Book Review of Defiance - Zoe Schwingel-Sauer

Zoe Schwingel-Sauer

With all these numerous and various books in the world, it is hard to find one that you cannot put down and are fond of. Defiance by C. J. Redwine happens to be one of the few books that has those qualities. This book is fairly new and was published in 2012, so it does not have any awards, yet. Although the book does have countless fantastic reviews that come from highly praised writers and newspapers. The main characters Rachel the protagonist, Logan the love interest and companion, and The Commander the evil ruler are in for a long and wild ride. In the enclosed city Baalboden, a ruthless leader known as The Commander uses manipulation and violence to keep control. His best tracker, Jared, who has ventured passed the Wall into the Wasteland, has yet to return. He is proclaimed dead. Jared’s daughter, Rachel, is certain that he is still alive in the Wasteland. She plans to go seek him out and bring him back along with the companionship of Logan. Logan, the man she confessed her love for and got rejected. The Commander discovers her plan and forces her upon a quest to retrieve her father and the notorious package that every city is after. The story is all about the challenges Rachel and Logan overcome to find Jared, the package, and each other.

Over the entire span of Defiance there are various themes that people can take from the book. The main themes that I took from this book are love, revenge, and discovering the good versus evil in yourself. Obviously there is an ongoing romance that plays a huge role in all the decisions that many of the characters make. Also, Rachel’s love for her father, Jared, drives her to keep looking for him and the package. Her love for her father gives her the idea that revenge in the only way to commemorate his death. In Defiance, revenge is always a motive of the characters. Rachel wants to exact her vengeance on The Commander for hurting Logan and for the death of Jared, which she blames on him. The Commander beat Logan’s mother to death, and Logan has been after him ever since. There is a constant battle for Rachel of the being good and being what she thinks is evil. Since Rachel is the protagonist we’re made to assume that she is the “good guy.” However in the story she has some evils within that make her “goodness” debatable. I think she really struggles with good and evil and her deciding what she really thinks of herself.

All of the characters in Defiance are complex and have many layers to their personalities, but my favorite one would have to be  Logan. I enjoy Logan as a character the most, because he is what a lot of people aspire to be. He always puts others before him. Logan also is a very intelligent guy who can pretty much think his way out of everything. Throughout the entire story he never gives up. Even when Logan is trapped in a dungeon with broken ribs, bruises, and little food, he manages to escape to the Wasteland. I can relate to multiple characters in Defiance, but one character that really speaks to me is Logan. He tends to over think everything. His over thinking results in him creating the worst case scenarios. I tend to do the exact same thing. I definitely over think most situations and end up thinking the worst. I have felt and done some of the things that Logan has, too. When he was locked in the dungeon, he had this determination that he used to escape and refused to give up. And while I have never been trapped in a dungeon, I do know what it feels to be so determined that giving up isn’t even an option.

I find Defiance to be a well written book full of romance, drama, and adventure. I happen to appreciate these qualities in a story, so I enjoyed it very much. Both Rachel and Logan narrate the book which I really love. It gives you both of their perspectives and because they’re such different people, it really gives you a lot of insight. Also instead of just knowing what’s happening to one character the entire book, which can honestly get quite boring, you get to know what is happening to two different people. This enriches the book and gives it more depth. I feel that this book possesses an assortment of strengths and weaknesses. The strengths within the book are the narration, the characters, and the plot. The narration as I explained above is told from both Rachel and Logan’s point of view which gives a more detailed story overall. The characters are all very different people. They change throughout the book, and you see their development. You also really get to know them. C. J. Redwine gives the reader a ton of knowledge about the characters and shows the range of their emotions and actions. The plot is very strong. While it resembles quite a few other plots about romance and adventure, it is also unique, and gives you an interesting read. The biggest weakness in this book is that it is too long. I feel that the author strung out the first half of the book for way too long. The main action takes place after Rachel has escaped to the Wasteland, but that is in the second half of the book. Redwine makes the pre-escape too drawn-out. Overall a very strong book. If I had the opportunity of changing a part of the book, I would take out all the unnecessary chapters about the planning of Rachel and Logan’s escape. I would do this because Redwine goes on and on about the the planning of them disappearing, and it becomes kind of dull.

I would recommend this book to someone who enjoyed adventure coupled with a good love story. There is adventure in almost every single part of the book. The story is full of excitement and thrill, which makes it hard to put down once you’ve started it. The romance in Defiance goes through its ups and downs. The love story of Rachel and Logan started before the book, when Rachel was 15. She offered her heart to Logan and he rejected it. Ever since, she has avoided him. That is until Jared’s disappearance. Their love is ultimately the only thing that keeps them going on a daily basis, and you’ll find yourself rooting for them during the book.