Aug 26, 2012

Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Title: Defiance 
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 8.28.2012
Pages: 416
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Series: Yes (Defiance #1)
Source: eARC from publisher

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

I think it’s safe to say that Defiance has been on everyone’s must-have list for the last few months. Call it an amazing cover or a wholly original idea, but whatever it is, Defiance seems to have that intrinsic it factor that gets people buzzing early on, especially surrounding a debut author. CJ Redwine storms onto the YA scene and takes us hostage with this book. Yeah, this one lives up to all the hype—it’s that good.

From the first few haunted moments when I was introduced to Rachel, I felt an immediate sympathy for her. She was so strong, but so very much a teenage girl in an impossible world. I felt a strong kinship to this girl and her plight. I loved rooting for her. Rachel, and Logan, are two of my favorite characters in the fiction realm. I couldn’t get enough of these two, both together and separate.

The book alternates chapters between their points of view, which only enhances the storyline. I’ve read several back-and-forth POV books. Some work, some muddle through, and some are flat out painful. This book excels. I usually find myself skimming on character’s chapters to get back to the other’s (my favorite’s) part, but there was no rush here. I loved Logan and Rachel equally and both had such vital roles, I was compelled to read them with equal voracity.

My only fault with the book was that it takes a decidedly dark turn. I’m still not sure how I felt about that, and I hesitate to expand on that because I don’t want to spoil it. Suffice to say, one character goes darkside and I wasn’t sure Redwine would be able to pull that character back in time. I still feel a bit uneasy about it.

Overall, this is a must read for YA fans. I don’t care if you grab it for the fantasy elements, the romance, or just out of curiosity. Redwine is a spectacular storyteller, and her world-building skills are flat out impressive, as is her ability to write and develop characters. This is one 2012 debut you won’t want to miss.


  1. I'm so glad this book lived up to it's hype! I have an ARC and I cant wait to read it!! I'm also glad the shifting POV worked. I know what you mean when shifting POV's are really bad. Awesome review!

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

  2. I've seen this book all over the place these days! I'm so happy to hear that most of the people love it!
    Great review! :)

  3. This is on my wishlist too! I love how there's fantasy and a dystopian society and I'm so happy you loved Rachel - and I love reading from a guy's POV;)

    Great review:)

  4. I really did enjoy Defiance from the beginning but then the whole dark turn thing is totally right. I had issues with that a bit but I enjoyed it in the end.

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  5. Thanks for the review! I'm just starting to see this book everywhere and was wondering about it. Good to know it lives up to the hype! Adding to my TBR.

  6. I'm intrigued! Sometimes it's those books we struggle to explain that have the greatest hold on us. Nice review. Thanks for sharing.


  7. It seems I am the only who didn't enjoy this book.

  8. I'm super excited to read this book! Looks great! Thanks for your thoughts!

  9. I've seen this book so many times, but this is the first review I've read & it has got me interested. Defiance has gone on my TBR list. Thanks!

  10. This book sounds so good!! I'm glad to hear that the two pov's work! Thanks so much for the review, I definitely need to read this book now!

  11. I'm a sucker for both beautiful covers and strong leads. The alternating POV isn't my favorite technique, but it sounds like CJ Redwine did a great job. Usually that would make me a little hesitant, but I'm excited instead!

  12. It certainly is a fabulous cover. I keep seeing it all over the blogosphere but I've neglected to read up on it until now. Your review certainly had certainly increased my curiosity... although I'm not sure about the dark side of it though!

  13. I've been seeing this one around a fair bit along with mixed reviews. I'll still give it a read but I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the review!

  14. I love alternating POV's! This book is at the top of my list and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Great review

  15. Thanks for the great review! I can't wait to read this book!

  16. Great review! I can't wait to read this book - it sounds really interesting!!

  17. I've had this one on my wishlist since I first saw the cover and read the blurb. Thanks for the review!

  18. I'm glad you have mixed reviews about this book because most people just go on and on about how good it is. Thanks for a great review!

  19. This sounds like a good read, but I'm hesitant to read it because of the "dark side".

  20. I know what you mean about feeling uneasy or wary of the one who made some serious bad decisions... I think there is some mental/emotional damagage from all the things that happen so the book is realistic in the way that relates to human nature...I'll be looking for a happy ending in the series to come ^.^

  21. I love this book! I agree with you, Redwine is just spectacular! And that cover is just gorgeous :)
    I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.. Thanks for the review!


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