Saturday, March 8, 2014

Review: "Defy" by Sara B. Larson

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?
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review an ARC of this book.

My apologies in advance if this review seems a little disjointed, but I feel the need to write down the notes I took while reading "Defy".

At 25% I wrote: "So, I kind of like this book, but I have some questions.  I'm 25% in, and I don't know what the "war" is about!  Why are there these breeding houses?  And where are all the adults?  Were they all killed like Alexa and Marcel's parents?  And why is this book set in the JUNGLE?!  I assumed it was in a land like Merry Olde England, because that's the kind of land where you wear vests and boots and live in castles.  If you say "jungle", I think India with silk saari's and turbans and the Taj Mahal.  Servants cooling their masters by fanning them with palm fronds and feeding them grapes.  Actually, after this little mini-rant, maybe I don't like this book!"

Later on, I wrote this note about the breeding houses:  "Were they just thrown in for shock value?  I think the idea was that men - the king's guards?  All the men in the kingdom?  Author doesn't really specify - would rape and impregnate all the young women in order to provide a new generation of soldiers.  Like, how long is this war supposed to last?  Fifteen or twenty years?  The king would be dead by then!  The whole idea just doesn't make any sense!"

And at the end: "Just finished, and this book was just okay.  Boring and predictable.  The love triangle was just lame.  I'm not sure what all the hype was about, especially if you compare this to other YA fantasies out there.  My advice - skip this and read "Falling Kingdoms" or "Finnikin of the Rock" instead."  

My rating:

No comments:

Post a Comment