Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Defiance (Defiance, #1)

Defiance (Defiance, #1)Author: C.J. Redwine
Series: Defiance, #1
Published: September 6th 2012
Publisher: Atom
Paperback, 403 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

Well, it seems I can still enjoy dystopian after all! Now, this statement (and my delight) may seem a bit odd to those of you who don’t know me very well, but I was never a big fan of the (sub)genre in the first place, and there are only a handful of dystopian titles that I actually loved. (Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me trilogy and Ann Aguirre’s Razorland are the only two that quickly come to mind.) I was more than a little surprised and more than a little thrilled when I was able to add Defiance to this very short list.

The story is equally divided between two points of view, Rachel’s and Logan’s. These characters won me over in a heartbeat. Rachel, our heroine, is a strong, independent, stubborn girl in a society in which girls like her shouldn’t exist. While her peers sat demurely with their mothers or their Protectors and learned embroidery, Rachel was secretly being taught how to survive in the wilderness by her liberal father. Logan is her father’s apprentice, a brilliant young inventor who was orphaned when his mother dared walk the streets without her Protector and was whipped to death on the town square. As much as Rachel hates living under the Commander’s iron fist, Logan hates it even more because when he looks at their leader, he sees the man who murdered his mother.

When Rachel’s father disappears outside the town limits, where there are no guarantees of safety and a huge monster, the Cursed One, preys on the unprotected, Rachel and Logan will have to go against the Commander to bring him back.

Now that I think about it, the worldbuilding wasn’t nearly as complete as I’d have liked it to be, but in all honesty, I got so caught up in the action and the romance that I completely failed to notice until much, much later. In retrospect, there really should have been more background, more explanations offered. What little there was, however, I liked well enough.

The romance was multilayered and complicated, just the way I like them, and I was feeling things along with Rachel and Logan from the very first page. There were, however, hints of a love triangle in the last part and I fervently hope that C.J. Redwine won’t take that road and that she’ll continue to build the wonderful, honest, warm romance between Rachel and Logan without unnecessary drama.

I need Logan. Not because he 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.

Which brings me to Logan himself, (again) and let me tell you, he is one amazing guy. He’s not just Rachel’s love interest, he is a hero in his own right. I love that he’s both a skilled fighter and a brilliant inventor, and that he knows exactly what his goals are and what sacrifices he needs to make to accomplish them.

My hat’s off to you, C.J. Redwine. I can’t wait to see where you’ll take them in the next book.


  1. Rachel and Logan were great, weren't they?! :) I agree, I'm glad that there was no hint of a love triangle and hope it remains that way. Multilayered romances are the best and I love that quote. So sweet!

    Great review. ^^

  2. Thank you, Maja. This just strengthened my resolve to read this book as soon as possible. I've been putting it off so I'm so glad you gave it a glowing review. :)

  3. Absolutely lovely. I love the idea of this book, and it has caught so much blogger hype in the past months. Love storing heroines and protective heroes. Looks like my kind of this. Added it to my TBR
    GREAT review, Maja, as always
    Your reader,

  4. I've read mixed reviews about this one and wasn't sure if I should pick it up or not. Dystopians for me lately have been a hit or miss, but I do love the sound of the characters and their romance. I think I'll give this one a shot.

  5. YES MAJA!!!! I agree completely with your review, you summed up all my reactions to this one so perfectly! I honestly didn't notice the lack of worldbuilding until much later either, I was just so caught up with Rachel and Logan that I didn't care some of my questions went unanswered. And Logan? You're so right that he was a hero in his own right, not simply a love interest for Rachel. I can't wait to read more of their story! Beautiful review:)

  6. Yay! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this as much as I did, Maja! This is one of my favorite dystopians as well. I had high hopes so I was glad when the book met my expectations. I agree about the world building. It needed some work but like you I loved the action packed scenes so much that it was easy to ignore for some reason! I adored Logan's character too! He was such a brave, loyal and hard-working guy! Great review, Maja! :)

  7. I haven't really read much dystopia, so I'm glad this is another one you can add to your short list of favorites! I love that the male character is more than a love interest, too. Always nice!

  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Maja! It somehow didn't work for me despite my initial excitement over it and Rachel and Logan's romance, although beautifully outlined, failed to resonate within me. Perhaps the sequel will be stronger though, so if you enjoy that, I'll pick it up for sure. Amazing review, dear! :)

  9. I'm doing a happy dance right now. I loved this story! Lovely review as usual. :)

  10. I had been super excited to read this but then I saw mixed reviews and I decided to hold off on buying it. Now I have seen some really good reviews and I'm anxious to read it again! The romance sounds like one I might really like. Fantastic review!

  11. I didn't know this was a dystopian, I was sure it was a fantasy, so that is interesting. Like you, I'm not a huge fan of dystopian stories but I do like to read the ones deemed good enough by trusted readers ;)

    I like the sound of the romance and I really hope she doesn't go down the love-triangle road!

  12. So glad to see that you really enjoyed this one. It's been receiving mostly positive reviews so I may add to my TBR pile. Also I'm glad there's variation between the POVs as it really adds perspective

    Great review

    Alex @ Possession of Books

  13. Yay I'm so glad that you loved Defiance too Maja. You know me, I'm not big on my dystopians, but this book was such an enjoyable read for this year. Also I'm sorry to have to break it to you but I baggsied Logan ages ago ;) Another beautiful review Maja, I can't wait to see how the next book will unravel! :)

  14. I read so much dystopian last winter that I burned myself out on it. I did love Sanctum recently, though as if you didn't know that... I still haven't read Shatter is coming... I have this on my wish list as well and now it is a must read after your review. Logan sounds awesome!

  15. Oh, that quote is beautiful! Why, oh why, have I not read this yet? I love dystopians, and this sounds like a perfect read for me. So happy you enjoyed this one - thank you for the awesome review :D

  16. I'm not sure why exactly, but I didn't think you would like this. You surprise me sometimes! :) I had some mixed thoughts here and there, but I liked this book well enough too. The world-building (or lack of, at parts) didn't quite register for me either until I was done. It was a lot of fun regardless. :)

    Lovely review, Maja!

  17. Dystopian books have been disappointing me as of late, so much so that I've all but given up on finding a good one that will restore my faith in this genre. However, I'm definitely considering adding this to my TBR pile - it looks too good to pass up! Beautifully said as always, Maja. :)

  18. Back from my blogging break, Maja :)

    I'm not a big dystopian fan but I'm starting to enjoy those that are full of action. That's probably why I have Defiance in my TBR pile; I just need to get around to reading it!

    Oh, and the romance in this one sounds awesome.

  19. Ooh, most excellent! This one is sitting on my shelf at the moment but I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet. I'm okay with a story that needs a bit more worldbuilding as long as the characters and story sweep me up and carry me along, as they did with you.

  20. I have to admit...this isn't one that caught my attention right off the bat, but now, I'm intrigued. Adding it to the list! :)


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