By C.J. Redwine
Originally Published August 28th, 2012
Multi POV, First Person
Firstly, I just want to note how much I love this book's cover. I have the hardback and it's luminescent and so very pretty. It's also been on my shelf since 2012 and I had started it then but didn't get far. Well, now, I finished it and I will say I believe I only did so because I was doing the audiobook.
Defiance is a Dystopian Fantasy book, set in our world after great drake creatures surfaced and burned our world as we know it. Now the survivors live in walled cities governed by ruthless men. There are two POVs we get, Rachel, a strong-willed girl, and Logan, the smart apprentice to Rachel's courier father. When Rachel's father doesn't return from his latest delivery, he is pronounced dead and she is put into the care of Logan. Logan: the boy who broke her heart and didn't return her affections years ago. But Rachel doesn't think her father is dead and she plans to do the impossible, venture out of the safety of her city, and find him herself.
Defiance, for me, ran into the issue that some Dystopians do, in that the political structure is so unbelievable that I found it hard to not be frustrated the entire book. My biggest qualms with the book were the way women were treated. It is illegal for them to walk without an assigned "protector", they are paraded at seventeen and handed to any man who would want them for a wife, they are not allowed to be educated except in the arts of "womanly ways" such as cooking, sewing, etc.. Now, sure, this is simply to add more complexities to the plot and more hardships to Rachel along the way. However, while I would believe these kinds of things in a fantasy world, I do not for a minute believe our modern world would devolve into a disgustingly archaic system such as that so soon after some dragons appeared.
Then there was the shock-value killing and violence. At one point the villain of the story, the governing man of the city, kills a guard beside Rachel to scare her and prove a point. This was an absurd moment for me--if you go around killing your guards, they aren't going to guard you anymore. There are more of them than you . . . I don't know, perhaps the book just didn't sit well with me from the start and that made me question the validity of everything else. Perhaps if this wasn't another case of "I'm not like other girls" or "let's elect the children to lead us" I would have been more forgiving. Or, at the least, I would have liked characters that didn't constantly make bad decisions or were flat in general.
This is all my bitter opinion, though. And honestly, it isn't fair to Redwine. She is a damn good author! Her writing is always so clear and she's an instant buy author for me. But I simply shouldn't read Dystopian, I don't think I have ever liked a single one. Alas, I'm glad I did read it overall, even if I won't be continuing the series.