Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review: Defiance

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: So I admit, I bought this on a total whim.  Never heard of it before, just saw it on B&N and clicked purchase.  So glad I have good instincts.  : D 

Rachel's father has been missing for over 9 months.  He's the cities courier, and has not returned after his 3 month journey.  After a 6 month probationary period, he is finally declared dead by the Commander  and Rachel is left utterly alone.  Rachel was raised solely by her father, who trained her to protect herself and survive off the land.  She's definitely not like other girls in her city.  A fiery red head with an independent attitude to match, Rachel is not convinced her father is dead and won't be stopped from seeking him out.  Even if her new Protector, and former crush, Logan tell her not to.  In her search for her father, Rachel discovers that the world she grew up with holds it's own secrets, and finds an ally in Logan that she never suspected.  

The setting for this novel was very interesting.  I still have yet to determine just quite when/where it takes place.  It's very fantasy in the fact that girls are expected to be docile and complacent complete with dresses and walled cities and an evil beast that lurks outside the walls.  And yet there is quite advanced technology as well.  It seems to have regressed from what it previously was, but still it didn't quite blend with the other aspects of the story.  It wasn't like technology born from  AU, it was like real life technology thrown into an almost fantasy setting.  Still  haven't quite figured that out yet, but it didn't really bother me.  I'm sure we'll get to truly understand it further into the series.  That being said, I still think the setting added to the story.  It really set the mood for the danger that Rachel faces outside the safety of the city walls as well as the dictatorship like control the Commander exhibits on the city and it's citizens.  

I really enjoyed Rachel as an MC.  I love strong independent girls as MC's in general.  Especially in a world where it's not expected of them.  Rachel was the epitome of that character type.  She can take down a man twice her size, and would sooner kill an attacker than subdue him.  She's fierce and brave, but the fact that her father is missing takes a heavy toll on her.  She's willing to sacrifice anything for the safety of her loved ones, an attribute that others don't fail to take advantage of.  Her relationship with Logan is also strained at the beginning of the novel.  Two years ago, she declared her love for him, except that he didn't return the feelings.  She's hated herself and him every since, and when he is appointed her new Protector, Rachel can't imagine anything worse.  

Logan, however, wants to find her dad just as much as Rachel does.  He doesn't believe her father is dead either, and is working on a plan to track him down.  That is until Rachel's bull headed attitude ruins his plans, and the two of them fall into an even bigger problem.  I really liked Logan as well.  He was such a geeky little science nerd, always playing with his experiments and inventions.  Except that he's an incredibly hot nerd who also can kick some major ass.  The best kind of nerd, obviously.  

I really enjoyed the development of their relationship.  They've known each other for forever, and yet they both have failed to truly understand the other.  Through facing the Commander and searching out Rachel's father, they both realize that they've both drastically misjudged the other and that maybe there is more to be gleaned from their relationship than they both initially realized.  I mean, it was pretty obvious that they were both in love with each other. They were both just too stubborn to admit it.  I still enjoyed their relationship though.  

I have to say that my only critique of this novel was that the pacing was a little bit too fast and furious.  Especially the ending.  Actually, it was mostly just the ending.  Everything else about the plot was fabulous.   It definitely didn't take a turn where I thought it would go.  Every time I was like "ok, so this is going to happen next." Nope.  Wrong-oh.  "Oh this plan will go smoothly, it has to, their previous one already failed." Nope. Wrong again.  Everything I expected never happened and everything I was hoping would not happen did basically.  I was kind of pulling my hair out due to anxiety.  For the most part, the whole novel was pretty unpredictable, which I greatly appreciated.  I love surprises.  

Overall, pretty great read.  Definitely a fabulous new series in the making.  Can't wait to see where the author takes it in the sequel.  Some shit is definitely sure to fly.