Review: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Defiance
C.J. Redwine
Series: Courier's Daughter Trilogy, #1
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 416
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 1 of 5 stars 

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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.

Honestly, I am shocked by the large number of glowing reviews Defiance has gotten thus far. Once again, it looks like I'm the black sheep, here to reign my terror on fangirls and fanboys all over Goodreads, and give my honest opinion on what I thought of the overrated mess known as Defiance.

Defiance is the epitome of a trainwreck. Unfortunately, while some trainwrecks are hard to take your eyes away from, taking my eyes away from this book was the one thing I wanted most.

In the city of Baalboden, Jared Adams is declared dead by the ruthless Commander, and Jared's daughter, Rachel, friend, Oliver, and apprentice, Logan, are gathered to the hearing of his will. In Jared's will, he left Logan to be Rachel's Protector, acting as a bodyguard for Rachel and never letting her out of his sight. However, Rachel and Logan don't believe that Jared is actually dead, and escape the walls of Baalboden to look for him.

I really don't know where to start in this review. I might as well say that the plot itself was decent for the most part, when it wasn't taken over by sappy, melodramatic drivel. (I told you this wasn't going to be a happy review!) But honestly, it's hard for me to enjoy a fantasy novel to begin with, and if the world building in that fantasy novel is not up to par to what I think it should be, then I most certainly won't enjoy the book very much. And in Defiance's case, the world-building is almost nonexistent. In fact, the world building is so poor, we're never actually given a time period in which this book takes place. And, if I were to take a guess as to which time period Defiance takes place - you know what, actually, I wouldn't be able to take a guess. The actions and misogyny in Defiance clearly hint towards an early time period, but the dialogue between characters, and even the character's names, certainly do not. I mean, Logan? Rachel?


And speaking of Logan and Rachel... well, let's just say I've got lots to say about them. Let's just start with Rachel, and get her over with. Rachel made a complete 180ยบ turn in character, seemingly from one chapter to the next. Needless to say, this change in character was not a very good one. Right in chapter one, we're provided with very clear indications that Rachel has a strong hatred towards Logan, ever since she confessed her love (hmph) to him two years ago, and he rejected her. Then, after Logan was appointed as her Protector, basically made her move out of the comfort of her own house and into the discomfort of his, and just was an all around asshole towards her (but more on that soon. Trust me.), she decided that she's, once again, in love with him. I can't. I just can't. And while Rachel at times is a strong and self-reliant character, the sappy mess of a romance between her and Logan take over, and almost all of my respect for her as a badass killing machine is gone, just like that.

Then there's the love interest, Logan. *rubs hands together* Oh, boy... Let me say it right now: I hated this boy with a burning passion. He was a controlling, inconsiderate and at times abusive asshole. But, so you can see some of the reasons while I wanted to desperately to strangle Logan, here are some of the things he's said to Rachel, done to Rachel, and thought about Rachel, throughout Defiance (or at least throughout the first half, because after that point I just didn't care anymore and started skimming.):

[...] and then I'm going to lock her in my loft for as long as it takes.

This was the first red flag this book gave me that I wouldn't end up liking Logan. He said he's going to lock her in his freaking attic for "as long as it takes", for goodness' sake!

[...] she just dropped her skirt to the ground and started up the ladder in a pair of skintight pants. Fury overtakes my panic and fuels me. If a guard see her dressed like that, he won't hesitate to take what she's freely offering.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Excuse me? "He won't hesitate to take what she's freely offering"? So now if a girl dresses "racily" (if you could call skintight pants racy), she's offering to get raped? I'm sorry, but are you fucking kidding me? This is the point where my feelings toward Logan turned into extreme dislike. The next thing he does/says is what makes me hate him with the burning passion of a thousand suns (just a little sample of some of the melodramatic writing in this book.)

"You're hurting me," she says as she matches my pace through the torch-lit streets. "You're lucky," I say. "That you're hurting my arm?" Her voice is full of its usual sass, but I hear unsteadiness beneath it."No. You're lucky I'm not wringing your neck."

Once again, excuse me? This book was lucky I was reading it on my Kindle, because if I had a paperback copy, that would have been the point where I would have,

a) thrown it out the nearest window and into the street, hopefully to get run over by a car or two;
b) shred to a million tiny little pieces and use it for litter in a gerbil cage;
c) ripped it to shreds by hand, and release those shreds into the wind in a My Sister's Keeper fashion

Damn you, Kindle! Damn you for getting in my way of fury! Okay, there's still more examples I have to show of why I hated Logan (and why you should, too).

"Feel better?" Rachel asks, and I punch the wall again just to keep from letting my anger loose on her. Not that she doesn't deserve some of it.

I don't think I need to explain my feelings of this statement, and how wrong it is, do I? I'm not done with reasons why I hated Logan, but seriously, read the above things he's said to Rachel, done to Rachel, and thought about Rachel. This is the love interest we're supposed to swoon over. This is the love interest that many readers love, and have swooned over. This is the love interest that is praised by readers. Why?!

[After Logan said something barely understandable] Maybe I should enunciate clearly, then she'll understand.

Or - and this is just another possibility - maybe you could be less of a pompous asshole and try say and what she clearly didn't understand in a different light, and not ridicule her for not understanding you.

"I'm leaving you with Oliver for the day, Rachel. We have nothing more to discuss."

and,

"I [Rachel] am an equal part in this whole thing, and I want to help you find supplies." "Well, you can't." [Logan says]

So now you're acting like her father and controlling what she can and cannot do? You can't act this and then declare your love for her moments afterward. No, scratch that - you can't act like this at all.

Hopefully now you understand the basis behind my extreme hatred towards Logan, because he truly is an awful character, and an even more awful love interest. And the sad part is, Rachel eats all of this up. He commands her, she does what he says. He abuses her both physically and verbally, she takes it. He's a complete and total asshole to her, and yet she "can't bear to live without him." Ugh. Gag me with a rusty spoon.

And maybe, somewhere, there's a mediocre plot behind my blinding hatred for Logan and the melodramatic everything that takes over Defiance. Clearly there's something redeemable about Defiance, given all the glowing reviews for it. I, unfortunately, did not happen to find that.

6 comments :

  1. It's nice to see another side of the argument. I was really getting tired of all of these 5 star reviews calling Logan swoon worthy. Ugh, no. He doesn't seem swoon worthy at all.

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  2. I've been reading all of the positive reviews since I posted this review to Goodreads yesterday, and most of them praise Logan and they say how much they love him, and here I am, wondering what there is to love about him. I had one of the very few negative reviews, but, when this is published, I think more negative reviews will come pouring in. People need to realize that love interests like Logan are not swoon worthy and most certainly not okay.

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  3. great job blythe. we need more ppl like you

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  4. Thank you, Rogier! That's very nice of you to say.

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  5. Wow... wow. Impressional young girls really need to know that this sort of male lead is /NOT/ "swoon-worthy". Blythe, thank you for being one of the few reviewers to point this out.

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  6. I'm not surprised you didn't like this one, like at all, and I get why.

    I do want to point out, though, that what is racy is determined by society, and that certain clothes do send signals, whether they should or not. In this society, women are supposed to wear skirts. It was shocking when Katherine Hepburn wore pants, too. Hell, it used to be insanely racy for a woman to flash her ankle.

    I definitely don't ship Rachel and Logan, but, for the most part, I really didn't think he was that horrible. Why? He's basically her dad. That's why they skeeve me out as a couple, because he acts like a parent. The attic thing reads to me like a parent grounding his daughter. Much of that reads differently if you imagine he's her dad. They just REALLY shouldn't be dating. *shudders*

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