Defiance by C.J. Redwine | Book Review


Pages: 403 pages

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

Age Group: Young Adult



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.

Rating: OK Read!

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All over the blogosphere there were raving reviews about Defiance, so I went into it with pretty high expectations. Unfortunately, I could not get into Defiance for the life of me. And, I tried. I tried hard. I actually stopped reading it halfway through and started over because I thought I had just been in some kind of funk during the beginning half. I really wanted to like it, but I just wasn’t feeling it for Defiance.

The main problem for me was the characters. Did anyone else find them a little bland? Or, maybe that’s not the right word, more like lacking depth or connection. I could NOT connect with any of these characters. I felt bad for Rachel’s predicament with her missing dad, but her character never seemed to warm up to me. She was a strong, confident girl who was making a stand in a rather patriarchal society, so I couldn’t completely dislike her. But, throughout Defiance, I was waiting for that “Aha! moment” where the character and I really clicked, but unfortunately that never happened.

Plus, the romance was not my favorite. You could tell that both characters cared for each other, but I just was not a fan of Logan. He always seemed to think he knew best or was far smarter than anyone, and that arrogance was just unattractive. I mean there are a ton of guys with arrogant attitudes who I love, but the execution of Logan’s arrogance did not have been falling head over heels for him.

Although, I did find myself intrigued by the world C.J. Redwine created in Defiance, especially by the Wasteland. We get a glimpse of parts of the Wasteland, but I can’t wait to learn even more in future books. Also, the concept of the Cursed One, a black wingless dragon, was really cool. I mean what on earth is a dragon doing there?!?! And, how does the Commander, the leader of Rachel’s city-state, make sure it doesn’t attack them? The concept and idea behind the book was a definite plus for Defiance.

Most of Defiance was paced pretty slowly and I found that my mind tended to drift during a good chunk of the book. But, the ending was an explosion of action and adrenaline. It was like that moment in class when you’re halfway asleep and the hand you’ve been leaning on falters causing you to jolt back awake. It was such an awakening and it gave me a glimmer of hope for the sequel.

Defiance had an interesting concept, but it lacked the connection between character and reader. To be honest, I probably wasn’t going to read the next books, but the ending completely blew my mind away. Now I cannot wait to find out what happens and hopefully I’ll eventually grow a bond between the characters. I would recommend Defiance to those dystopian lovers.


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