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.
- Beautiful, poetic writing style
- Amazing world building and dystopian views, not to mention a very bad leviathan baddie