At first, I thought it was a true dystopian novel, but as I read on, I realized that it does have one little (or big) paranormal element to it. The Cursed One, a fire breathing monster, has wreck havoc over the whole world by incinerating everything in its path. This has created the need for secure cities surrounded by huge walls, in order to protect the inhabitants. Baalboden is such a city but Rachel Adams does not feel protected nor safe within its walls. Her father, a courier, has gone missing outside the walls and has been pronounced dead. Since Rachel doesn't believe him dead she decides to go searching for him in the dangerous lands outside the wall.
Rachel is very different from the rest of the girls in Baalboden. First, her father has taught her the basics in self-defence. Second, she feels like she shouldn't be "claimed" by a man once she turns seventeen, like all the other girls in the city. Her independent streak and her common sense tells her that she should be able to care for herself and that she should be allowed to walk the streets of the city without a man guarding her every move. However, one man has caught her heart. She has been in love with Logan for years and now, since her father has not come back from his courier mission, he is pronounced her new guardian, or Protector.
The relationship between Rachel and Logan is one of the main reason I enjoyed this novel so much . Despite their rocky past, they more or less make a pact to join forces in order to find Rachel's father. The tension and the love/hate relationship between the two characters is really what has you coming back for more. Before their mission even begins, they’re separated from each other as the communist commander of the city jails Logan for treason. I truly believe this separation of the two characters is a genius, since, as a reader, it kept me that much more interested in the story. And of course, it had me anticipate their reunion. Who doesn't love a good reunion?!?
Despite really liking the story, I found it lacked a bit of information, which could have made it an even better book. What exactly is this Cursed One? Where did it come from? Why couldn’t the army find a way to defeat it? Why have the women of the city become puppets when they were once free and independent? Despite these questions, DEFIANCE is near the top of my list of favorite YA books of 2012.
DEFIANCE is a griping tale that keeps you entertained until the very end. For all the dystopian fans out there, this is one book that you'll want to stack your shelves with since, besides being a great story, lets admit, it does have a pretty cover. C.J. Redwine will definitively enthrall you with her writing since her characters are so realistic and fresh.