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Defy (Defy, Book 1) (Defy Series) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 341 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 12 - 18|
|Grade Level: 7 - 12|
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Top Customer Reviews
Novels with genderbending heroines are irresistible to me, but I wish I had resisted Defy. Instead of a kickass warrior heroine who challenged gender roles, I got Alexa, a hormonal weepy teenager who can’t decide between two hotties. The worst part is, I felt cheated of the all-important reveal of “Alex’s” true gender, because apparently the guys Alexa had been ogling for most of the book knew since the beginning. How convenient, since that means neither Rylan nor Damian ever had to feel–god forbid–gay for a fellow soldier. Alexa must be the worst girl in disguise ever, because not one person was surprised by her “secret,” nor did they punish her for it.
Actually, the worst part of Defy was probably the inclusion of the breeding houses, or rape prisons where refugee girls are sent once they get their first period to breed more soldiers for the king’s army, even though the king conquered Antion a mere 20 years before. I truly wish I were s***ting you. Setting aside the faulty logic of such an institution, I despise when rape is used as a device to make a villain seem more villainous. Apparently, we’re supposed to believe Alexa’s main reason for pretending to be a boy is so she’s kept out of the breeding houses. Just how many women are kept in these houses, then? What keeps noblewomen out of them? Why haven’t the king’s people rebelled against him already, if he’s such a s***ty ruler?
I know that clichéd tropes aren’t necessarily bad, if they’re executed well, but the love triangle in Defy is even clumsier than Twilight‘s Edward/Bella/Jacob, which is saying something. Every time Alexa daydreamed about Rylan’s “chocolate brown eyes” or Damian’s sky blue ones, I wanted to bang my head against a wall. Alexa’s so busy mooning over these two dudes that she barely has time to do any world-saving.
But no worries, because guess who’s the most skilled swords(wo)man in the king’s army? That’s right–perfect little Alexa. She beat the captain of the king’s guard years ago, no big deal. At least Alanna had to work for her swordsmanship. As soon as we meet Alexa, we know she could beat any enemy one-handed.
And then there’s the worldbuilding. Hello, tired old medieval English society–but in a jungle! Aside from the humidity and danger of the jungle, we learn nothing about Antion’s culture, history, or people. All we know is there’s some kind of distant land that the king came from, there’s desert-like Blevon, and then there’s Antion. Great job, Larson. I can really picture the setting.
I can’t even say that Defy made up for its many flaws with the plot, because there was none to speak of. The melodramatic love triangle took up so much space, I’m surprised there was even room for an assassin subplot. The writing was equally painful, especially in the romantic moments (of which there were many). I never felt compelled to keep reading, and god knows why I managed to finish this book. I guess it was some form of masochism. Let’s see how many times I want to strangle the protagonist? Go!
In short, don’t pick up this book unless you’re eager for a stale, overdone love triangle padded with some magic and swords. It doesn’t even come close to measuring up to my favorite YA fantasies, from Alanna’s First Adventure to Graceling–and even Disney’s Mulan would blow it out of the water. I wasn’t expecting the world’s greatest novel, but I wasn’t expecting to be so hugely disappointed either. Note to self: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Check out this review and more on my book blog here: [...]
I don't even know where to start with my feelings for DEFY? How to express the full depth of my love for this book. How to put all my amazing, torturous feelings into intelligible words. But I'll try!
Have you ever had a book that when you're done reading it, all you wanted to do was turn it over and start reading it again? Well that's exactly what I wanted to do when I was finished reading DEFY!! It was so breathtakingly, and unforgettably, undeniably, engaging, and totally addicting! I don't come across many books that make me feel like that, but DEFY was definitely one of them!!!
DEFY has exceeded any and ALL expectations I had for it. It touched my heart in sooo many places as it seared it's pain and sorrow, determination and courage, love and sacrifice, and the need to overcome their reservations. DEFY'S made it's way up onto my TOP favorite shelf of ALL books I've EVER read. I just really, really, LOVE LOVE, LOVEEEEEE, DEFY!!!
After watching her parents murdered, burnt to a crisp in front of her and her fourteen year old twin brother, Alexa and her twin Marcel had no choice but to join the kings army when they came for them that fateful night their parents were murdered by the dark sorcerer. But as a girl, Alexa had two choices; be hoarded off into the breeding house, where all girls went to await their horrible fates. Or, she can cut off her hair, bind her breast, make her voice deep and firm, her stride long and quick, and become... a boy.
The choice came easy for Alexa...
Now, hard training and years later, Alexa, now known as Alex and her twin brother Marcel have both fought their way up the latter and into the Prince's guard. Alex has grown use to filling her days fighting to keep Prince Damian safe, all while harboring her deadly secret that could very well get both her and her twin killed if ever reveal. But with all the practice and training Alex has had over the years, she's fairly certain that her disguise is secure, or so she thought...
Alex's world starts to slowly unravel when numerous attempts on Prince Damian's life are taken, not to mention the odd behavior he's been exhibiting. She's always known the Prince to be lazy, arrogant, and self absorbed. By now she's seeing a new side to her Prince, a side that she just may very well like. But now she's starting to wonder if it all could of been an act, but for what? And why now more then ever is sorcery making it's way into the castle when it's forbidden by the king, and the cost for using it is death?
Alex will have to fight her way through the unthinkable as deadly secrets arise, murderous plots unfold, magic wielders revealed, love ones lost, and kingdoms fall. But Alex is realizing more then ever that she is needed more then she's ever thought. That the time has come to decide just where and who her loyalties lie with. But most of all, she just may be the key to their kingdoms redemption. But the question still remains; just what or who, will she have to sacrifice in order to save the people and the kingdom she loves?
Phew... Did I mention just how much I LOVED this book? Oh yeah, about a million and one times already! ;) I shed so many tears for this book and these characters, and their struggles and hardships that they had to endure. An author really knows they did something right when they have their readers crying at every other chapter. Well, maybe not that much, but I cried a lot. Some were OMG, that did not just happen tears, some were sad tears, some were angry tears, but at the end, they were noting but happy tears. Well, bittersweet tears, but still happy nevertheless.
Overall, DEFY was a beautifully written and absolutely addicting story, with exceptionally complex characters, forbidden romance, and a wonderfully dangerous setting that makes for an unforgettable adventure, that I know I will relive again and again for a very long time!!
NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Scholastic Press for reviewing purposes! All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!
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