Defiance by C.J. Redwine
The Skinny: Rachel Adams is not like the other girls in Baalboden. She does not sew or have tea parties; she knows how to fight and survive. When her father, a courier for Baalboden’s tyrant ruler known as the Commander, disappears and is declared dead, Rachel’s new Protector – the man who is solely responsible and who she must obey at all times – is none other than the young man she once declared her love to… and was shot down by. Logan was her father’s apprentice, but is also a skilled inventor. During an escape attempt to find her father (whom she does not believe is dead) Rachel is captured by the Commander and forced to retrieve a package that her father hid from the Commander. Rachel and Logan contrive a plan to escape once they leave to find the package, but when things go awry, Rachel must retrieve the package on her own for Logan’s life depends on it.
(and from Goodreads): 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.
BFF?: Rachel was this enigma of a character. Normally I don’t really care for characters who are badass – ha, I couldn’t even say that with a straight face! Rachel is hardened, a fighter, full of spirit. But she also has this gentleness about her, this fragility that is easily broken. What I think I loved best about her is that despite all of these “cold” traits, she has “warm” traits as well. There’s a particular scene where she and her best friend Sylph are chatting and giggling like teenage girls do and I think that was the scene that I thought “yes! I want to be BFFs with Rachel!”
Readability: There are alternating POVs in Defiance which normally I don’t enjoy. I always find myself wanting to read more of one character and sighing deeply when I get to a less desirable character. But seeing the story through both Rachel’s AND Logan’s eyes was just fantastic. There were so many times that I got caught up in them and the way they viewed things that I became the characters. My only “complaint” is that there were some scenes where I had no idea whose voice I was reading. But I think that the characters’ personalities were so similar (in a good way) that some of the things they thought or said could have been from either one – that’s where I would get confused (despite each chapter having the character’s name on it. whomp whomp)
Crush Level: 9
So I rarely give out anything higher than an 8 these days… so Logan, kudos for being such a dream boat! Although the feminist in me wants to slap me for this, I kind of have a thing for over-protective, bossy, take charge men. Kind of like the kind you’d find in a historical romance novel. Logan takes his role as Rachel’s Protector seriously, but he never wants to control her. He just wants to keep her safe, so we see lots of sexy scenes where he’s like “oh no you’re not going to do this. You’re going to wait here while I do it.” But of course Rachel’s all “Pshh, like I’d sit here. YOU stay here while I do it.” And then Logan’s all “Fine but be careful.” and then we swoon. He also periodically uses the term “sweetheart” which is my FAVORITE term of endearment. The first time I saw that my heart went a fluttering!
Maybe it’s the nerd in me, but I find myself imagining things from Zelda way too much. There’s this monster in Defiance called the Cursed One, and it’s basically this big dragon-like monster that lives underground and occasionally comes above ground, breathing fire and destroying things. Every time it came up, I immediately thought of Kind Dodongo (okay, I had to google that) from Ocarina of Time.
Maybe I’m just hungry, but Rachel’s “grandfather” Oliver has a tent in the market place where he sells baked goods. They talk about sticky buns several times in the book and yeah… I’m a huge fan of sticky buns. I must figure out where to get one from!
Commencement Speech: I got the opportunity to participate in an ARC Blog Tour, hosted by Southern Book Bloggers, for Defiance and lemme tell you: I am BEYOND excited about getting to participate! I saw this one a while back and thought the cover was amazing. Little did I know just how amazing the book actually was! It was NOT AT ALL what I was expecting, taking place in this kind of vague time period where people lived historically but then there was futuristic technology – I’m most interested in being shocked and amazed later in the series when I find out it’s like post-apocalyptic America or something! What really made this story for me was the love story. I know, I know… often times I praise books that make this secondary, and while Defiance did, it was so wonderfully sweet! It wasn’t in your face, it wasn’t over-done… but you knew that despite that, it was definitely passionate. Everything about this book was slow building, deep and meaningful without being boring or dull. The action was spot on, dangerous and exciting and suspenseful.
I’m always wary of debut authors – although I don’t know why – and absolutely love it when their books turn out to be my favorite reads of the year. Defiance is no exception and I can’t WAIT for everyone to get a chance to read it!
Yearbook Quote:“I love you, Rachel. …I want to brand [his words] into my skin as proof that I still have something left to fight for.”
Superlatives – Best Hidden Zelda Boss
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