quinn has been following her since she was taken from Lankenshire, having been kidnapped by her friend’s murderer, and Rachel also knows in her heart that Logan is trying his hardest to find a way to save her. But before then, she must learn to save herself. Rachel is fighting a physical and psychological battle against good and evil, light and dark, hope and anger. The time has come for Rachel to finally chooses which of these forces she will embrace, who she will become, and to discover if that choice will destroy or heal her once and for all.
C.J. Redwine is a goddess divine author. I love her as a writer and a person, and I cannot believe that one of my most loved series has come to a close. I am both happy and sad. Sad because I had to say goodbye to these characters who I loved, but also happy because I got to see their stories come together to create one epic book. It has taken me nearly two months to fully absorb everything that happened in “Deliverance” because SO much was good, yet so many things went wrong for these characters. I mean circumstances, not the characters themselves, mind you. I do have to say, though, that there were a few things that I was kind of sad over because of how they changed the dynamic of this story; I am not the hugest fan of change. Despite these changes, I still really liked “Deliverance.”
Logan, my love, was still a great character. He remained fierce and faithful, but I felt like I had a little hole in my heart because he and Rachel were apart for 90% of “Deliverance.” I missed the Logan and Rachel from “Defiance” who worked together, communicated well, and fought to protect one another; I also missed the sweet, quiet moments between them that were beautiful and rare. I had a hard time getting used to the two of them not being with each other because it changed the dynamic of the book, and it felt different from “Defiance,” which was/is dear to my heart. I know people change over time, but it was still hard to accept. Despite this, Logan remained a great character and he did a lot of sacrificial things that made him an amazing leader. Right from the beginning of “Deliverance” he and Willow are fighting for their lives and I was so stressed out that I would practically zoom over the pages to make sure people were still alive.
I’m gonna be honest, a LOT of people die in this book, and I was wondering how that was even possible since there were only a couple of characters who had survived the first and second books! Oy, C.J., you don’t mind sacrificing characters, even main ones! Another character that I really liked in “Deliverance” was Quinn.
Good golly! I LOVED Quinn in this book!!! I think he turned out to be my favorite character in “Deliverance”; I love Logan dearly, but Quinn was a pleasant surprise of a character. Quinn wasn’t in this book that much, but somehow he was there the whole time. Every chapter that involved Rachel, I was trying to find out where Quinn was and if he would show up. Most of the time he didn’t, but it was like he was still present in “Deliverance” even when he wasn’t in a scene. Oh, how I wish C.J. had given him more time in this book because I honestly could not get enough of this character. Quinn was such a clever, strong, and good guy that I wonder why C.J. did not have more of him in this book. I am extremely grateful for Quinn’s novella, “Outcast,” because it gave me more time to get to know him and helped me to come to love his character all the more. I miss you, Quinn.
The character I want to discuss in depth is Rachel.
I was worried about Rachel by the end of “Deception” because of how emotionally tortured she was. I cannot blame the girl, but it made me sad for her, angry at the character(s) who caused her that kind of pain, and also quite worried with where C.J. was taking her as a character. A lot of authors in the past couple of years have tried to write “strong” female leads in their books. Everybody is up in arms over the whole feminism movement, and YA lit is a part of that in some ways. I’m a girl and I absolutely hate inequality between men and women and racism that is still occurring in this country as well as in others. It is not fair and it is not okay. My problem sometimes with the movement within the Young Adult Literature world is that a “strong” female equals a *bleepy* one (my mother reads these posts and she doesn’t like language, so I’ll be using *bleep* as my swear word. Bear with me here); I don’t believe that strength and female rights have anything with being a *bleep* or having a domineering, obstinate personality. Women who truly move the world and who are admired by men and women alike are kind, gracious, intelligent, believe in their own worth, do not objectify themselves to get attention, and stand up for what they believe in without wavering. They also don’t shove their opinions down another persons throat or rip the opposite sex down with their words. I really like Emma Watson’s #HeForShe feminist opinion because it is about both men and women coming together to back one another up. Wow, I just realized how off subject that was.
The point I am trying to get at with all the explaining is that C.J. did a good job of helping Rachel heal and become a truly strong female. Rachel eventually figures out that hatred and her desire for revenge will not ever satisfy her; there is a deeper root to her pain than that. Hatred and revenge were the two things that were keeping her emotional wounds open, and the only way to truly heal was to give up those dark desires and to choose to do what is right. In the end she made the right choice and I was happy that C.J. took her from being a girl with revenge that darkened her outlook on life, to one who wanted to choose to live and see the hope that still existed in her world. She chose hope instead of anger, and because of that she began to heal. Rachel still had a lot of inner healing to do, and she was not perfect, but I was happy to see that she was headed in a good direction. It was nice to see a strong female in the YA lit world who did not end up being a *bleepy* banana (i.e. Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior, Lena Haloway-Tiddle, etc.). Sorry about that novel, but I hope you get my point with all that explaining. Okay, let move on to other subjects.
One of the things that I really love about C.J. Redwine is that she creates back characters who feel just as real and important as the main ones. You care and root for them even though they don’t get as much book time, and it also makes it really hard to let them go when she kills them off! You are sometimes cruel, C.J., but I love you anyway. Conner from Lankenshire was one of those characters for me. He wasn’t necessarily vital to the plot, but I really liked him and I loved the scenes where he was present. I felt like he added a good dynamic and an extra layer to “Deliverance.” Another reason why I liked Connor was that he reminded me a little bit of how Logan was early on in “Defiance.” He was super smart and the some of the other people harassed him for it, but I was rooting for him the whole time to, well, not die. Darn you C.J., one can never tell when a character is expendable. This author’s unpredictability caused me a lot of worry and stress while reading “Deliverance.” Every fight scene I was like,
don’t DIE!!!!!!! Some characters died, some survived in “Deliverance,” but it was hard to tell who was going to make it until the epilogue. Oops! Did I say that there was an epilogue? I pulled a Burton Guster after I finished that last little bit of this glorious book.
I think the worst part was when I walked away from the book and sat myself down to go over everything that had happened. It was then that I finally realized this beautiful series was over. Please, please, don’t be over…
“Deliverance” was beautiful and well done, but my only thing is that it didn’t quite hit me in the heart like “Defiance” did after I had read it. “Deliverance” was still a gorgeous book and a good end to a fantastic trilogy. Bravo, C.J. Redwine!
P.S. I am looking forward to her new series that is supposed to come out *cringes* in 2016. The title for the first book in the series is “The Shadow Queen,” and it sounds AMAZING. I am feeling joy at its existence, but also sadness because it is such a LONG ways away.