Within 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.
I tried several times to start this review with something clever or profound, something that would let you know I mean Serious Business about this book. But every time I tried, I ended up with something like OMCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!
In case that wasn’t clear enough for you: I love this book.
There were so many things that thrilled me about DEFIANCE, from the characters to the worldbuilding to the gorgeous prose that pulled me so deep into the story I never wanted to leave. DEFIANCE was one of those rare perfect-for-me reads.
The story is told from two points of view, Rachel and Logan, and the story belongs to both of them equally. Both characters have their own plotlines, development, and voices. The last is especially important to me because with the both characters narrating in first person and present tense, keeping up with who’s speaking could get confusing. You never have to worry about that with DEFIANCE. Though every chapter header warns you who’s narrating, it’s almost not necessary. C.J. does an amazing job giving the characters distinctive voices and styles.
The title, too, plays an important role in the story. Both Rachel and Logan are defiance personified. They refuse to let anything stop them from achieving their goals. No matter what obstacles are thrown in their paths — and terrible things do happen — they never give up. And I love that.
Regarding the worldbuilding, I think most of you know how much I admire a good genre mash. DEFIANCE is set in a post-apocalyptic world. The city-state of Baalboden is a terrible dystopia. Logan invents brilliant pieces of tech that might be found in a science fiction novel. And the things that caused the apocalypse and still threatens the world today? DRAGONS. Add some romance to that — and a few delicious almost-kissing scenes — and you’ve got a book with all my favorite genres perfectly blended together.
For anyone looking for a deep and exciting read that stretches beyond the typical boundaries of genre, DEFIANCE is for you.
DEFIANCE releases August 28. Order from IndieBound!