Defiance (Defiance #1)

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Defiance (Defiance #1)
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Age Range
14+
Release Date
August 28, 2012
ISBN
978-0062117182
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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.

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(Updated: August 27, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
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5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
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5.0

Amazing Debut!

I've been dying to read this for a long time now and I literally cried when I found out I was getting my chance. This book had me laughing, crying, and chain chewing (gum) because it was so intense at times. It's a thrilling adventure of love, loyalty and hope that will suck you in from the first page.

While most girls within the walled city of Baalboden were learning the importance of how to cook, sew and behave properly in public, sixteen year old Rachel Adams was also learning how to take care of herself with sharp objects. (She can gut you like a fish!) Her father Jared, Baalboden's top courier made sure she knew how to wield a sword and what to do in order to survive the Wastelands. He taught her well, so well in fact, that when he fails to return home after his most recent courier mission and is declared dead, Rachel decides to go looking for him. (I would volunteer to go with her and offer to carry her Switch.)

Danger lies beyond the wall but it could be more dangerous for Rachel to stay. In order to escape, she'll have to defy not only The Commander, Baalboden's tyrant leader but her newly appointed Protector as well; a man with the potential to do her more harm than The Commander and the evil creature that lurks beyond the wall combined. Enter Logan...

Nineteen year old Logan McEntire is the orphaned outcast who Jared took on as his apprentice and he's also the boy who broke Rachel's heart two years prior. To make things even more awkward, he's just been appointed Rachel's new Protector. Logan is good looking, uber intelligent, and his inventions are nothing short of uh-mazing! He also has a knack for weighing all the options in every situation which Rachel finds a strange mix of annoyance and comfort. Basically, Logan is a hot nerd who can kick some serious butt! If he were a Super Hero, his name would be something like, "Captain Scenario". ;) Logan if also not afraid to stand up for what's right even if it means risking his own life.

Rachel is a hardcore heroine! Smart, beautiful, courageous and incredibly loyal, her impulsiveness is what gets her into trouble and also happens to drive Logan insane. You can't really blame her though, being forced to grow up fast is never easy. She too is selfless and her journey through the Wastelands will test her in ways she never imagined and threatens to destroy all that it is important to her. She'll have to fight with everything she has in order to save those she loves and try to not lose herself in the process.

Then there's Quinn... *sighs* I was Team Quinn long before I *met* him but I just knew I would *hearts* him and do.I.ever. He's tall, dark and every bit as awesome as Logan. He's kind, compassionate and possesses a wisdom beyond his years but he's not without his tortured past. Knowing this only encouraged my desire to become a Tree People hugger. ((hugs Quinn)) Quinn is also able to empathize with Rachel in ways that even Logan can't which doesn't sit too well with Capt. Scenario but he's just being helpful. You know, I have a huge fear of heights but I'm confident Quinn could help me overcome that. ;)

As Rachel and Logan make their way through the Wastelands, they'll have to fight an army, a creepy monster who refuses to die and uncover a secret so powerful, it has the potential to start a war. They'll experience love, heartbreak and hopefully learn that even in the worst situations, all you can do is your best.

I thoroughly enjoyed the alternating POV's between Rachel and Logan! Their relationship is strained at times and while Rachel might not be a girlie girl, she, like all females, can certainly benefit from a compliment. Logan, being the tech head often misses the mark and the results had me snorting out loud!

(Rachel) "You're telling me you're going to give me a compliment even though I shouldn't logically need one?" Her voice doesn't sound pleased.

(Logan) "I have no idea how this conversation went awry so quickly. I just want to tell her something nice. Does it have to be a ten-minute discussion about motives and semantics?"

The world building is fanfreakingtastic, but in case you want a little more visual (and trust me, you do), be sure to check out C.J.'s Defiance board on pinterest. It takes the reading experience to a whole new level.

One of the main things I took away from this story was the importance of holding onto hope especially when it seems like all hope is lost. We all go through difficult times and it can be very easy to lose ourselves to grief or pain but regardless, we can always cling to hope...hope for change, for love, for redemption and hope for new life.

Good Points
This cover is fierce! *stares in awe*
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5.0
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5.0
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5.0
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Wonderful Debut!

C.J. Redwine's DEFIANCE is one of most amazing debuts I have read this year. Her writing and world building is phenomenal and pulls you right into the story. The timing is perfectly paced and there are no slow moments. Once you start reading, prepare yourself for a late evening because you won't be able to put this book down.

As a heroine, Rachel is one of the best. I found myself pulling for her right from the beginning. I don't see how you couldn't. She has many obstacles to overcome and she is in survival mode the entire time. I never saw her lose faith or determination even when it seemed like she was losing everything. She draws on her experiences and her love for the people close to her to find strength to carry on. Her emotions even brought me to tears a couple of times.

I loved that Logan's point of view was included as well. He is a downright good guy. And wow is he smart and clever! His point of view helped tie all the pieces of the story together so there were no missing gaps of wondering what was happening to him when he wasn't with Rachel. His loyalty to Rachel's family is real and authentic. I found myself rooting for him the entire time as well.

DEFIANCE is a thrilling and original story. Your heart will be pounding up in your throat several times and your stomach may do a couple of flips too. All worth it though! I can't wait to see where C.J. Redwine takes this story next.

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(Updated: October 16, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

A YA couple that manages equality? It's like finding a tap dancing unicorn!

The cover of this book caught my eye because the girl exudes so much strength and confidence! I knew I had to read it, even though I'm not a fan of Dystopian/post-apocalypse stories (and my TBR pile is huge!)

Rachel and Logan were a breath of fresh air as a leading duo! The YA genre so often gives young readers terrible examples of what a strong woman should be. It's always one extreme or another. A weak girl, lifted up by her love interest and made to be special because of him. OR she's so strong and hard core that she's damaged and unable to love or feel much of anything. It takes a careful balancing act to create a character that is a true young woman of strength. She needs to be strong, yes! But she needs to be capable of vulnerability too. With Rachel, we get that and it's a wonderful thing to see.

But with Defiance, we also get Logan, who isn't afraid to let Rachael take care of herself. He knows she can handle anything that comes her way and he loves that about her. So many times in YA, we see the bad ass girl with the weakling guy trailing along behind her. It is not necessary to tear men down in order to build women up! Finally, a successful YA leading couple that manages to find equal ground? It's like finding a tap dancing unicorn!

Defiance is a great example of a healthy relationship of equality, (with characters who are flawed), while still an entertaining read. The post-apocalypse theme was cleverly done in a way that made the timeline ambiguous. The misogynist society had me gnashing my teeth in despair, but thankfully, Rachel was there to balk the system with her bad-assery.
I look forward to the rest of the series and am especially anticipating Redwine's upcoming fairytale retelling, The Shadow Queen.

Good Points
Fantastic main characters
Great example for young readers
Clever and funny
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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
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5.0
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5.0

Defiance - CJ Redwine

Excuse me for a moment. SQQQQQQQQUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEALLLL! Okay, for the moment, I'm done. This book. THIS BOOK. Besides being one of the nicest people I know, C.J. Redwine is a fantastic author. Her writing style is fabulous, her narrators fierce and loyal and so damn lovable! This is my third favorite series of all time, only falling short of Harry Potter and The Hollows books. She is someone I will read anything by because nothing will ever suck. EVER. This is my third read through of Defiance and every moment I re-enjoy. I have also read Deception but I just recently got the third one and I cannot wait to tear through it as well.

So...here I go.

First off. Logan. I mean LOGAN. Number one on my YA crush list. HE IS JUST SO AWKWARDLY CUTE. I love his subtle one-liners and those instances where you're reading and you're like, "Oh, darling, you can use your brains AND those muscles for me. Any time." Logan is fascinating and brilliant. His inventions play a big role in the plot as he devises methods to get himself out of situations when no one else can. I am so glad to have a hero that does more than just wields swords but also uses his brain. He has the kind of personality I love: wee bit cocky, fierce lover, protective, and often unsure of his true power. He is a natural but hesitant leader and I'm eager to read onto the next one to see how much stronger he grows in the face of all this destruction.

And there's Rachel. Fiery little redhead go! I feel like she's the kind of character you can piss off, send her at your enemies, and say "go, minion, go!" Not that she's that easily controlled but I don't think she'd mind getting her hands dirty. In Defiance, the author proves that girls can be just as smart, fast, and tough as the men. Though she becomes haunted by the events within the plot, Rachel also becomes more trusting of the ones she cares for and it makes her beautifully vulnerable despite the fierce persona she displays. She is the epitome of anger and revenge and a dreamer for love and hope and that makes her such a well-rounded character because even though she's been through all this, she still believes.

I was glad to read Outcast to get more of an understanding of Jared's character and his gentle, self-sacrificing personality because you don't get to see a lot of that in this series except in Logan and especially Rachel's small flashbacks and memories. It was obvious he cared a lot about his girl and it was nice to see a parent take that much time into letting someone in, two people if you include Logan. A lot of young adult characters don't have parents or they have so many issues with parents that it's part of the plot. The relationship between Jared and Rachel is complex and yet simple and I adore it.

Wonderful plot. Engages you from start to finish. Very detailed action scenes and great world building. I have always found the idea of "city-states" interesting. The Commander is scary and intimidating, appearing nearly godlike at times but you find yourself oddly hoping he doesn't die because there are too many secrets, too many things you need to know about him (especially the hints he drops about Logan). And Oliver, a gentle soul acting as the 'grandfather' figure in her life. I appreciated his moments like Rachel and Logan did. Quinn and Willow, of course, add their own interesting styles to the mix. Willow is very arrow-happy and blunt while Quinn is the quiet, protective one with secrets that aid Rachel in their own way.

And that cover! I hadn't even heard about this book until wandering down the aisles of Barnes and Noble. I just knew that I'd seen that cover and the voice in my head went, "We must have that now, regardless of what it is." Absolutely gorgeous and my favorite of the three.

I must admit that I was trying to torture myself through this read through. I thought, maybe I should only read forty pages at a time, that way when I go to bed, I can revel in the beautiful plot and writing. That worked...for like two days. And then I quit because I couldn't do it anymore and even though I've already read it, I knew I had to keep reading until it was done. I recommend this to EVERYONE who's a fan of young adult fantasy, dystopian, even a little bit of steampunk and magic in there. Or everyone who's interested in feisty young adult heroines, sweet and tender romance, and great writing. I LOVE THIS.

Good Points
- Logan and Rachel shine like stars in a world that's dark and creepy, but built wonderfully
- Beautiful, poetic writing style
- Amazing world building and dystopian views, not to mention a very bad leviathan baddie
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Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Dystopian Goodness

In Baalboden, girls are more like things than people. They all have male Protectors, who might be a father, uncle, brother or a husband, a male figure who is basically their keeper. Rachel, however, isn't like all the other girls. She's been trained by her father to fight and to be self-reliant and independent. When her father disappears, Rachel finds herself being watched over by his apprentice, Logan, a young man who she once declared her love for only to be turned down. They're not exactly on good terms. Facing the brutal leader of their town and the frightening beast that prowls in the wilds beyond their city, Rachael and Logan brave the forest in an attempt to find Rachel's father. The world-building is a little weak and vague at times, but the plot is intriguing and well-paced. There is a good amount of action but not so much that it takes away from the characters or turns the novel into an action-adventure romp (which are good in their own right but wouldn't be appropriate in the light of the occurrences in this book). Rachel is a believable young woman dealing with great stress, tragedy and change in her life. She faces her hardships and trials with authentic reactions. This is a good, solid dystopian that will appeal to those who are looking for a new trilogy/series to read.

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Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Great debut

DEFIANCE will hold a special place in my heart since it was the first thing I ever bought on my NOOK Color (and, realizing that I am a MAC girl at heart, it is saying something that I even GOT a NOOK . . .).
Aside from being my first purchase, however, it is a brilliant example of how to create fabulous chemistry between characters. Told in alternating 1st person POVs by heroine Rachel Adams and her assigned protector, Logan McEntire, DEFIANCE epitomizes the truth of young love that is rarely achieved in YA fiction.

In Logan and Rachel’s world, a creature known as the Cursed One, trolls under the ground. Dragon-like and spewing fire, it burns to death anyone who wanders into the barren expanse outside the city walls, known as the Wasteland. Leaving her city of Baalboden is basically suicide – but Rachel doesn’t care, because she is sure her father isn’t dead.

When her missing father (a courier for the Commander who brutally rules and protects Baalboden), is declared dead per the law, Rachel is assigned a protector in the form of her father’s young apprentice, Logan. All women must be protected by a man and are not allowed to go anywhere without their protector. When they come of age, they can be “taken” by another man at the “claiming.”

Angry that she is now under the guardianship of a boy who she had declared her love for only a few years before (and was shot down in flames) Rachel decides to breech the wall and search for her father. When Logan finds out, he decides to help her – and nearly dies in the process.

The Commander, learning of their attempted escape into the Wasteland, tells both they will not be killed for their treason IF they can locate the package Rachel’s father was carrying. Twists, turns and betrayals ensue thanks to the Commander, and Rachel is placed in the Claiming prematurely. Logan pledges to “claim” her, but it all goes to hell when the Commander finds out what they are planning.

Trying to protect her, Logan gets flung in prison and Rachel is forced to enter the Wasteland without him. Assigned one of the Commander’s “guards” to accompany her, Logan finds out that her companion will kill her when they locate the package. Knowing her life is on the line, Logan makes a break for it . . .

While I did enjoy the storyline, it wasn’t what made this book so brilliant in my opinion. For me, it is this deep, painful affection that Rachel and Logan develop for one another and how Redwine is able to weave their povs seamlessly together. She relays a dark, brutal world in vivid prose and pulls no punches on the Commander’s brutality . . . or that of Rachel’s. Worth the read for Logan and Rachel’s relationship alone, DEFIANCE is a fabulous story and worth every penny.

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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Amazing story but a bit underwhelming

Defiance by C.J. Redwine is a (I think post-apocalyptic) novel that follows Rachel Adams on her quest to find her 'declared dead' father before the Commander does. Living inside the protective walls of the city she feels confined and controlled, (basically because all the citizens are) but outside the walls lie violent wanderers and a beast straight out a legend The Cursed One (which from the various descriptions I gather is like a dragon!). To begin with I found Defiance quite hard to get into. It is a novel you have to focus all your attention on - it's not a fluffy romance like other YA novels but still has more than it's fair share of romance, betrayal and action. I quite enjoyed this as it's good to have a book that does require more than half of your attention to read it! However one of the faults of the book is that Redwine does not set the period or really the place of the book - to help understand the unique setting of the cities with the situation of the Cursed One the
book needed to go into more detail about how the cities, their commanders and the Cursed One came about.


Rachel is an interesting character - she's really headstrong and independent yet when it comes to Logan she's like putty. I enjoyed these two different sides but I did find it a little unrealistic... Logan is her father's apprentice and very technologically orientated though he can use his knives when he wants to! They both hate the Commander and refuse to believe Jared, Rachel's dad is dead. Half the book follows Logan and Rachel attempting to find a way out of the city in order to resume the search for Jared. The actual search and the showdown with the Commander is a little brief and rushed for my liking and this detracts from the book's otherwise detailed plot. There are various other characters in the book like Oliver who all contribute to the plot by reinforcing Rachel's hatred of the Commander and giving an incentive for the book to keep going - rather than Rachel and Logan just finding Jared and running instead they begin to realise that this is bigger than just them and they must do all they can to bring down the Commander.

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
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5.0

A Strong-Willed Character Never Fails

C.J. Redwine's debut novel Defiance is at the top. The writing is beautiful from the first sentence up until the last page. The plot is intricately thought out and the characters are beautifully written the two point's of views are so different in their perspectives.

Rachel, the main character, is a strong-willed confident girl. She's just the kind of heroine that readers need to see. Rachel has such a strong mind and is loyal to a pin. She is a perfect role model for young girls, not letting boys, or the wrongs of others get in her way. Even after she lost so much, she continues to stay strong.

I absolutely loved the description of the world C.J. Redwine describes to her readers. It's beautifully written and at times I would forget that her world didn't actually exist.

I wasn't surprised that I liked Defiance, just that I liked it as much as I did. The book makes a promising start to a good series and I look forward to reading more from the author.

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(Updated: January 27, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Throws you headfirst into the deep end

Defiance is a book that doesn't waste two or three chapters slowly introducing you to the characters, setting, and plot-to-come. From the very beginning, we're right in the middle of all the action.

Even though, from the cover, it kind of looks like this book is set in the Middle Ages (does the girl on the front cover remind anyone of the main character off Brave?), but it's actually not. In fact, it's set in the future, where nearly everything is destroyed and the remains of humanity live in one city, because of these creatures called The Cursed One (and no, just because it says "One" does not mean there is only one creature).

Usually in dystopian novels where the world is destroyed, the destruction is entirely humanity's fault (from Global Warming or something like that). This is not the case here. Okay, sure, it was human drilling that woke the creatures up, but it wasn't really their fault that these creatures are pure evil.

Rachel was really strong and independent at the beginning, which I really liked. However (SPOILER ALERT) after Oliver died, (END OF SPOILER) Rachel started to depend on Logan a lot more, which bugged me a bit (I always love a good kick-ass heroine, so when said heroine is not so strong and awesome halfway through the book, it annoys me a little bit)

The romance in this book was great. Sometimes their relationship can get a little bit strained, and their banter was funny. Logan, who is not really a people person, sometimes misses the mark with Rachel, and it's really funny (like complimenting her while telling her she shouldn't really logically need a compliment :D)

This is quite a refreshing different take of dystopia, with a well-thought out plot and great characters.

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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Defying Classic Dystopian

I think we can all agree that there is definitely no shortage on dystopian YA novels nowadays. I figured that there are so many it would be hard to find something that really breathes some fresh new life into the genre. Well I am now biting my tongue on that one thanks to C.J. Redwine’s “Defiance!”

My first mistake was judging a book by its cover, which we all know not to do. Seeing the castle-like fortress on the cover with a redheaded girl dressed in what looks like hunting gear I assumed that the book was set in the Middle Ages. Boy was I wrong. The book is actually set in the future which has regressed thanks to some nasty dragon-like vermin that have destroyed the world. These beasts are almost indestructible and have laid waste to planet Earth with their fire breathing antics. The North American continent is now separated into nine city-states that are led by men who have a mysterious ability to keep these monsters, known as Cursed Ones, out.

What I love about this dystopian novel is that the destruction of the world as we know it has not come about by humanity gone wrong. It’s not because of global warming or some monstrous nuclear war that we now see the world in a state of peril. The end of the civilization as we know it came from good ol’ fashioned homegrown beasts. Sure, they did happen to be unleashed due to human drilling, but it wasn’t humans that made these creatures hell bent on burning the world to a crisp. Pair this crispy destruction with some nasty dictatoresque behavior from city-state leaders and you’ve got yourself one refreshingly new dystopian environment. Much like her Cursed Ones, maybe Redwine’s new take on dystopia will light a fire under other authors to give us delightfully new storylines in this often used genre.

Good Points
Great new take on the dystopian genre.
Good ol' fashioned beasts!
Fun pairing of the Middle Ages with futuristic science.
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Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Start=Brilliant Middle=Great-Good Ending=Okay

Defiance was really addictive at the beginning, I was hooked on every page, the characters and plot were well defined. The writing style with the shifting of characters was really well thought out at the beginning, and it was pretty easy to picture Logan and Rachel with the descriptions written. But as the book wore on, the entire characters changed, especially Rachel, who went a bit mad with grief from her dad and Oliver, and the power of the package. Logan didn't get as bad as Rachel, but he also changed dramatically, both good and bad.

I loved how Rachel was so very strong and independent at the beginning, with knowing how to fight and rebelling against the Commander. She took things upon herself to do things that most women, and men, wouldn't dream of doing. When Oliver died, she changed so much, and she relied on Logan a lot more, I started to dislike her a tiny bit. I expected her to react differently, but she did it in completely the opposite way.

I loved the Cursed One. It was good the author introduced this, well, 'character'. It not only added another complication for Rachel and Logan, but brought reason to their actions, as well as the Commander's. I thought that what was in the package was obvious, and I think it would of been cooler if it was something more mysterious.

Defiance was a great dystopian world, with good characters, and a well-thought out plot. The writing style is great, with the switching POVs. I think the characters get blurred, but otherwise it is great.

Good Points
-The start was great, I loved how Rachel was fighting the Commander so strongly. She was such a strong heroine at the beginning.
-Love the idea of the Cursed One, but I kept thinking that if they killed the other ones, then they could surely kill this one.
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Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Too many deaths for my taste

I really did enjoy this book but I have a few fights to pick with it.
The beginning was exciting and it got my attention right away. I devoured the first 100 pages in a day( it was a school day also just to prove my point). Well, it seemed to kind of go down from there. Now, I'm not saying I hated it or even disliked it, all I'm saying it just wasn't really a very memorable read for me. It just caught my attention less and less as I read more. There was a lot of action going on, so to me that was a plus. But, it was just too slow for me.
I thought it was cool how she could fight and handle herself( I always love strong female characters!). She did make mistakes a lot but I think she was just trying to do the right thing and ended up doing the wrong one. But, nonetheless I thought she was caring, confident( probably a little bit too much confident if you ask me), and a kick-ass fighter.
The romance is probably one of the best factors in this book. I thought it was a perfect pace. I don't think they rushed in stupidly even though she did confess her love for him before but she didn't know any better.
Logan was very caring and I just loved him as a character! He defended her all the time, and since she rushed into fighting without thinking alot of the time, he had to end up saving her butt a lot of the time. I loved how he was smart and hot all at the same time! :D But, really I couldn't ask for a better character in his place.
The thing what I found so bothering, is the number of deaths in the book. I, myself, do not mind a couple deaths in a book, but this book had so much deaths in it! I will not say anything else since I probably just spoiled something already, by just mentioning that characters die. My fingers are sealed from typing any more!
One thing that I loved was how the book switched views between Rachel and Logan. It made me look at both of their perspectives and undertstand their actions and feelings. It was a nice break from just one narrarator.
If you enjoy books with action and romance I'm pretty sure you would enjoy this book. But, for me I think it needed a better pacing, fewer deaths, and a more original plot.

Good Points
It had great characters
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