Defiance (Defiance, #1)

First Lines: The weight of their pity is like a stone tied about my neck.  I feel it in the little side glances, the puckered skin between frowning brows, the hushed whispers that carry across the purple-gray dusk of twilight like tiny daggers drawing blood.  He isn’t coming home.

One of my friends received an ARC copy of this and just raved and raved over it.  It wasn’t originally on my to-read list, but she was going to make me read it, whether I wanted to or not.  So I decided to look into it and give it a try.

Life in Baalboden is far from easy, especially for Rachel.  She’s the courier’s daughter and spends much of her time waiting for her father to come home.  But Rachel is better equipped for a harsher life than most girls.  While those girls know how to be docile and sew, Rachel knows how to survive in the woods and sword fight.  When her father is declared dead by the Commander, Rachel is given a new Protector–Logan McEntire, the boy she declared her love to only two years ago, and then had her heart broken by.  Positive that her father is alive, Rachel tries to escape…and learns that treason carries a steep price.  Logan is only 19, a social outcast and an inventor.  He apprenticed to Rachel’s father so he would be able to escape Baalboden and never be found.  Logan doesn’t know how to handle the fiery girl he’s now tasked with protecting.  He needs a plan to get them both to safety…and to find Rachel’s father.

I wasn’t really looking forward to another dystopia with a strong heroine.  I love them, but I feel like that’s all I read nowadays.  They’re everywhere.  At least they’re usually quite good.  As this one was.

Rachel is a very strong girl, capable of many things most girls of her time can’t do.  As is usual for dystopias.  But she’s also quite vulnerable in a way that felt realistic and easy to sympathize with.  I liked that she wasn’t always fire, but that she was also sometimes the ashes.  Oooh, I like that.  I totally just made that up.  Save that for a future writing piece…

Anyway, I also just found the story itself to be intriguing.  It’s told from the rotating perspective of Logan and Rachel, which opens it up to so much more.  There are things that Logan does and knows that Rachel doesn’t, and it makes the story so much more dimensional.  I liked it.

Overall, it was a really good read.  The writing is awesome and I look forward to seeing more from this author.

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