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Welcome! My name is Haley, I'm a 24 year old book-aholic. I'm a book reviewer for the RiverTalk Newspaper. I love reading YA, NA, and adult paranormal mostly, but I do go into other genres on occasion. If you want to talk more one on one about books, please don't hesitate to contact me on facebook or twitter, I love making new bookish friends!



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Title: Defy by Sara B. Larson
Series: Defy #1
Genre: YA, Romance, LIGHT fantasy
Details: 336 pages, released Jan 7th 2014
Source: For review from Netgalley

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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?
.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................


I had my eyes on Defy since I first stumbled upon it on goodreads over the summer, the summary instantly pulled me in, and my expectations were immediately set high. Sadly though while Defy did have a great premise, enjoyable love triangle, I found it it really lacking in scenery/writing, and character development.

Defy follows Alexa, Alexa is a fighter, but she is also a woman. To avoid being put with the other woman of her town in the 'breeding' She must disguise herself as a man, go by the name of Alex and serve in the Kings army. Her job? To serve on the snobby Prince Damian's guard. Alexa is the best fighter at the palace, but when a sorcerer breaks in, all her fighting tactics are useless. Herself, Prince Damian, and her friend on the guard Rylan have all been abducted. As the three of them make it through the jungle as 'prisoners' Alexa will learn she is not the only one with big secrets to hide.

 The official summary of Defy says- "A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle." For the most part this is true, the part that I find (very) false is the part that says "lush and gorgeously written" Defy could have been a beautiful novel, the main scenery the characters find themselves in is a jungle, the jungle could have been described so beautifully! Unfortunately  though Ms. Larson never really described the scenery. I wanted to be shown what the 'dangerous, but beautiful' jungle looked like, but instead I found myself just being told it was beautiful, no details, nothing. Besides that I just felt Defy was missing something.

Alexa our main character was for the most part a likable character. I love a bad ass chick that can kick some serious ass like Alexa can. The only complaint I have for Alexa was that I didn't really see her develop as a character, mind you this is just the first book in a series and I'm sure she will develop as the series goes on, but normally I feel readers would see some development in the MC in the first book. With Alexa I don't feel she grew at all. The two love interests Rylan and Prince Damian, I think readers will like both of them. Prince Damian comes off as a snob at first, but then you get to really know him and he is actually quite likable. Rylan we don't get too know that well in Defy, but I find myself personally liking him more and being most intrigued by him. I am hoping in book 2 we will get to know him more.

 Overall, even though it may not seem like it based off of my review, I did rather enjoy Defy. It was a good start to a series, and I do plan on continuing this series. I had just hoped for alot more from Defy than what I got, but this is only the first book of the series and I think this series will get even better as it goes on (hopefully at least)! If you are someone looking for a novel with a MC chick that knows how to fight, a love triangle between 2 gorgeous men, a good amount of action and a little bit of magic, than Defy would be a read you may enjoy!

Sidenote I feel needs to be mentioned: Defy is not a high fantasy novel, it is a very light fantasy novel. The series may get more heavy fantasy in the future books, but Defy I would not in any way call a high fantasy.

Pros
  • strong main character
  • good love triangle
  • non-cliff hanger ending, but still had an ending that left me curious as to what is going to happen next
Cons
  • lots of telling, no showing/the writing.. Example-"the jungle was beautiful" instead of describing it and showing me what made it beautiful 
  • no character development with main character
     

19 comments:

Sharon ObsessionwithBooks said...

I have noticed reviews for this have been quite mixed, I was really excited about reading it but what put me off was mention of a love triangle, I'm not a fan of them at all :-\ I'd need a more descriptive setting as well so its a shame this was a bit of a let down but I do enjoy strong MCs.

A lovely review Haley :-)

Haley @ YA-Aholic said...

@Sharon ObsessionwithBooks Thanks Sharon!! Ya it was a good read, I just expected SO much more from it ): I would recommend Legacy of Tril over Defy, they're very similar, but Legacy of Tril was done alot better (:

Thanks for stopping by! (:

Haley @ YA-Aholic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bookittyblog said...

I've noticed that for me what makes me love fantasy so much are the character development and writing. Defy doesn't sound like it has either. This is the first time I hear about this one. Maybe I'll wait for the rest of the series to come out before giving it a try. Sometimes series get better with each book.

Book Passion for Life said...

Great review Haley! I've got this one to read too and I'm looking forward to it, I just don't know when I'll get to it x

Haley @ YA-Aholic said...

@Book Passion for Life It's a good/decent book, hopefully you enjoy it more than I did! (:

Haley @ YA-Aholic said...

@bookittyblog Yes! I'm hoping maybe with book 2 it will get better, if book 2 isn't better though I'll probably stop reading this series. (:

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

Being told instead of feeling when it comes to world-building is a shame :( I like it when I'm really sucked into the story. And a good character with no development is just okay. What a waste of a good idea!

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