Wednesday 22 October 2014

Book Review - Defiance

Author: C.J. Redwine
Series: The Courier's Daughter Trilogy #1
Genres: Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 28th August 2012
Publishers: Atom
No. Pages: 403
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Rachel’s world is confined to the protective walls around her city. Beyond them are violent wanderers, extreme terrain, and a danger straight out of legend: a beast called the Cursed One that devastates everything in its path.

When Rachel’s father goes missing, she is desperate to search for him. But her attempts to flee the city bring her to the attention of its overbearing ruler. His efforts to control her make the world within the walls seem as dangerous as that outside.

Her only chance at escape is Logan. Once her father’s apprentice, and now her only protector, he feels that helping her might mean losing her completely. But if he can put his feelings aside, they might be able to save more than Rachel’s father. They might be able to break down the walls, and set their people free.

Defiance is the type of book that sits on your shelf for long periods of time and is only read when you're given a wave of encouragement. It sounds as though it's got everything you could find in a different book by an author you know you enjoy and a style of writing more rhythmic than music from the heavens, but Defiance has a few surprises within it's pages that have you picking at the differences and releasing you've actually just read a good book. That is exactly how I felt my experience reading Defiance was - I didn't expect to thoroughly enjoy it as much as I did, but I could not have been happier with the result.

Defiance does not have the best beginning. In all honesty, it's quite information dumpy - there's a world in which there are colonies that live behind walls in order to protect themselves form a raging beast that lives underneath them (yet only comes out of the ground outside of the walls, go figure). Each colony has a person in charge, (which is of course the villain, isn't it always?) who wants to make life difficult for both of the main characters (who actually have a romance I've not seen before, but I'll get to that later). There's markets that have a Robin Hood timed feel, technology that screams 20th century and laws and attitudes towards women that hold and carry such important messages that flow and ebb right into present day. It's a little complicated, sometimes difficult to imagine and in places, easy to get lost, but once Redwine gives you the lowdown showdown on where exactly we are, what the characters are 'meant to do' and what they actually can do, things go from interesting to spiffingly brilliant - at least, to me they did.

What did I most enjoy about this book? Maybe it was how the characters and messages that came with the characters were developed brilliantly, how Rachel was created and developed to be a strong leading character who didn't depend on the male species, but considered them as equal to her, with the same strengths and weaknesses, believed in not only others but importantly, herself. Maybe it was how Logan not only had common sense and the ability to know what battles to fight, but also had a high sense of respect for what people want, what people need and what is most important in life. Both of these characters had a fantastic and well developed relationship with other characters within the story, as well as with one another, and yes, I mean the relationship. Everybody is aware of the insta-love romances, the best friend to boy/girlfriend romances and the hate to love romances, but Defiance's romance was a little different and it was this twist of difference that not only made the connection and relatable feelings each of them had for one another believable, but it also made what grew and developed between them beautiful.Everybody knows I am a sucker for a romance and sucked me in this romance did. Where the world was a little confusing and the writing a little info dumpy, the friction, the tension, the passion and the sharp edges of Rachel and Logans personality shone through and carried this book until the book carried itself.

What else did I find worth mentioning? Maybe that there was at least one death per 100 page and I find that quite daring and admirable; it's a dangerous thing to do, but Redwine took it all in her stride and made some of those deaths really quite important to both character development and plot, not to mention really tugged on emotions quite early on that I didn't know I had already developed. Maybe it was that the action scenes both during the book and near the end of the book were absolutely fantastic and so well written I felt like I was in the moment with these characters. Maybe it was just how much I came to care and grow attached to the characters during their toughest moments, or maybe it was just how absorbed I was in the romance and how easily it flowed through both of the characters, and maybe it was because in so many ways, Defiance surprised me more than I had imagined. I never imagined that I'd fall for the romance so easily and quickly, I never imagined I'd enjoy a premise that sounds as though it's been used many times before and I never imagined that the world would be strong enough to hold my attention, but in all these cases, Defiance was a brilliant read for me and I can't wait to continue the series.


  1. Oooh. Absolutely wonderful review, Amanda! I was never going to pick this one up, but now I'm definitely going to sooner or later, thanks to you. :)

    1. Thank you Ebony! I do think it's worth the shot really, it's a good read :)

  2. YAY!!! Brilliant review and I am so happy you ended up loving this!!! :) :) :) I have put this off for so long because it really is one of those books you just let sit on your shelf for so long. You've made me very intrigued, kind of wish I'd bought it when I saw it in The Works a little while back.

    1. That's where I bought it, with it's sequel, so I was brave, but I think it's worth a shot, maybe try at the library? :D


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