Tuesday, November 27

Defiance: Book Review


Balzer + Bray
September 28th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Official Blurb -
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses 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 one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a 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.

I am more in love with the characters than the story. There is so much responsibility on their very mortal shoulders. It is just too much, save the world from an invisible threat. Why couldn't this invisible threat have struck before all the trouble and terror they went through? Why bother searching for a weaker version of a weapon you have? 

There is so much death and blame in this story. What will be left of the characters when this is all over? I am thinking seemingly nothing.

The characters are fabulous. A villain to stir your hatred. The hero is everything you could want. A heroine who throws herself at anything. I love that the good guys don't bow to traditional standards. There isn't the whole, "Woe is me, I am blind to all danger." They are always doing their utmost to think of every contingency. Logan is especially adept at this. He is always running his case scenarios and analyzing the situation. In fact, his mind is such an entertaining place I could happily stay there. He doesn't delude himself. His battle of wits against the villain reminds me very much of a similar battle of the minds in The Princess Bride. I also like that Logan, despite the odds against him, is still hopeful and confident he can pull it off. Not in an egotistical manner but more of sure knowledge that he will leave no stone unturned to reach his goal. His confidence isn't annoying but endearing. Despite all his efforts in preparation things always go wrong. There is always one possibility he hasn't prepared for. I don't feel these strong urges to strangle the characters for being so blind. Instead I get to enjoy a deeply dangerous and strategic game. We are going to put all our cards out and dare them to outsmart us in some ingenious way. Logan is definitely the best part of this book. I mean just look at his impressive list of traits. He is a jack of all trades.
  • Good looking
  • Techie/Inventor
  • Tracker
  • Can wield an impressive display of weapons
  • Sharp mind
  • Not too much ego
  • He can make a bomb from his buttons

The ending of the story was a bit anticlimactic for me. There is so much rage invested in the villain who turns out to not be the real problem. How could there be anything worse than that guy? Thankfully amidst all this darkness and destruction there is a sliver of happiness to cling to for Logan and Rachel. I find myself wanting to protect that sliver of happiness with the same feral energy Rachel often unleashes. You know who you are Mr. Male Character, I got my eye on you and you better not try any funny business. No touchie you crazy psycho! I felt this book was a combination of man movie(breasts, action, and special effects) and girl movie(emotions and love). I did feel that there was something missing from the book when the end came but reflection on all its good stuff was sufficient for me to be happy. A good fit for just about anyone. It was well worth the long wait for publication.

Violence: Heavy
Moments Divine:
"Grief is a deep pool of darkness, and I huddle on the damp, cold floor as it sucks me under. I had something worth losing, and now that it's gone, now that they're gone, I'm realizing the life of solitude I always thought I wanted isn't good enough anymore.
I don't want to be alone.
I don't want to have only the cold comfort of my inventions to keep me company.
I want my family.
I want Rachel.
Not because she's beautiful. Not because she's my responsibility. I want her because she makes me laugh. Makes me think. Inspires me to be the kind of man I always hoped I'd be.
I want Rachel because the thought of a life without her is more than I can bear."
"But terrifying because beneath the longing lies an inescapable truth: If he is my lodestone, it's because somehow in the last few weeks I've started to rely on him. Lean on him. Need him. My heart pounds a little faster as the realization sinks in.
I need Logan.
Not because I need saving. Not because he could plan our way out of this. But because on some basic, soul-deep level within me, he is the solid ground beneath my feet. The one who will move mountains to keep his promises. The one who looks at me and sees.
I can't imagine my life without him. Everywhere I look, he's there. A constant thread binding my past, my present, and the future I want so badly to have with him.
With him.
My eyes fly open.
I'm in love with Logan."
"Best Case Scenario: I kill him on my first try.
Worst Case Scenario: I miss, and never get another chance.
Best Case Scenario it is, then."
"I love how you still think if you tell me to do something, I'll just check my brain at the door and do it."
"I've just made a fool of myself, haven't I?"
"Yes, I have." He steps back. "What is it about you that makes rational behavior so difficult for me? Never mind. Forget I asked that. You're right. It's fine."
"Don't be an idiot. Whether we live or die, we'll do it together."