Defiance - C.J. Redwine
This was a solid book, though nothing that I absolutely adored.
It felt very Wild West, which is typically not something that interests me, but also very fantasy. In fact, I did have a problem of forgetting that this wasn't fantasy, this wasn't set in the past somewhere, this was post-apocalyptic. It reared its head in strange places for me, where suddenly I was like "OH, yeah. Our current society is dead." Some of that was the setting, absolutely. I can't wait to see what the rest of the world looks like. Have they all set themselves up in creepy towns run by crazy men? Is there anything left that would be recognizable as "our" world? How much of civilization is even left?
The bad guys in the book are a little too bad to be believable, though it made it easier to root for the main characters, Logan and Rachel, whom I liked. She's not always the most thoughtful, and is often ruled more by emotion than by reason, but her heart is in the right place and she is remarkably brave and feisty for a character raised in this kind of society, which was fun to see.
Their relationship was kind of adorable. I do admittedly have a weakness for childhood romances, though, so you can certainly take that with a grain of salt. Logan needed to occasionally tone down his desire to treat her like she isn't as capable as she clearly is, but some of that seems to be due to the society they live in (good gog, being a woman here is horrid), some to his fears of her dying (and given her inability to hold her tongue, I'd argue his fears on this point are completely valid) and some to some past experiences. He grows in this aspect throughout the book and definitely starts as the least offensive male character, so I'm willing to cut him some serious slack in this universe. Also, I loved his "Worst Case Scenario/Best Case Scenario" thing, which sounded a bit like the dialogue that runs through my head sometimes, so I'm probably biased.
The action scenes were a bit rushed in places and some of their plans were rather intensely stupid. This does count a few of the ones that worked, too, so perhaps they weren't as dumb as I thought or perhaps the bad guys were dumber than I thought; it's hard to tell, really.
I was not expecting a lot of the revelations, and I can definitely tell there are more to come. I will pick up the rest of the series at some point, because I did enjoy it, but I'm not feeling terribly rushed.