Series: Defy, #1
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.
The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?
Despite my one star rating, I wasn’t at all disappointed with Defy. Simply because I knew it was going to be bad, and I went into this novel just to see how terrible it was. However, I had not expected it to be so bad that I nearly vomited in my mouth.
Defy checks all boxes for one of the worst fantasy books I’ve read this year. Sure, we’re only 7 days into 2014 but I can just feel like it’s going to be the worst I’ve encountered.
1. Fail, un-kick-ass protagonist? Check. We have Alexa (Alex) Hollen, disguised as a boy to be her brother’s twin in order to escape the breeding houses instead to be a member of Prince Damian’s personal guard. Apparently, Alex could beat the captain of the guard in a match but I felt that Alex was so weak. I wanted an as hard as nails chick who would kick ass in her sleep. I wanted a girl with a heart of steel. But instead I got a girl who dreams of her two love interests. I got a girl who couldn’t stop her goddamn emotions. There was this certain scene where the main characters are being attacked and Alex quickly jumps into the action, I was rather confused. Because her personality was whiny and girly I totally forgot that Alex was supposed to be some heroic and kick-ass boy.
2. Non-existent world building? Check. For majority of the time, I couldn’t imagine anything that the author was taking about. Just insert some castle here and jungle there, viola! I need more details, more substance. And not breeding houses.
3. Illogical plotting? Check. So there’s a war that’s been going on for some 10-20 years and the evil, evil king decides to get all females who have reached the age where they can reproduce to go to these breeding (rape) houses so they can make soldiers. So basically, these lil’ infants are going to go to war. WUT? You at least have to have them grow up as well as train them which is also gonna take another 10-20 years. How the flip does that work when your nation is already losing the war? How long is this war gonna go on for? NOTHING MAKES SENSE.
4. No history on the world the author as created? Check. Apart from the horrendous and irrelevant breeding houses, we don’t have much else. There’s no history of what happened to make this war begin and stuff like that. I don’t want to be thrown in the middle of a book and just left there staring into the distance. I need background information. I need to know why some people have special powers and why some don’t.
5. Love triangle? Check. We have a snotty and lazy and ungrateful Prince Damian and a sweet but annoying best friend Rylan. Who does she choose? Why of course, the impossible to have, Prince Damian! *rolls eyes*
What makes me want to gag more is that it just happens that both love interests knew that she was a girl ever since and loved her ever since. O___O
If you want a girl disguised as a guy, go for Eon or watch Mulan. Honestly. Don’t waste your time on this.
~Thank you Scholastic for sending me this copy!~
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