Expected publication: August 28th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
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Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, 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 boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but 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.
Defiance doesn't waste any time at throwing you right into the story. Once Commander Chase declares her father dead, Rachel Adams wastes no time in trying to come up with a plan to find him. Of course, Logan McEntire (Anyone think of Myra McEntire? I do.) doesn't plan to let her leave the "safety" of Baalboden on her own. Defiance is certainly filled with plenty of action, which is something I think a lot of dystopians are, oddly enough, missing.
Because Defiance is written in dual POVs, we get to experience both Rachel and Logan's thoughts and experiences when they're separated. While I think Redwine handled the dual POVs very well, when I stopped reading and returned quite a bit later, it was hard to tell whether I was reading from Logan's perspective or Rachel's perspective for a page or two. The characters themselves are very easy to love - Logan and Rachel are both fighters in their own way, both heroes. Rachel is stubborn, sometimes impulsive, and very determined. Logan calculates things, makes plans. Together, they work perfectly to level each other out. But sometimes they just didn't have a unique voice in their narratives.
When it comes to the romance between Rachel and Logan, however, I wasn't really satisfied. It felt a bit rushed to me, even though I know it wasn't since Rachel and Logan have known each other since forever, basically. The tension between the two of them in the first half of the book is written perfectly - but then suddenly I feel like it fizzled out. The two of them are still perfect for each other, of course. I just feel like there could have been more.
Speaking of more, the only other issue I had was the world-building. It's easy to see that the world Rachel and Logan live in is dangerous. But I didn't really understand the world itself at all. That's always been an issue for me, so maybe it wouldn't bother anyone else.
And Commander Chase. I spent half of the book wishing I could punch him in the face. He's a merciless, power-hungry, mysterious leader. I can't wait to find out what's really going on with him in the next book.
Overall: With strong characters - that also know they need help from one another - and action-packed chapters with smooth writing, (and even a heart-breaking scene or two!) Defiance is a dystopian you don't want to miss out on. 4 stars.