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Early Review: Defiance by C.J.Redwine

Defiance by C.J.Redwine (The Courier's Daughter Trilogy #1)

Egalley thanks to Balzer+Bray

Synopsis from Goodreads
Rachel’s world is confined to the protective walls around her city. Beyond them are violent wanderers, extreme terrain, and a danger straight out of legend: a beast called the Cursed One that devastates everything in its path.

When Rachel’s father goes missing, she is desperate to search for him. But her attempts to flee the city bring her to the attention of its overbearing ruler. His efforts to control her make the world within the walls seem as dangerous as that outside.

Her only chance at escape is Logan. Once her father’s apprentice, and now her only protector, he feels that helping her might mean losing her completely. But if he can put his feelings aside, they might be able to save more than Rachel’s father. They might be able to break down the walls, and set their people free.

Release date:  (US) August 28th 2012/(UK) September 6th 2012

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK(£ 3.99) | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
I had trouble starting Defiance, peeps. If not for fellow readers and bloggers on Goodreads urging me to continue reading I would have DNFed this book and missed out on much awesomeness.

Rachel and Logan's characters are pure unadulterated kickassery. Vivid, avenging angels in their blazing glory, who keep going in the most impossible situations.

The book is violent, explosive, reads like an action-flick and once you keep going you don't stop until the very end.

So, why 8 out of 10 rating then?

Like any action flick, Defiance suffers from lack of any decent world-building. I could not for the life of me understand the mechanics of the Cursed Ones aka dragons with no wings who live underground; what is happening now around the world... As I understand the book with its peculiar mix of dystopia and fantasy concentrates on North America. What about the rest of the world? 

OK, you say, decade after the Cursed Ones came out of the depths of the Earth civilisation as we know it is destroyed. How? Logan fights one of them and finds out that explosions weaken them. You're telling me that military around the world couldn't use missile strikes on any of these creatures (creatures that do not fly as far as I'm aware) and then cut their underbelly like these two youngsters did? Mind boggles. 

So, the world is destroyed by the Cursed Ones, now we have city-states with commanders protecting their cities from them, and nobody knows how. Again, when you find out how they do that, mind boggles at the improbability of the situation.

Here comes my worst pet-peeve ever. Subservient status of women. Are you effing kidding me? Women fought for equality for centuries and it only took 10 years to make them into brainless spineless creatures who do not know how to read and can't go out anywhere without a Protector otherwise they risk being flogged to death.

Rage, rage. That's what I felt.

I admit that there is a possibility of that, but still it takes only 10 years?!!! Not even few generations. You know what? I don't believe it. However evil that Commander was, you are talking about a tiny city-state. Just put poison in his soup and be done with the jerk. Find someone better or take your chances with the Cursed Ones. I would.

This is what I hated in Eve by Anna Carey, and this is what really discouraged me in Defiance. Look, if it was just fantasy I wouldn't have questioned it, but it's a dystopian as well, so there should be some sort of believable transition period between the world as we know it and what it becomes later. I didn't see it or it wasn't explained properly.

If you can get past it, the book is really enjoyable. Logan and Rachel together are a marvel. They communicate instead or shutting each other out, they share their grief and love for each other, they are true partners, equals with their own strengths and weaknesses. Rachel is a fighter, Logan is an inventor who thinks out of the box, although he can fight and track just as well if not better. Rachel is just far crazier than him, and I'm so proud of that girl! She was breathtaking!

All in all, I do recommend Defiance but with reservations. C.J. is a talented visual author who invokes visceral reactions from her readers, and I would definitely read any of her future books.

* * *
Чуть ли не шлёпнула книгу об стенку в самом начале. Ну бесила она меня до невозможности. Только благодаря паре читателей с Гудридс, которые настояли на том, что Рэйчел того стоит, я продолжила её читать. И совсем не зря. Не смотря на огромные дыры в сюжете, от Логана  и Рэйчел перехватывает дыхание.

Прекрасная пара! Она - самый настоящий воин, на действия которого толкают месть и жажда правосудия. Он - изобретатель, умеющий мыслить  стратегически, следопыт и сражается не хуже Рэйчел. Она просто безумнее его.

Книга читается как взрывной, полный жестокости и насилия боевик, и как все боевики не придаёт значения построению миру, что естественно меня убивало. Здесь присутствует смешение антиутопии и фэнтэзи, и если для фэнтэзи и бы приняла на веру то, как объясняется мир, то антиутопия получается нелепой.

Цивилизация пала 12 лет назад после того, как исследователи ядра земли разбудили спящих в нём драконов. Теперь в живых осталась небольшая часть населения, живущая в 8-10 городах-государствах, Командующие которых обладают способностью отпугивать Проклятых (Драконов) и прявят как настоящие тираны. Часть технологии, что сохранена, позволяет отслеживать жителей специальными браслетами, но в остальном  жизнь скатилась в средневековье, и статус женщин опустился до безмозглых созданий, не умеющих читать и думающих только о развлечениях и мужьях. Ещё им не позволено выходить на улицу без Опекунов, иначе их поймают и засекут до смерти.

Всё. Мозг отказывается эту галиматью воспринимать. Я физически бьюсь головой об стенку. Ну почему, почему?  Я даже не знаю с чего начать этот бредовый мир разбирать по косточкам.

Драконы. Почему их не назвать тем словом, что уже есть. Откуда появилось название Проклятые? Никакого присутствия религии я не заметила. В начале говорится, что они неуязвимы, однако под конец Логан и Рэйчел убивают одного из них с помощью нескольких взрывов и меча в брюшовину. Так... Значит два подростка смогли совершить то, что не удалось ракетным установкам на армейских самолётах и вертолётах? АХАХАХА!

Идиотство со статусом женщин. Вы хотите, чтобы я поверила, что женщины, которые дрались за равноправие несколько веков, сдались после 10 или даже 20 лет галимого тиранства одного садиста в маленьком городке-государстве? А крысиного яду в его суп нельзя было подбросить. АХАХАХА!

Что произошло с остальным миром? Почему мы не знаем ни о ком, кроме Северной Америки? Почему часть технологии допустима, зато вся одежда шьётся портными? Куда делись горы готовой одежды, что раньше потреблял мир? и т.д. и т.п. Я теряла клетки головного мозга по мере прочтения, пока решила не сосредоточить своё внимание на самих героях, иначе моя голова этого абсурда бы не выдержала.

В общем, герои восхитительные, мир ужасен, так что читать можно, но логику надо отключать, а то захочется резать вены до немогу.


Blodeuedd said...

I have head quite a few things about this one, and I just do not know. SOme really like it, some don't. Then there is that beginning to push through

Christina said...

Our issues with this one were definitely different, but I think the end result was pretty much the same. I really liked her writing, and, since it was fantasy, I was sort of meh on the world building. Like, I didn't care, because fantasy does that. How I felt with The Hunger Games too.

I think I must have missed the part that said only ten years. If I'd noticed that, I would have been pissed too.

The Cursed One didn't confuse me because I pictured the Balrog from LOTR, which is intense and scary and awesomeness.

Unknown said...

Oh, this is disappointing to hear because Defiance is one of those books I have SO been looking forward to! And I totally get what you are saying about the subservient status of women irking you. That can often be a deal breaker for me too, unless you see some major changes later on as the plot develops.

I follow Redwine's blog and she is so funny, I was hoping some of that humor came through in her writing? I will still give this a read but the fact you didn't totally dig it does make me pause a bit...

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Blodeuedd, I think despite the problems I had with the world-building the characters were awesome, so it's up to you to decide if you like it or not. I know a lot of people loved this book.

Christina, I know what they meant by Cursed Ones, but as it's part dystopia and you can't explain the name by religion (you know like damned monsters from hell?) as nothing is said about religion here the name doesn't feel natural. i just don't think it was a particularly successful merge of Fantasy and Dystopia, but I'm looking forward to your review!

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Heather, I love C.J. blog too, especially her llama interviews - she is hilarious! however the book is totally different. I would still give it a go, just be aware that there are issues with world-building, but even with them I still enjoyed the book.

Liz. R said...

Ten years definitely seems unrealistic and that whole situation irks me, actually. But I'm glad you enjoyed the rest of the book! I love how you went from wanting to give it up to 8/10! :P I'm still pretty excited to read this, but now I have a better idea of what the book is about. Thanks you for the review :).

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Glad to hear it turned out kick ass. Sorry for the slow start though. Sounds like a great start to a series though. :) Thank you!

Erin W. said...

Great review! I'm glad you enjoyed this! I have this book preordered so I can't wait to read it now!

Kara_Malinczak said...

Yup, based on this review, I can see having problems with this one. I felt the exact way you did about EVE. It lacked believability. You HAVE to have that in a dystopian novel. I'm still reading this though. ;) Fatastic review.

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Liz, I hope you enjoy it, because Rachel sure was pretty amazing and powerful as a character. I'll be waiting for your review!

Erin, I hope you like it! :)

Kara, I loathed Eve. As an idea it was so absurd, I couldn't get my head around that world. Glad you share my sentiments.

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Melissa, I reckon you'd like this book. We both have a weakness for a strong female character! :)

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