Teaser Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

I am going to an author event tonight with Myra McEntire, Amy Plum, and C.J. Redwine. I could NOT be more excited about it. I have read and loved both of Ms. McEntire’s books (Hourglass, Timepiece) and read and enjoyed the first of Ms. Plum’s books (Die for Me, Until I Die). I actually won copies of both Revenants books in a HarperTeen giveaway, which is really exciting, but I won’t have them for the signing tonight. Sad ūüôĀ Hopefully she’ll have bookmarks or something I can ask her to sign. I do have my paperback copy of Hourglass all ready for a signature, though!

The third was a little trickier, since C.J. Redwine is a debut author, and her book Defiance won’t be out until August 28.¬†I really wanted to read her book before meeting her (even though I knew most people at the signing would not have read it), so I figured I should at least attempt to get my hands on a copy. First, I emailed C.J. herself, since she is a Nashville author and I live in Nashville. She was extremely kind and gracious, and offered to lend me an ARC to read before the signing. But of course, she was also working hard on the sequel to Defiance and up against a deadline, so it was going to be tricky to meet up.

Plus, she has no way of knowing I’m not a psycho-stalker. I mean, I’m not, but you never know about people you meet on the Internet.

However, in a funny twist of fate, after finishing Hourglass I read the¬†acknowledgments, and realized I knew Myra McEntire’s agent. We went to college together. And upon further investigation, I realized she also represented C.J. Redwine. So I sent her a Facebook message, and lickety-split, she popped an ARC of Defiance in the mail for me.

Well, not quite lickety-split. She had to go to Utah first. Because she’s a big-time book agent who gets sent to Utah for the weekend. But she mailed the book (along with a couple other surprises!) out the day she got back. Because she is awesome.

I on the other hand, was sent to two birthday parties last weekend, by my children. And trust me, that was enough. I’m not cut out for the big time.

So to make a long story….slightly less long, Defiance arrived on Saturday. I didn’t tear into it immediately (I had promised my husband a movie night, and we watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and it was fun and action-packed and exciting), but my Mother’s Day request was that my husband watch the kids so I could read Defiance.¬†And it’s a good thing I had an excuse to read all afternoon, because I could not put it down.

Since Defiance will not be released until August 28, I will be posting a full review (along with an author interview!) closer to release. But I just wanted to post a bit of a teaser, in case you have a chance to get your hands on an advance copy and wonder if it’s worth your time, or if you’re considering pre-ordering a copy and wonder if it’s worth your money.

Just to be clear: it is.

The Plot: I usually write my own summaries, but this one has such a complex plot, I don’t know how to summarize it in a¬†concise¬†manner. So this is the synopsis from Goodreads:

“Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city‚Äôs 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‚Äôs apprentice, Logan‚ÄĒthe 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôt 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.”

My Thoughts, In a Nutshell: This book was amazing and fantastic and fantastically amazing. It took me a couple chapters to get into the writing style, just because it’s a tad more detailed than lots of other YA books I’ve been reading lately. But once I adjusted, I was hooked.

Defiance is absolutely chock-full of action, suspense, tingly romance, bitter heartbreak. The setting is unique and intriguing – kind of medieval-meets-steampunk-meets-fantasy. There are monsters and gadgets and swords and dungeons.

I literally gasped and cried and hunched up in a ball because it was just making me feel ALL THE FEELINGS during parts of this book. And normally, I am a pretty stoic reader.

The characters are incredible (Rachel and Logan immediately became one of my favorite fictional couples), the writing is vivid, and the story is intricate and beautiful. I don’t want to say much more, because this is just a teaser review, and if I’m not careful it’s going to turn into a full-blown all-out Review.

Suffice it to say, I loved this book. If you have a chance to read it, or if it’s within your means to buy it, do it. You’ll be glad you did.