Author: C.J Redwine.
Published: August 28th 2012.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Sort: Part one of ‘Defiance.’
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice. When Rachel's father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city's brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father's apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. 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.
I think I expected too much from this book, so I was a bit disappointed. This book has a lot of elements I normally like, but it never managed to ‘wow’ me. That might be because of Rachel, but I liked it enough to continue the series some time.
Rachel’s father is announced ‘dead’ when he doesn’t return from a mission. Logan becomes her new Protector and she is not happy with him. When she told him years ago that she loved him, he turned her down. Rachel is planning to escape from the city to find her father: she doesn’t believe he is dead. He is the best tracker and that is why Rachel is so different from other girls. She learned hunting and fighting. When Rachel is caught during her escape, she is brought before the Commandant. He blackmails her: if she doesn’t find the package her father hid in the forest, he will kill Logan. Logan is thrown into a cell and Rachel tracks into the woods to save him. This is not without danger: in the forest lives The Cursed One, something that is similar to a dragon. But Logan isn’t planning to leave her alone and he manages to break free. Together, they must unravel the mystery around her father’s package.
Rachel started as a great character. She stayed true to her father and she had some spunk. I liked that her father educated her in hunting and fighting. It’s a shame that these potential awesome aspects were overshadowed by things I didn’t like about her. This made it a bit hard to connect to her. She does irrational things and I didn’t like the way she treated Logan. I don’t like the grudge she holds against him, because he was just honest all those years ago. She had some whiny moments and I sometimes wanted to facepalm, but Logan made up for it. He was intelligent and I like how crafty he is. He made some great inventions, like his tracking device. I thought he was sweet and very patient with Rachel. Despite that, I didn’t feel the chemistry between them. I didn’t care for it, although this was cute:
”I want Rachel. Not because she’s beautiful. Not because she’s my responsibility. I want her because she makes me laugh. Makes me think. Inspires me to be the kind of man I always hoped I’d be. I want Rachel because the thought of a life without her is more than I can bare.”
I like how he loves her not only for her beauty, but also for the things he admires about her personality.
The plot is alright. The Cursed One wasn’t explored as much as I wanted and I found the pacing a bit off sometimes. The beginning of the real story takes a lot of time and I wished it went a bit faster. This book feels more like a step-up for the second book.
I might sound a bit harsh, but it wasn’t a bad book at all. I found it enjoyable, but not as good as I thought it would be. A solid 3 flowers book.