Published: August 28th, 2012
Publisher: Balzar and Bray
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 LOVED Defiance. It was such a wonderful blend of post apocalyptic/dystopian/medieval fantasy, with a touch of outlawed technology thrown in for good measure. It reads a little like a fantasy, but it is more in tone than in substance. There is no magic, other than that of 'old' technology. Sound strange, well it wasn't, it worked on every level.
Rachel and Logan were marvellous protagonists. Both were resourceful and smart, but oh, the trials they had to bear. There is a lovely romance between the two of them that is more the realization of an existing love than something new, which worked for me. As for bad guys, well The Commander was rather a nasty villain - one of those guys who has let power really go to his head. Towards the end of the story we begin to realize that he is even more of a bastard than we think, and this bodes well, or ill perhaps, for future books.
The story is written from dual POV's, that of Rachel and Logan, which was easy to follow, with my only complaint being that some of the chapters were a bit short. (That's really just a personal dislike, it didn't affect the story in any way.) There's lots of exciting things going on - like nasty fire breathing dragon-like wormy creatures - but not everything works out the way we hope it will. Of course, this leaves the way open for books 2 and 3 - yep Defiance is the first in a trilogy, with #2 coming out next fall. Great romance, great characters, great action, interesting story - I loved it.