Posts Tagged: C.J. Redwine

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Defiance by CJ Redwine: Review + Guest Post

Posted by 35 Comments

C.J. Redwine
Series: Defiance, #1
Publication date: August 28th 2012
by Balzer + 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, 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.

*A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review purposes*

In a futuristic setting with walled-in cities to stave off a monstrous killing machine, Defiance is a mix of dystopian and fantasy that has a very interesting premise, although its characters did leave me feeling kind of uncomfortable, as well as annoyed.

As it started out I began to really like our female lead, Rachel. She was tough and confident, knowing how to take care of herself, unlike other women in this city. As the book progresses, I found she made a lot of impromptu decisions – trying to escape without a strong plan in place for example – which pestered me a little, leaving cracks in the image of an intelligent and wise character I had thought her to be. Still, I didn’t downright dislike her as a character, but I never grew to love her either. As for our male lead, Logan, he comes off as a very condescending love interest who acts more like he’s highly irritated by Rachel than he’s (apparently) falling in love with her. At one point during a rather unpleasant arbitrary conversation where she asks simply “What is that supposed to mean?” — a phrase that I’m sure you, like myself, use regularly and are quite able to interpret — his reaction is “Maybe if I enunciate clearly, she’ll understand.” Then when she doesn’t fall for his lines: “Speaking slowly solved absolutely nothing.”… This is about where I realized I’d gotten really disturbed by his personality and the fact that he was apparently the love interest we were meant to root for. I never grew to like him one bit, consequently making the romance in this book fall flat for me. Which is a shame because if not for my issues with these characters, this book could have easily blown my mind.

Luckily, the premise still kept me engaged. The slow moving plot in Defiance is actually done attractively and lets you savor the entrancing, yet terrifying world that we’re introduced to. The leader of this city is an evil creep who will get under your skin as only a great villain can. Yielding power over this whole town, he’s turned it into an old school anti-feminist culture reminiscent of an era way past gone. With a leader that dishes out executions if a woman dares walk through the market alone, the tone of the book is very dreary and distressing. I, myself, am a fan of darker reads so I did enjoy this world building quite a bit. I was also kept fascinated by the idea of a fire breathing beast roaming just outside the walls, giving the book a little fantastical feel. Throughout this story, we’re switched between Rachel and Logan’s POV, giving us a journey in both views, which is especially appreciated in cases like this where they’re in two different situations, fighting for their lives. Once we get in the thick of it, it becomes a highly intense read that has just the right amount of action to keep you on your toes until the end.

Even though I wasn’t taken by the characters, I still found Defiance’s premise entertaining. There is a lot of bloodshed, and a dim future that makes us doubly curious about book two. I think fans of fantasy may just see themselves lost in this dangerous world.  

3 Hot Espressos

Guest Post by C.J. Redwine
5 Favorite Movies 
(AKA Movies I Would Dress In Costume For. In Public. To The Everlasting Shame of my Kids.)

1. Harry Potter (#1, 3, 5, and both 7s. It’s probably cheating to lump them all together like this, but that’s what I am. A cheating author who cheats. Also? I showed up for the premiere of #6 dressed as Minerva McGonagall. My hubby was a Death Eater. Yeah. That’s how we roll.)


3. The Dark Knight (“Why so serious?” Oh, Heath. What an artistic genius you were.)

4. Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Why IS the rum always gone? I don’t know, Captain Jack, but I’ll help you look. You know, forever. If that’s what it takes.)

5. The Princess Bride (The most quotable movie of ALL TIME. Inconceivable? I do not think that word means what you think it means. Hallo! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father. Prepare to die. He’s only mostly dead. Mawwige! Mawwige is what bwings us togever today!…. I’ll stop now or this is just going to go on all day.)

Honorable Mentions (Totally allowed in a favorites list! Right? RIGHT?)

6. Sherlock Holmes #1 & #2 (Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, and super smart writing? Please, sir, may I have another? PLEASE?)

7. Mary Poppins (I regularly rewatch this. I can sing every song. Please don’t ask me to at a book signing because once you start a MP sing-a-long, you don’t stop until you sing them ALL and that can get very … awkward. For others. It’s hard to make me feel awkward. I own that shizz.)

8. How To Train Your Dragon (Just. So. Amazing. I cried. Ugly cried. Ridiculously ugly cried. Also, I really want a cute blac dragon as a pet. Feel free to bring me one if you have a spare.)

9. The Lord of the Rings. (My Precioussssss.)

10. Inception (Dude. This movie messed with my head. MESSED WITH IT. I still can’t think of that last shot of the spinning top without feeling a surge of disquiet that makes me nuts. It’s like hearing a symphony and being denied the last measure. Nothing resovles inside my head! It’s just hanging there, waiting to taunt me with it’s unfinishedness!)

In retropect, I realize I should’ve just titled this my Top Ten Favorite Movies because clearly I am unable to limit myself. I am, however, too lazy at this point to go back and revise so … it is what it is. What are some of your favorite movies?

Thanks so much for dropping by, CJ! And I’ve loved every single one of these movies, (except I haven’t seen Sherlock 2 yet) so obvioulsy you have fab taste! 😉 – Inception literally blew my mind! O_O


C.J. Redwine loves stilettos, lemon bars, any movie starring Johnny Depp, and books. C.J. holds a degree in English Literature from Pepperdine University and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, four kids, two spastic cats, and one long-suffering dog.

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