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Defiance - C.J. Redwine In a world where people live inside walled cities afraid of the monster called the Cursed One, women are expected to be meek, docile, and to follow their protector’s every command. Rachel isn’t like them. Her father has trained her to be a tracker and be able to defend herself against any threat. Or so she thought. When her father disappears, Rachel realizes there’s a bigger monster living and ruling the people of Baalboden. Things will escalate and difficult choices will have to be made as Rachel realizes the Commander has taken enough from her and it’s time for a little defiance. C.J. Redwine’s Defiance has everything I could ask for in a book: interesting plot, great action scenes, heart melting romance, and kickass characters. Oh! And the slow-motion scenes? Brilliant! When I first read of the whole protectorship of women and how they were supposed to obey the men, I almost blew a gasket. I shouldn’t have worried though. Redwine did a great job balancing the horrible injustices to women with Rachel’s achievements and wins against the system, so that I never felt too frustrated or angry enough to fling the book away. It took a while for Rachel to show just how badass she is, but her claims at being kickass are backed up as her troubles pile up. Also, Rachel’s anger scared the crap out of me. Logan McEntire, Rachels father’s apprentice, is a brilliant scientist and inventor. And when I say inventor, I mean taking scrap and creating incredible shit out of it. Things like hand magnets to scale walls and DIY bombs. There are also other inventions that really gave a post-apocalyptic feel to the story. I loved Logan and Rachel. Their arguments were hilarious and the moments between them very sweet. There’s just something about Logan that made me want to tackle him and cuddle up to him. I think it’s his fumbling awkwardness around Rachel that made him so cute. Oh, and thank goodness for characters who know that lying to each other is wrong and complicates things! There were several reasons why I didn’t give it a 5, mostly technical stuff and inconsistencies. For example, I found some sentences were too long. Like when you’re reading out loud and there are no comas or pauses and you run out of breath…yep. Like that. Also, when Rachel explains how the dragons came to be she says there were a lot of them that came out of the ground (very Reign of Fire, btw) and that they managed to kill some but not all. Then suddenly there’s only the Cursed One and everyone is afraid? Can’t they kill it? It’s only ONE.Overall, Defiance met my expectations, surpassed them in some areas but not in others. Still, I can’t wait to see what comes next. I’d love to see more of the Tree People and more incredible gadgets, and I’m also hoping for more explanations of the Cursed One.