Book Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, 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 boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but 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.”

Hardcover: 403 Pages

Series: Defiance #1

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

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I really wanted to like Defiance, but this is one book you couldn’t pay me to finish.

It left me so confused, so thoroughly unsatisfied and mind you, I only managed to read half of it.
Where to start..let’s start with the world-building or lack thereof.

I cannot,  for the life of me, pinpoint what time this novels takes place in. Is it a futuristic world? They seem to have pretty advanced technology that would suggest to that. Then again, they also have torches, wagons, castle like buildings, village markets and swords. Maybe it’s an alternate past time, which would definitely explain the misogynistic society. I don’t know because, guess what? We’re never really told.

Women are viewed as fragile, dainty flowers who are in need of a protector until they can be Claimed by a husband. It’s also clearly stated they are supposed to be docile, submissive and obedient.

At first, I thought that the Protectors were just another kind of legal guardians. I kept thinking that up until we’re told a woman going through the market, without her protector, is technically breaking the law and flogging is the punishment for it. Say what? 18th century? 19th?

Needless to say, even though this whole world is portrayed as bad, I still didn’t like it or enjoy reading about it.

Moving on to the characters. You’d think I would have liked Rachel, as the independent woman with a mind of her own, standing up to the beliefs of this society. And maybe I would have liked her if her character was consistent.  However, she changes her behavior from chapter to chapter. She starts off hating Logan for turning her down when she confessed her schoolgirl crush. After her dad’s will brings them together, she changes her opinion of him with each nice or mean thing he says to her. I didn’t find that, or her character, likeable at all.

Speaking of the romantic interest, Logan was about as interesting as watching paint dry. Also, his inner turmoil and dialogue made it impossible for me to believe he’s 19 years old.

Their relationship is sappy and as melodramatic as a spanish soap opera romance.

I had a problem with the writing as well. It seems to me like the author tried to make each sentence as long as she possibly could just to show off her skills with the english language? I’m not trying to suggest that’s what she did, it just read that way for me.

I didn’t enjoy the switching between POV’s either. It works wonderfully for some books ( see Unwind), however all it did here was make me aware how similar Logan and Rachel’s voices are.

I think it’s safe to say this is one book I’m not going to finish anytime soon.


P.S.  I did like the cover.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

    • She was all over the place with a lot of things. It’s like ” I’m going to invent a signal scrambling device worthy of Bond’s gadgets so they can’t find us. Now quick, grab your sword and get in the wagon.”
      It’s so frustrating starting a new book, not loving it, hoping it’ll get better if you stick with it and then reaching the realization that it’s all downhill from a certain point. Arghhhh.

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