by C.J. Redwine
Series: Courier’s Daughter #1
Published: 28 August 2012
Balzer + Bray, Hardcover, 403 pages
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.
Should I have to describe Defiance by C.J. Redwine with one word, it would probably be unpredictable or meaningful. As it was set in a very different sort of dystopian society, I had a really fun time deciphering how the world has become the way it was in the book. The plot was interesting and had a lot of potential but I feel it did not live up to expectation as Ms. Redwine’s writing still seemed slightly amateurish. There was a lot of word repetition which got slightly annoying and the plot should have been slightly more developed.
As for the characters, Rachel, the protagonist is an extremely headstrong, brave and impulsive girl. She was also described as ‘loyal to a fault’ which actually gives her more character and brings her to life. Moreover, Rachel’s growth throughout the story is very impressive. She went from a girl who thought she was a fierce warrior – which she was not yet – to an actual warrior who is fearless and smart. However, her severely emotional personality makes her feel very strongly for almost everything. For example, she was so bent on getting revenge on the Commander that she did not realise she was becoming just like him. Which actually occurs in numerous dystopian novels, I’ve noticed.
Now, on to Logan. Boy oh boy, isn’t he just so different from the usual male protagonist. Smart and slightly OCD are the last qualities I expected a YA novel male lead to have. However, these traits incorporated with stalwartness and Logan’s gentlemanly yet rough if need be personality was a breath of fresh air from the usual male characters I’m used to, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Concerning Logan and Rachel’s relationship, I wished there was more background information on them. I understand they had a history but there needed to be more evidence on that before all the ‘I love you’s came in.
Although the book was pretty good, what made me give it 4 stars was the incredible underlying message of what it meant to be human. The whole story revolved around the theme of humanity. Like how many of the characters (Rachel and the Commander, namely) in the book start to lose their humanity when too focused on their goal. Yes, I’m aware many YA dystopian novels have this message too but none of them really made me realise how this is applicable in our current world too. With all the wars and conflicts going on, how many people are losing their humanity due to these events?
In conclusions, Defiance was not the cream of the crop in YA but however, the underlying meaning is powerfully thought-provoking. I simply cannot wait for the sequel, Deception, coming August 2013. Ugh…the wait.