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Defiance (Strange Angels, Book 4) Paperback – April 19, 2011
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About the Author
Lili Saintcrow was born in New Mexico, bounced around the world as an Air Force brat, and fell in love with writing when she was ten years old. Lili lives in Vancouver, WA with her children, a houseful of cats, and assorted other strays.
Top customer reviews
Dru is doing everything in her power to find and save her friend (oh but I want so much more) Graves from Sergej. While still dealing with the politics, training and other hassles/perks that accompany being a svetchka on the cusp of blooming.
Plus she's still trying to decrease the bad guy population.
AND figure out her feelings for Graves and Christophe.
Busy girl! But she manages to handle them all rather deftly. Gone is the wimpy whiny Dru from earlier. She is hella pissed that Sergej took Graves and will stop at almost nothing to get him back.
As much as I loathe the dreaded love triangle, I must admit Ms. St. Clair continues to handle this one rather deftly. Each has their equally strong pull with Dru.
Graves continues to be the heart of the story; even absent he is the core that keeps Dry going. (and if you want to know if, when, where, how and in what shape he shows up? I'm not telling..but to say READ IT) Christophe is her mentor, determined to hone the skills that may save her life when she faces Sergej.
The usual band of merry misfits is still around. And Dru actually gets her first female friend. I found their friendship to be quite honest and real. And it brought a nice layer to Dru we haven't seen before. And Ash? Ohhh who knew he could prove to be so complex? There is A LOT going on there, and I can't wait to see how that plays out.
But what really caught me, what had me ignoring all else to finish this book, were the subtle nuanced changes in how Dru sees the world now. How her experiences have changed her.
There is a scene in the beginning of the book when Dru crawls into bed after an especially hard day that just broke my heart with the quiet heartfelt weight of it.
Since this series first debuted, a plethora of strong smart girls who can think on their feet have shown up, with their own special set of skills, and their own angsty love issues..BUT...they still haven't touched the complexity of this series.
And the END?
B A N G! Full of win!
The love triangle in this book only gets more confusing. I am still trying to figure what is up with the apple pie smelling Christophe and who Dru would be better off with. Graves is absent for the most part in this book since he has been kidnapped so we get to see a lot more of Christophe. Sometimes it seems like he is a perfect fit for Dru and at other times it seems that he keeps too much from her.
I wish I had seen more of Ash in this book. There are only a few scenes with Ash in it and I find his character really interesting. In fact there are some really big surprises with him. That's probably the only criticism that I have about this book. I really want to see more of Ash in the upcoming books.
The plot to this book is the usual fast paced rollercoaster that Lilith always writes. There is a little less action as the book is centered around Graves kidnapping and Dru's training. Most of the action that happens is between Dru and Christophe in her training. Overall I give the book a full 5/5.
This is the fourth Strange Angels novel and, if you haven't read the first three, you really should check those out first. While it's possible to pick this book up and read it without having acquainted yourself with Dru, Christophe, Graves, and the rest of the gang, you'd be missing out on a lot of the backstory and might get slightly tangled up in the terminology and details of Dru's world.
Typical of Lili St. Crow (and her adult writer-self, Lilith Saintcrow), the story is nonstop action with knives flashing, blood spurting, and howls of pain echoing in the night air. Awesome (holy cow, I do love me some urban fantasy!). Finally somewhat safe and sound at the main school for djamphir and werwulfen, Dru's honing her fighting skills so that when she blooms, she'll be able to take care of business (killing nosferat, the bad vamps) and not get herself killed. But she's worried about Graves, her best friend--her only friend, really--who was taken by Sergej, the King of the Vampires.
Dru is so confident one moment, like when she's in the middle of a fight and her training kicks in and she just knows what to do, and then the next, she's lost, unsure of who to trust (Though she has every right to have trust issues. Those vamps are sneaky buggers.), unsure of her feelings for the guys in her life, and even unsure of her appearance. It makes her such a solidly real character, that she might be a tough, totally kick-butt girl on the outside and yet, she's just as confused as every other teen growing up.
And I love the action scenes. Lili St. Crow writes those scenes with clarity and precision, so much so that I can picture each whirl, twist, kick, and slice as Dru battles her way through the bad guys. Great imagery, complete with scents (the taste of rotting, waxen orange signaling the approach of the nosferat), sounds (tentacles sounding like wet hamburger being dropped onto sheet metal), and sights (maggot-white fingers).
DEFIANCE and the Strange Angels series is stellar--a stand-out in the world of urban fantasy that will hook readers from the very start.