Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine (Courier's Daughter Trilogy)

Title: Defiance
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Date of Publication: August 28, 2012
Source: bought, hardcover, 403 pages
Get Your Own Copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses 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 one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a 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.
from Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Oh wow!  I was totally psyched when I got this book, the actual book, in my hands at the Nashville Book Festival.  I gave my husband that look, you know the look, right?  The look that said, " I am getting this book so give me the money and nobody gets hurt."  
Needless to say, I walked away with the book I had been itching to get every since I seen the amazing cover of it. 
I love the red hair and how it stands out from all the dreary blacks and grays.  Don't get me wrong, I like the blacks and grays, and they do have a purpose but so does the gorgeous red hair.  

So I finally get to sit down and read the book and I am left wanting.  First let me explain that I did not dislike the book; on the contrary the writing was fantastic and I am glad I picked it up.  
I guess I was hoping there was more to some of the areas I had problems with.  

My biggest issue with Defiance was the lack of the world building in it.  From the gadgetry that Logan was familiar with in the story, I assumed it was in the future, but whose future?  Is it set on Earth or another distant planet?  Is this an alternate Earth?  Why have the Cursed One?  Granted, we did get a vague explanation of The Cursed One, but I also felt like anything could have filled in the lines with why the world was turned into a Wasteland.  
However, I am all for dragon like creatures in any book; I just wasn't expecting it in Defiance.  

That was pretty much my only concern with the book and what I felt could have been did a little bit better.  
I did enjoy many aspects of this book though, especially the fact that it is a love story.  Yes, we have this apocalyptic civilization ruled by a harsh and evil Commander, a dragon that sets out to burn everything it sees,  and cruelty everywhere; but at the heart of this book -it is a strong basis for love.  
And not just between the two protagonists but also the love of a daughter for her father, for her grandfather, for her people is the underlying plot line running throughout the story.  
Rachel is a strong character and I cannot believe the heartache that gets thrown at her every step of the way.  At one point, I was like "Enough!"  No one can take that much pain and still survive...and yet Rachel did.  Rachel did rise from the ashes, not unscathed, but she did find a way to go on.  And that is what will bring a tear to your eyes.  Her ability to survive.  
Logan is the hunk hidden in the geek.  He is very smart, but he also has that strong survival instinct inside of him, that only increases wherever Rachel is concerned.  I love how he can think on his feet and there are a few times I felt like he was the MacGyver of their time.  
I also loved the dual point of views that Ms. Redwine introduced in the story for us.  Sometimes more than one point of view can get confusing but in Defiance it worked out well.  I loved being inside Logan's head and it was downright heartbreaking to get caught up in Rachel's emotions as she hunts for her dad, as well as dealing with others she has lost.  
I will say that the two other characters that were a complete enigma to me but that I found I warmed to them almost immediately was Willow and Quinn.  I expect there is a lot more to these two and I cannot wait to read more about them.  

And of course I have to say a little something about the dreadful Commander.  He is the most scariest, vilest villain I have ever read about so far.  He puts monsters to shame for the way he treats others and his pompous attitude disgusts me the most.  Let's just say I really hated this guy.

~~~~Favorite Quote~~~~

I need Logan.  Not because I need saving.  Not because he could could plan our way out of this.  But because on some basic, soul-deep level within me, he is the solid ground beneath my feet.  The one who will move mountains to keep his promises.  The one who looks at me and sees.  I can't imagine my life without him.

Wow that is so strong!!  I still feel tingly when I read that; and I believe anyone who has every been in love, truly in love, has felt that powerful need.   
I give Defiance four hearts!

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