Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.
What I Liked: 1) Rachel. She wasn't content being put into the little box that women were made to fit into in Baalboden. I appreciated that her father instilled that drive in her as he raised her, and it made her a very strong heroine. 2) Strong emotions. There were a lot of strong emotions between the characters in this book, and that was awesome. So much of the time feelings will be explained, but not shown, so the reader knows that somehow the character is feeling them, but doesn't get involved with it. That's not the case with this story. Everything felt real and raw as Rachel's life was turned upside down repeatedly. There was at least one part where I just felt that my heart was being ripped out for her, and it's great when a book can become that real for someone. 3) Oliver. I loved Oliver. He reminded me of my Grandpa. It's true.
What I Didn't Like: There are a lot of things that draw me into a book - the first of which is always the characters. But secondly, I love to sink into a book where it's more imagination than reading. I like to be able to visualize what I'm reading, to the point of almost forgetting I'm looking at words on a page. Visual details tend to help this a lot, and I felt like a lot of that was missing. Almost like I was watching a movie in black and white - everything was black and white except for Rachel's bright red hair. And maybe that was intentional. The only vibrant thing in this desolate place is her hair. But I wish there had been more. Also, I would have liked some more of the back story. How did the world come to this? It does explain why the Commander is in charge, but at the same time, why did it come to that in the first place. I'm always curious about things like that, and we may get even more understanding as the book continues on.
Overall Thoughts: Defiance is a creative story with an awesome heroine. There are a lot of things to love about this story, from the characters to the adventure. I personally would have liked to see some more detail that would give us a clearer picture of the world we're looking at, and a little more back story, but with the promise of more books, I'm sure we can look forward to that!
My Rating: 3.5 shots