While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.
When Rachel’s father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city’s brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father’s apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.
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.
C.J. Redwine deftly blends fantasy elements and a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world to create an impressive debut novel. Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the way of world-building – we have no idea what time period this could have taken place in and, aside from knowing that the world that Logan and Rachel live in is dangerous, we aren’t given very much in terms of its history.
Defiance alternates between Rachel and Logan’s perspectives however aside from a few key differences – Rachel’s stubborn, often irrational behaviour and Logan’s methodical, logical approach to everything – these characters are given the same “voice.” Despite this, the characters themselves are quite likable, and nicely balance each other out.
Overall, a strong female lead, plenty of action, romance that doesn’t take over the plot, believable character development, and beautifully written prose make Defiance a book that is definitely worth reading.