Friday, March 30, 2018

Book Review: Defiance (The Courier's Daughter #1)

Release Date: August 28, 2012
Author: C. J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Length: 403 pages
Source: Purchased Book

Defiance by C. J. Redwine is rich postapocalyptic YA fantasy perfect for fans of Graceling and Tamora Pierce.

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.



Protagonists: Rachel and Logan are, at their core, fairly by the book protagonists for this genre. Rachel is a fierce and impulsive girl who knows how to hold her own in a fight, while Logan is her foil, he's more of a planner, who takes time to run through variables before charging in guns blazing. At first, I wasn't all that impressed with these characters, that is until I saw how these characters reacted to certain events that transpire in this book. How they react, and how their choices affect them in this story and bring about real consequences, was really interesting to see. As the story goes on these characters' flaws come out and we see them grow into well fleshed out characters with real issues and having to deal with that on top of this post-apocalyptic mess.

Romance: So, I wasn't too taken with this romance. Maybe it's that Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill has a very similar romantic premise, even though that story came out after this one, but there wasn't anything about that romance that hooked me. I mean, there is chemistry between the two characters, but their emotional connection doesn't feel developed past, they'll die for the other, and I really wish there were flashbacks, things to really drive home the connection between these two characters, also it was a tad annoying to have the male romantic lead not have feelings for our female lead, only to develop them when the plot called for it. Overall, I felt it was underdeveloped as a who and could have been fleshed out more.

World Building: Going into this book I was expecting more of a fantasy than a post-apocalyptic world. There are a couple of fantasy elements to the story, but that doesn't quite come through. It's not that there's anything wrong with post-apocalyptic books, in fact, if I read this around the time it came out I probably would have loved the story and this world but I wasn't a huge fan of the post-apocalyptic setting, that mixed with the extremely sexist city-state our characters lived in, which for the record is meant to be terrible, it just wasn't something I was prepared for, I almost threw the book because of the horrific villain in this book. On the whole, I really enjoyed the premise, but at this point, it's not exactly my cup of tea.

Predictability: Looking over this story, I don't really know if there was anything I was able to predict. I mean, I was able to see where the story was going to go more or less, though there were a few twists I didn't see coming, I had a vague idea how the plot would progress, it just sort of progressed rather slowly, so there wasn't all that much that ultimately happens in this story, I mean I feel like we didn't get to the main meat of story until over halfway through the book. As things got to the end, well there were quite a few things I did not see coming.

Ending: The final climax of this book is intense, although, I was listening to this book on audio from my local library, and I would recommend just actually reading the book because I didn't really feel the urgency in the final climax, but I know I would have if I just read the ending. Anyway, the final climax is really interesting because it's very game-changing and again I was happy to see real consequences for characters' actions, whether that's a protagonist or antagonist I'm talking about you'll just have to read and see. THe cooldown period as the dust settles seems to just wrap up this installment's story and begin setting things up for the sequel.


I would say this is a pretty middle of the road book, I didn't hate it, but it just wasn't my cup of tea at the moment. I'm sure I'll continue with this series and maybe by then, I'll be in a more post-apocalyptic mood. Regardless, this is an interesting adventure and if you're looking for a post-apocalyptic tale with a touch of fantasy, give this book a try.


No comments:

Post a Comment