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About the book
Defiance is the first book of a new series by C. J. Redwine. It was published by Atom on 6th September and the book is 416 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
Rachel's world is confined to the protective walls around her city. Beyond them are violent wanderers, extreme terrain, and a danger straight out of legend: a beast called the Cursed One that devastates everything in its path.
When Rachel's father goes missing, she is desperate to search for him. But her attempts to flee the city bring her to the attention of its overbearing ruler. His efforts to control her make the world within the walls seem as dangerous as that outside.
Her only chance at escape is Logan. Once her father's apprentice, and now her only protector, he feels that helping her might mean losing her completely. But if he can put his feelings aside, they might be able to save more than Rachel's father. They might be able to break down the walls, and set their people free.
What I thought
I really liked the sound of the synopsis for this book as soon as I read it. It sounded like it would have everything that I like a book to have; action, romance and a strong female lead character. It took me a while to get around to reading Defiance but once I had, I was glad I did!
The story has a dual narrative between Rachel and Logan.
To start with, the strong female main character was there. Rachel was fantastic from the start and I couldn't help but love her. She has been brought up in a town that thinks of females as being lower than men, having a ceremony where someone claims them as their wife and where they don't have a say in anything. However, Rachel has been brought up differently than other women in the town as her father taught her how to fight and look after herself. Because of this, Rachel doesn't care for frilly dresses or the prospect of getting married and I loved that about her. She was never afraid to voice her opinion or to fight for what she believed in.
Rachel's father has gone missing and has left Rachel has his apprentice Logan alone. Logan has been names Protector of Rachel and therefore must take care of her now. Logan was quite different from other male characters I have read about in YA books. He has a heart of gold and would do anything to make Rachel happy and to also honour her father. Also, he is an inventor so this made him really interesting to me. Logan had so many good things going for him. He's also a very emotional character but doesn't always know how to handle these feelings. Due to Logan narrating part of the story, I really got to understand his actions and feelings and I could sympathise with him and his situation.
There are also plenty of secondary characters to keep readers guessing about who plays what part in the story. While I though there were too many characters used at times, different people are introduced at different times and not used all at the same time which was a good way of doing things. One secondary character is The Commander, the villain of the story. He was truly terrifying and I wouldn't have wanted to even get within a foot of him. It makes me shudder to even think about him and the things he did in this book. This villain is made out of all things evil that you could possibly think of.
The plot has a great mixture of mystery, fantasy and romance all at the same time. On a mission to find Rachel's father, the story sees characters go on an adventure to find not only an item but also to find themselves. So much happens in such a short space of time in this book and this makes it very exciting. Defiance is fast paced and thrilling from page one all the way until the end. There are also plenty of twists and I wasn't expecting a lot of them at all. I loved how I was kept guessing throughout the whole book and although I had some ideas about what would happen, I couldn't guess everything and I was really shocked about a couple of things in particular.
The world that C. J. Redwine created was fascinating and this, along with beautiful writing, really hooked me into this book. I read it in one sitting and couldn't put it down. Defiance is a magical book that I can't stop thinking about!