Books,  Five Stars,  Review,  YA

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Author: C. J. Redwine
Publisher: Atom
Published: 6th September 2012
Pages: 403
Format: Paperback
Source: ARC Copy from Atom
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon, TBD


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.

the walls go up
Defiance was one of those titles that as soon as I saw the cover and read the synopsis, I simply had to read it. There was no questions to be asked, it was a task that simply had to be done. Now that it has been devoured (yes, devoured, not read), I can say with absolute certainty that the wait was totally worth it. I know that there is a lot of hype surrounding this book and that can sometimes deter someone from picking the book up but please, please, please don’t miss out on this spectacular read. If there is a day in the future when I can write half as well as C. J. Redwine, I would be in heaven, seriously. Not convinced? Check out why this book is so stunning below.

the city is built
When everyone around you has lost faith, does that mean that you should throw down the towel and lose your own faith as well? This is the dilemma that Rachel faces at the beginning of the book and it is such a great way to pull the reader into the story. Instantly you’re intrigued by what is going on and you just want to continue reading to find out more. And, fortunately, you’re rewarded every time you turn the page by this fabulous, inventive and creative story that is just full of action, adventure, and emotion. This book doesn’t stop moving, there is always something going on that keeps your attention going and makes it incredibly difficult to stop reading. (I read this book in two days, it’s 403 pages and I’m a slow reader, you work out how great it is from that.)

The book itself is split between the POV of Rachel and the POV of Logan, just as the synopsis suggests and I found this narrative technique to be stunning. I would be reading how Rachel feels and what she is doing while wondering, in the back of my mind, what Logan was doing elsewhere. Other authors have used this style before and some don’t quite manage to get it right, but C. J. is definitely not one of those authors – not in my eyes anyway. This style was a large reason why I fell in love with this book so much. Two very different characters, one author, and yet each character had very distinctive voices and narrative styles. It was just brilliant.

the people live
At the start of the book I actually found Rachel to be a bit irritating. She didn’t listen to anyone, she was emotional and just seemed to be a bit childish in her actions. But then I got to know her more, understand her more, and suddenly she wasn’t annoying at all. In fact, she was so strong, and stubborn and just kick-ass that I really, really liked her. I liked that when things happened to her, she didn’t act like they didn’t effect her but she also didn’t just roll over into a ball and give up. She was tough, she carried the world on her shoulders, and she was just so real and amazing and really well written. This was a character that you could actually imagine standing next to you in real life.

But Rachel is easily outdone by Logan. God. This character. He was just … magnificent. I’m struggling to think of a great way to describe him in a way that just gives him justice. I loved how level-headed he was, and yet, at the same time, how emotional he could be. He has a logical brain and always thinks things through with worst case scenarios and best case scenarios but at the same time, he will do things on a whim from anger or pain. He had his perfection on some things but he wasn’t without his own flaws and it just made him into such a realistic character – and one that very quickly grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. If I ever find myself a Logan to love in real life, I will be one happy person!

in a new world
As this book was set in a mythical world there had to be a lot of world building within it; C. J. needed to establish the world without making it boring for the reader and I can say with certainty that this happened. The descriptions of everything in this book were never too long or too short, they kept you captivated and really painted a perfect picture in your mind. The information was given to you all at once, the world almost being painted layer by layer as opposed to all at once. It was also a shared experience between Rachel and Logan, something that helped give a new and exciting perspective on it. It was truly stunning and really helped to make the book more enjoyable.

full of creativity
Overall Defiance is a book that is truly incredible and brilliant. It was hooking and interesting and had the perfect amount of emotions within it. Too many times I felt my eyes start to water and then my heart felt like it was too full. This may have been C. J. Redwine’s debut novel but it feels like she has been writing and perfecting her style for many years. There was never a dull moment and really this book is just one that I could read over and over again. I am now waiting on tender hooks to read more of C. J’s work and I really hope that after reading this review, you will do exactly the same. Defiance is not a book to be missed, especially if you’re a fantasy YA fan.

five stars
five out of five hearts

If this review isn’t enough to get you reaching for the book, why not check out her interview for Fresh Start September, here



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