Defiance Review & Interview!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Title: Definace
Author: C.J Redwine
Format: Hardcover, 403 pages
Genre: YA, Dystopian Fiction
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Published by: HarperCollins Canada
Source: ARC from Publisher for honest review
Rating: 4/5

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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 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 one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a 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.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

My Thoughts -->
C.J. Redwine has created a world that doesn’t compare with anything I have read this year. A combination of medieval setting and fantastical elements that combust into a world that encompasses many secrets and characters that linger long after the last page is turned. I fell in love with this book the moment I started reading it, C.J. Redwine introduces us two characters that are both courageous and independent.

Defiance starts off with Rachel, a young girl who realizes her father has not returned from his tour of the Wasteland, and therefore is considered dead by The Commander. We then meet a young man named Logan, the apprentice of Rachel’s father Jared, and Rachel’s newly appointed guardian. Both Logan and Rachel believe that Jared is still alive, waiting for them to follow, and therefore they create a plan to find him, not realizing the obstacles that will try at everything to thwart their plans.

The world building in this novel is amazing and so intricate and believable that I couldn’t get enough of the descriptions that were written. I found myself wanting to know as much as possible, and waiting for more explanation when it came to their world. I do wish that there were more explanation on the history of how this world came to be, and why certain rules came into existence. But overall the world that C.J. Redwine created was amazing. I also loved the character building in this novel, both main characters were extraordinarily well created, both Logan and Rachel compliment each other in a way that characters should. They bring the best and worst out of each other, which is a sign of good chemistry and good writing. I loved how their relationship grew over time and that the relationship did not seem forced in any way.

I wish that the secondary characters were more in the forefront of the story. By the end of the novel I wanted more from Rachel’s best friend. I wanted to know why she accepted their lifestyle so completely; which was the exact opposite of Rachel. I wanted to know how they became friends in the first place and what brought them together. I also would have loved more information of The Commander, he was such an interesting character with no regard for human life, and it would be amazing to hear what his story entails, and why he became what he was in Defiance.

This debut is a must read for fans of Graceling, the Game of Thrones Series, and fans of Tamora Pierce. I absolutely loved this book it was very fast and entertaining read!


 About the Author!

C.J Redwine loves stilettos, lemon bars, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is teh author of Defiance, the first in a post-apocalyptic fantasy trilogy from Blazer+Bray/HarperCollins. C.J lives in Nashville with her husband, four kids, two cats, and one long-suffering dog. To learn more about C.J visit her website at

 Now for the Interview!

Have you always known you wanted to write Young Adult novels? Or did you start in a different genre? 

I actually started out writing romantic suspene (for all of ONE book). That wasn't a good fit for my voice, and I really longed to write stories that incorporated my love of fantasy and supernatural/paranormal elements. I switched to writing adult urban fantasy for two books, and then decided that since my go-to genre to read was YA, I would dive in.

Was there one person in your life that influenced you to become a writer? 

No, I've literally been writing stories since the second grade when I realized that I had the power to take the ideas in my head and commit them to paper.

Defiance has many medieval and fantasy elements within it, are these genres ones you have always gravitated towards while writing? And do you think you would ever deviate from these genres for other novels you write?

I've always been fascinated by medieval times (Renaissance festivals FTW!), and fantasy is my wheelhouse. I cut my teeth on the Chronicles of Narnia and Grimm's Fairy Tales and moved on to Lord of the Rings by the time I was in fourth grade. However, my ideas are all over the place. They tie together in that they all have an element of fantasy to them, but look for fairy tale retellings, sci-fi, and steampunk from me in the next few years. :)

In Defiance we are introduced to Logan and Rachel as narrators, did you always know that both of these characters would get their own voice? 

No, I actually wrote half of the book from Rachel's POV only before realizing that Logan had an equal stake in the story and deserved to be heard.

I saw that you credited Myra McEntire in your acknowledgments for helping you with your romance scenes. What aspects of those scenes did you find the most difficult to write? 

Their interactions were far too polished during their first kiss. Myra is a big fan of bringing in that sweet awkwardness that exists when we're teenagers and are experiencing our first kiss, and so I started asking myself "What would Myra do?" as I wrote those scenes.

What was your favorite scene in Defiance to write?

The lake scene where they have their first kiss. :)

Did you base any of the characters in Defiance to people in your life, or in the media?

No, but I use my life experiences and my observations of those around me to help make sure my characters and their responses feel authentic.

Have you finalized how many books will be in the Defiance series? And if so, how did you land on that number of books?

Yes, it's a trilogy. Once I was nearly finished writing Defiance, I could see that the story arcs spanned three books.
What aspect of the publishing process did you find the most challenging? And what aspect did you find the most fun? 

The most challenging is juggling my online presence, my writing deadlines, and my family. The most fun is definitely the writing itself.

Finally, what advice would you have for any aspiring writers out there wishing to emerge into the YA scene? 

Don't quit. This is a business designed to punch you in the face far more often than it ever gives you cookies, so if you really want it, you have to keep writing, learn your lessons, and then keep writing some more. 

I really want to give a huge thanks to C.J Redwine for this interview! And please go and get Defiance, it is one of my favorite books of the year (so far!)

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  1. I've this book on my TBR pile and I can't wait to read it! I love reading interviews with authors! It's nice to get to know the person behind the book :)

    1. I completely agree! I thought her answers were awesome and I loved the book too! Can't wait to see where the story goes from here.

  2. That lake scene sounds so so swoony:)

    That's an awesome interview:)

    1. Trust me the lake scene was amazing :P BEST SCENE lol

  3. I really want to read this since it came out! I've read mixed reviews but I still want to read it. Yey! It's a trilogy. Great review and interview! :)

  4. I'm adding this book to my TBR list thanks for the review :)

    1. Ohh good! I'm so glad to hear it!

  5. I'm so anxious to read this! I really wish it were available on audio! It's encouraging that the author mentioned the importance of the authenticity of the characters. That can really make or break a book for me and it's something that is so often lost when a lot of world building is involved in a story. I'll be reading this soon.

    1. I completely agree Donna, authenticity is the best part of a book and I always cringe when an author leaves that aspect to the side in order to create their world. But there was none of that here :)