Auhor: C. J. Redwine
Release: August 28th 2012
#1 in the Courier's Daughter trilogy
Sequels: Deception (#2), Deliverance (#3)
While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.
When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.
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.
Took a little bit to get into in the beginning, but then really picked up during the middle, and slowed down again for the finale. However, I feel like it was partially my own fault for that decrease in interest for the last few pages, because I had to put the book down for a while to let my friend Laura catch up, with whom I read the book together.
The exposition really didn't sit well with me and I was already fearing a very rocky road ahead of me for the length of the whole novel, especially since it hasn't gotten the best reviews so far. I mean, it has both its good and its bad reviews, but all in all, it's been pegged more as mediocre — which, having finished the book, I'd definitely sign that one.
Defiance introduces us to Rachel, a headstrong, fiery female, the only headstrong, fiery female in a world full of obedient, agreeable women that are only used as incubators, basically. I have nothing against this kind of world-building, particularly when it's still a sad and true story yet today, but you know what I have a problem with? When the heroine, Rachel, complains about how another girl, whom she calls her "best friend", is perfectly satisfied with this simple life laid out for her. She's excited for her "Claiming ceremony" and likes pretty dresses, and etiquette and the like. Let her be happy with that, let her live her life like she wants to. Don't shame her for it. God.
In turn, sometimes I couldn't stand Rachel. Sometimes she drew conclusions that were too quick, too rash and whenever she made up her mind about it, she was extremely stubborn about it. NEVERTHELESS. I'll say that Rachel undergoes a certain character development that I must mention at this point, because while at first, she simply acts on her impulses without thinking of the consequences and neither owning up to them and taking responsibilities, she changes this about her. Towards the end, she actually stands up for her mistakes, she admits that she's made them and she tries to make the best of it. Sure, there's still a lot she has to work in, but I feel like she's already made a lot of progress.
Logan, the other protagonist, in turn hasn't really had that much character development. If I'm being honest, though, he didn't even need it that badly. I liked his cool composure, the way he's able to calculate and think. He doesn't do things half-assed and he actually plans ahead for any possible repercussions. Responsible, rational people like these are my absolute favorite type of humans. Yes, Logan also had his moments where I was like "Duuuuuude," but overall, I liked him a lot better than Rachel. I do want to mention at this point that by the conclusion of the novel, I also ended up liking Rachel, because of how far she's come. So, despite their individual flaws, they were more or less well fleshed-out characters with personalities I generally enjoyed.
The plot was the reason it took me a bit to get into it, because it really takes its time to really get into the action, get into the fantasy element and stop bumbling forward at a snail pace. If I remember correctly it's around page 130 or something when the protagonists finally start taking actions, and while everything that happened before then wasn't boring per se, it just wasn't terribly intriguing either, you feel me? I never had the huge urge to pick the book up nor to continue reading whenever I finished a chapter, but at the same time it wasn't so bad that I dreaded picking it up or anything. Anyway, as soon as the ball does start rolling though, the novel is good. We actually don't get that much backstory or a lot in terms of explanations yet, but to be frank, that didn't even bother me all that much, because the plot was really entertaining. In part because of the characters, who really carry a lot of what makes book good on their shoulders, and in part because it's actually interesting.
In conclusion, Defiance definitely didn't blow me away, but it was very hard to put it down once I started reading it, and I liked it well enough that I immediately purchased the sequels as well, as soon as I realized that I was having a good time reading it. So, I guess I'll be off to read those now. There's so much potential in there for this trilogy, and I really hope that Redwine will take all of it and spin it into something golden.