**I purchased a signed copy of this book from the author at UtopYa Con 2015***
Let me preface this by saying that I have pretty much stopped reading novels of the Dystopian/Post-Apocalypse variety. Not that I haven’t enjoyed them in the past–I’m just kind of over them. That being said, I heard this author speak at a a recent writers conference and enjoyed her wit, humor,and overall voice so much that I decided I’d like to read her work.
I’m so glad that I did.
Defiance is well written. The tension is immediately present from the first few sentences when we discover that her father hasn’t yet returned and is heightened in each subsequent chapter. Redwine then takes you on hair bending curves–abusing her characters a bit, before giving the reader a brief romantic respite. Then the action explodes once again.
The female protagonist, Rachel, is fiesty, bad-a$$, and as stubborn as hell. She begins her journey as a head strong girl, whose arrogance in her abilities almost gets her killed. She’s at times unreasonable, impulsive, and sometimes waspish.
I loved her.
I loved that she was hurting and couldn’t see through the red haze at times. I loved how easily she moved from anger to contrition when she realized she was wrong. I loved that her character has room to grow in the next books (which I have yet to read.) In fact, by the end of Defiance, she sees the consequences of her rashness and mourns them to the point of self-loathing.
Logan is an introspective “tech” guy. Violently losing his mother and then being branded as an outcast, he was apprenticed out to Rachel’s father as child. Logan’s character develops as he takes on the role of Protector over Rachel. He moves from quiet observer to action hero–from silent usurper to leader of a movement. And in the process, he allows himself to love even though everyone he’s ever loved has been ripped from his life.
This post apocalyptic society fascinated me. In a world where modern governments have fallen and basic human rights fell with them, we have Baalboden: a misogynistic society that in some ways parallel modern extremist muslim cultures (in their views of women.) Women are only taught housekeeping skills, how to entertain, etc. Men are given SIX more years of education. Women can not go out in public without their Protector and have no say in whom they will marry. When of age, they are CLAIMED. Like property.
But Rachel’s father raised her differently. He taught her to read and write. He taught her how to use a sword and to defend herself. He taught her how to survive in the Wasteland.
I’m ready for the next.