Title: Defiance (Defiance #1)
Author: C.J. Redwine
Expected publication: August 28th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
"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."
First line: "The weight of their pity is like a stone tied about my neck."
Thoughts: Part fantasy, part dystopia, and 100% win, DEFIANCE offers readers a roller-coaster of a good time. I have read my fair share of fantasy novels and can say without a doubt that DEFIANCE is up there with my favorites. Plus, who doesn't love a story about star-crossed lovers?
As you can see from the summary, life in Baalboden is less than ideal. The Commander runs the community like a tyrant, destroying lives if it pleases him. On top of that, women aren't allowed to walk alone...anywhere. They must have have their protector (i.e. father or husband) to escort them.
Now, I know what you're asking. Why don't they just leave? Well, here's the thing- Truth be told, the land outside the safehouse isn't any better. There's a fire breathing beast out there called the Curse One, who, for some reason, cannot enter the walls of Baalboden. What I loved about this book is while it has that supernatural-fantasy element in it, it also has a more realistic terror as well. These people basically have a dictator who proclaims what the law is and believes he is above it. He can kill anyone, even if they didn't do anything wrong, just because he can. Double the danger, double the fun!
Every single character, especially the secondary ones, are so lovable and amazing. Oliver, for example, is Rachel's grandfather (and in a way, Logan's adoptive grandfather). He's like a giant teddy bear, so caring yet protective. He clearly goes out of the way for Rachel and Logan and never once asks for anything in return. He's there for them because he loves them, and that made me heart him so flipping much.
Then, of course, there's Rachel and Logan. I'm so grateful the author decided to alternate chapters between the two. It's laughable how much they have in common (and don't know it), and also have their own very distinctive voice. Rachel is strong and thinks with her heart, not with her head. Logan is logical and protective of those he loves. Both of them are independent yet they both need each other as well.
Of the two, my favorite voice was probably Logan's. I adored reading about his tragic upbringing, his strength, and his intelligence. He has this incredible sense of morality that is only slightly overshadowed by his radiant heart. Oh, how I swooned over him all the livelong day.
The adventure portion in this novel is well-crafted and painstaking good. This journey will tear Rachel and Logan apart yet bring them closer together. Like I said, there's a star-crossed lovers feel to this novel, and you'll have to read it to find out why.
If you're a fan of fantasy books, you need to pick this up as soon as possible. The romance will sweep you away, and the mystery/action will keep you reading until the very end.
“Silent acquiescence in the face of tyranny is no better than outright agreement.”
“I love how you still think if you tell me to do something, I'll just check my brain at the door and do it.”
"'It means'-I lean closer and will my words to take root within her-'I will always find you. I will always protect you. I won't let you down. I promise.'"