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Xpresso Reads

Reading is my drug. I love to get lost in a great book to escape into worlds that are usually much cooler than mine! >.<

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Imogen Howson
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Defiance

Defiance - C.J. Redwine In a futuristic setting with walled-in cities to stave off a monstrous killing machine, Defiance is a mix of dystopian and fantasy that has a very interesting premise, although its characters did leave me feeling kind of uncomfortable, as well as annoyed. As it started out I began to really like our female lead, Rachel. She was tough and confident, knowing how to take care of herself, unlike other women in this city. As the book progresses, I found she made a lot of impromptu decisions - trying to escape without a strong plan in place for example - which pestered me a little, leaving cracks in the image of an intelligent and wise character I had thought her to be. Still, I didn't downright dislike her as a character, but I never grew to love her either. As for our male lead, Logan, he comes off as a very condescending love interest who acts more like he's highly irritated by Rachel than he's (apparently) falling in love with her. At one point during a rather unpleasant arbitrary conversation where she asks simply "What is that supposed to mean?" -- a phrase that I'm sure you, like myself, use regularly and are quite able to interpret -- his reaction is "Maybe if I enunciate clearly, she'll understand." Then when she doesn't fall for his lines: "Speaking slowly solved absolutely nothing."... This is about where I realized I'd gotten really disturbed by his personality and the fact that he was apparently the love interest we were meant to root for. I never grew to like him one bit, consequently making the romance in this book fall flat for me. Which is a shame because if not for my issues with these characters, this book could have easily blown my mind.Luckily, the premise still kept me engaged. The slow moving plot in Defiance is actually done attractively and lets you savor the entrancing, yet terrifying world that we're introduced to. The leader of this city is an evil creep who will get under your skin as only a great villain can. Yielding power over this whole town, he's turned it into an old school anti-feminist culture reminiscent of an era way past gone. With a leader that dishes out executions if a woman dares walk through the market alone, the tone of the book is very dreary and distressing. I, myself, am a fan of darker reads so I did enjoy this world building quite a bit. I was also kept fascinated by the idea of a fire breathing beast roaming just outside the walls, giving the book a little fantastical feel. Throughout this story, we're switched between Rachel and Logan's POV, giving us a journey in both views, which is especially appreciated in cases like this where they're in two different situations, fighting for their lives. Once we get in the thick of it, it becomes a highly intense read that has just the right amount of action to keep you on your toes until the end. Even though I wasn't taken by the characters, I still found Defiance's premise entertaining. There is a lot of bloodshed, and a dim future that makes us doubly curious about book two. I think fans of fantasy may just see themselves lost in this dangerous world. --An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads