Defiance - C.J. Redwine Usually when use the adjective "intense" to describe a book, it's a good thing. But that's not necessarily the case here. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely liked this book. It easily deserves the 4 star rating. But the ending kept me from giving it 5 stars. (There are no spoilers here)

This is a story about setting things right, hoping for a better future, and the incredible (and sometimes excruciating) things we do to achieve those goals. I particularly loved the first half of it. The world and character building was exquisite. I could feel Rachel's determined and fierce personality, Logan's loyal and upstanding character, Oliver's warm comforting touch, and even Roger's intelligence, in every word written. I enjoyed the dual points of view (shared between Rachel and Logan), as they both had strong, distinguishing voices. I found the premiss of a city like Baalboden very entertaining and it haven't really crossed my mind until now if it's believable or not. I think I didn't look at it as a distopian future (which seems to be the explanation given), but as a fantasy world, which is a better fit for me.

Most of the things I have issues with are probably going to be solved in the following books. For instance, the opposing characters (mainly the commander) are very one noted. He is vicious, period. But the author does give hints of a background story, and hidden motives, that could unfold. Some other characters, such as Quinn and Nola, although well developed, are an unnerving mystery. They made me wonder what was their purpose in the story. Are they friends of our heroes? Love interests? Some of Rachel's conflicting emotions and actions, although understandable, feel a bit much (hence the "overly intense" comment). All things I believe (hope) will be handled in the next book. Which is a fault in itself: this is a piece of a story, not a complete book for me. Nothing was concluded, really.

But, in spite of that, I read it all in almost one sitting. It is fast paced and action filled, and I rooted for Rachel and Logan the whole time. I actually dreaded when they were apart. So I would recommend it for YA lovers who like reading sequels (because you will have to). I'm greedily going to get mine right now!