ARC Review: “Defiance” by CJ Redwine

Defiance (Defiance #1) by CJ Redwine

Goodreads | Amazon

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.

4 stars

A big thank you to Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for this ARC! You can get a copy for yourself on August 28th, 2012.

You know those books that you hype up through the skyline in your mind because they sounds so flipping fantastically awesome?

This was one of those for me. And it was not entirely a good thing.

I was salivating over Defiance because of how flipping fantastic the cover and the synopsis looked. The premise looked unique and it seemed action packed. Both of those things were entirely correct when I read the book. What got me, however, was the characters.

The romance was expected right from the get go, but in the end it was what docked and entire star from the book. I had hoped that this book would focus less on romance and more on action, and that the fact that Rachel and Logan had that past would prevent an insta-love scenario. Both of these things were incorrect. From the first pages, the romance was very much a focal point of the story. I couldn’t understand how such a big deal could be made about how Logan had turned her down and everything, yet they were clearly both in love with each other from the get go. I won’t drone on about this too much because I know you guys are sick and tired of me picking apart romance, but nothing in that made sense to me.

However, despite the romance, I certainly got the action I was looking for. The Commander of Baalboden is CREEPY and EVIL as all get out, and once things get started they don’t stop. Redwine also had no problem hurting or killing off characters to prove a point, which kept the stakes high on every page.

The setting was just as unique as I’d hoped, and Redwine didn’t spend much time infodumping yet I felt I had a handle on how things worked. The Cursed Ones were really interesting, as was the sort of Frontier outpost I was imagining coupled with the advanced technology Logan and others had. I also enjoyed how this unique setting was just that – a setting. Sometimes I feel like authors take too much time away from the story getting you into the world, but Redwine did none of that. Defiance was all about the characters and the plot.

Despite the fact that I wanted more from the characters of Rachel and Logan, they worked well enough that I really enjoyed the ride – especially when they were apart. The end hinted at a possible coming love triangle which made me groan, but it also left the book in a really crazy place that leaves room for LITERALLY ANYTHING to happen. I’m really excited to see what Redwine will do with the plot, and I’m even willing to deal with more Rachel/Logan focal points as long as the action keeps up the pace it set in this one!

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6 thoughts on “ARC Review: “Defiance” by CJ Redwine

  1. I’m looking forward to reading Defiance! I’m glad you pointed out that the narrative isn’t overly descriptive in terms of worldbuilding, but rather has a major focus on character and plot; sometimes I love that intense worldbuilding, but this sounds like one where the action is the best part. 🙂 Great review!

  2. Wow, great review! I think you perfectly summed up my feelings about this book in the beginning – I’ve totally be salivating over the cover for MONTHS! I’m disappointed though by the heavy emphasis on romance. I’ve also heard complaints about the world-building and the dual narration, so I’m glad those didn’t bother you and I’m still excited to read it myself next month, although I will go in with slightly lowered expectations. Great review! 😀

    ~Keertana
    Ivy Book Bindings

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