Thursday, August 30, 2012

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Title: Defiance
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 416 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: ARC I won in a giveaway
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: book trailer | author website

DefianceWithin 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.


Review:


After telling the harrowing tale of this book following me no matter what I did, I finally sat down to read it and try to get it out of the way. If I loved it, fantastic! If not, it would be proof of karma and... Well, I've been planning something special where I act as the Book Fairy and leave books I didn't like (but that someone else might) in the common rooms for others to pick up, read, or keep.

If I weren't already convinced karma exists, this book would have proven it to me. Because I deliberately sought out bad books in the past, this one sought me out and demanded I read it. It doesn't matter that I recently decided to stop doing that. Karma bit me anyway.

Defiance is told in both Logan's and Rachel's first-person POVs, and losing track of who was narrating what chapter became a normal occurrence after chapter three or four. Their narrative voices sound exactly the same and that kind of problem is exactly how dual POV books go bad. Their personalities are fairly different, but it becomes difficult to grasp that fact and keep it in mind when their voices are identical. I didn't come to like any of them either, and I can only stand to read about certain types of unlikable main characters. Neither of them were of that certain kind.

Making the process of getting invested in this world and these people even more complicated, the worldbuilding was minimal. Is this an alternate world? It is the past? The future? The explanation for how Baalboden came to be and the names of the characters implies this world is the future, as does the use of technology, but the rampant misogyny and wagons and village life are more commonly found in fantasy novels based on past times and set in an alternate world. The heavily misogynistic society Rachel and Logan live in left a bad tasste in my mouth too. It's portrayed as evil and I'm glad for that, but I'm increasingly asking books with this sort of society why it needs to be there.

Maybe this gets better, but I genuinely have no interest in reading more. My stopping point was when Rachel got attacked by a Cursed One popping up out of the ground, which is a pretty good cliffhanger, but I don't care. I don't care if she lives (of course she does!) or dies or how she escapes. I don't care what the two-dimensional villain does to Logan in the dungeon either. Some argue that this lack of knowledge about the story's development is why DNF reviews like mine are useless, but use can be found in listening to someone talk about why they could not finish reading a certain book.

It's such a shame I wasn't into this book. Part of the reason I wanted to like it is because the author has been very supportive in the wake of multiple reviewers and bloggers being threatened and/or harassed, leading some of them to shut down their blogs. Supporting authors who don't harass readers and actively speak out against such practices is something I've been doing more of these past few months. Sadly, a great author does not necessarily lead to a great book.

And that is why Defiance is a DNF.

(A small, unrelated, yet fun comment: am I the only one who noticed the title font for Defiance has the same diagonal line/different shading effect going on as Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth do? It's a slight variation, but the similarity is clear to me. An attempt at subliminal messaging, perhaps? Trying to recreate the success for Roth's series by reusing the same font effect? Nah, not even. Still, it's an odd thing I noticed.)


What am I reading next?: Living Violet by Jaime Reed

2 comments:

  1. I've heard very mixed things about this book. I'll probably check it out just to determine things for myself.

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  2. I'm sorry you didn't like it and couldn't finish it! I actually loved it, but Defiance seems to either be loved or not so much.

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