Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

Cover:

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Review:

I enjoyed Defiance but I didn’t love it. I hate to say that because I was really looking forward to it but there were just some things that didn’t quite sit right with me.

One of those things was world-building. For the most part, Redwine did a great job of building a world I could mentally immerse myself in but the lack of continuity was a little bothersome. For example, the culture was very misogynistic and women and men seemed to dress like they lived in centuries past (maybe 17th-18th?) but then they would have technology that super-ceded our modern technology. I know this is supposed to be a dystopian novel but I find it hard to believe that technology would evolve and dress/customs would devolve that much.
Another issue I had was with the characters. I liked Rachel and Logan at times but at other times I found them both to be disappointing. At first, I thought Logan was your typical quiet and kind boy-next-door. However, as the novel progressed I could tell he cared about Rachel but he would make little digs at her that just unsettled me. And as for Rachel, she seemed to almost have a Katniss-vibe going on but then she would become such a shell of herself, it was difficult to swallow. I understand she went through a lot of personal tragedy but the amount of self-pity she experienced didn’t mesh with her former heroine-extraordinaire persona.

Other than those few things I did enjoy the overall plot of the story and found it to be really interesting, combing dystopian and paranormal elements. I will definitely read the next book in the series and would still recommend this book. I just didn’t find it as rave-worthy as a lot of other readers.

Link to Gooreads

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Teaser Tuesday #12 – Defiance by C.J. Redwine

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Blurb:

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.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

You’re worth so much more than anything I can give you. If you can’t believe that right now, believe in me.”

and

It means” – I lean closer and will my words to take root within her – “I will always find you. I will always protect you. I won’t let you down. I promise.”

Link to Goodreads

 

Discovery (Altera Realm Book 1) by Jennifer Collins

Summary from Goodreads:

Syney’s life is ordinary until carnival psychic informs her that she will be embarking on an adventure surrounding her real parents. All she’s got left of them is an amulet, the only thing found on her as a baby. The amulet breaks a spell that sent her over 100 years into the future in the Human Realm.

The Altera Realm has been at war for well over a century and is connected to the Human Realm by a portal and no human knows it exists. It is home to the five old and great races—Magic Users, Lycins, Vampires, Daemons, and Shifters. Each race is an entity of their own with its own life purpose, rulers and guarded secrets.

An old prophecy tells that peace can only come through the gracious Vilori Queen. What will happen when human-raised Syney Andrews is thrust into that role? No one is prepared for the consequences.

Things are only going to get harder for Syney, who is feeling a strong attraction to Hunter, from a banished family—and another race. Who can Syney trust, if anyone? Will she go against the law forbidding interracial marriage? Or will she fight to the death for her love, Hunter? Readers will be on the edge of their seats as they find out.

Cover:

Discovery (Altera Realm Book one)

Review:

*I received an eCopy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was really excited to dive into this book upon reading the blurb. It falls into some of my most beloved categories young adult with some paranormal elements. I really did enjoy this book however it was a little tough for me to get into at first. I’ve only just begun reading books written in the third person. It used to be I struggled connecting with the characters because I couldn’t see their world through their eyes. Discovery really threw me for a loop at first because the book switches between many different characters’ POV. Once I got past the initial shock of the POV swapping I was hooked. I found the story compelling and rather true the teenage life despite the fantasy elements.

I enjoyed almost all the characters and what they offered the story. There are so many that it would be difficult to describe why I liked each one so I’ll pick a few that had the most impact on me:

Syney, who is also the very main character, started out a bit grating for me. I didn’t hate her but I didn’t love her either. She seemed to naive (even though she was so young) that at times I found myself wanting to scream “WHAT are you doing?!” But as the story progressed and I realized all the difficult aspects of her new life I felt sympathy for her. I found myself asking whether I’d make similar decisions in her place. At the end of the book I saw real potential for her to grow as a character and into someone who would be fit to be a queen.

Hunter was kind and patient, however rough he seemed at times. I enjoyed his thoughtfulness and seriously felt bad about the cards he was continuously dealt. I didn’t always agree with or like his choices but in the end I felt he always made them with Syney and others best interest at heart.

Mellisandrianna was a horrible, conniving person. Yet, I still can’t figure her out. The end of the book left me with more questions about her than I had from the very beginning. I think there is a lot more to her than I thought.

Gabe, much like Mellisandrianna, seems to possess some questionable qualities and I’m really interested to find out what his motives are in the end. I know he has a bigger picture in mind but I’m more than curious to find out what that it is.

For having so many characters, I felt the Collins really gave each one their own voice and developed them into “people” a reader can really care about. The story itself had a lot of twists and turns and elicited a lot of emotion from me. I enjoyed the story line, and like I said once I got past the switching POV’s, I was sucked in. I felt the world to be interesting and although there were various typical paranormal beings (shape-shifters, Lycins, vampires, magic users) I though the story was it’s own which is important in a market saturated with similar retelling of the same stories.

I am excited to see what’s in store for these characters and would give this book my recommendation for those who like young adult paranormal. Just be prepared, it’s a long book but don’t let this intimidate you!