Series: Defy #1
Author: Sara B. Larson
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Release Date: 7th January 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Rating: (2.5 stars)
Review Copy: NetGalley
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 NetGalley and Scholastics for the ARC!*
I'm pretty honest when it came to my reviews... The thoughts I tried to convey by writing was what I really felt by the time I finished a book. So yes, I am starting this review as honestly as I could.
I have read the blurb when I first saw this book at Goodreads. I can't remember how did I suddenly found it. I was asking for an ARC then. It was so intriguing that I even didn't mind the love triangle it might present based from the blurb. I honestly like the concept the author presented with just the blurb.
A girl who is disguising herself as a boy? PLUS she knows how to fight? The best of the whole lot of boys? Sword fighter? HELL YES! I'd love to read it! I was excited to read it! So I got the time to read it...
And I'm sorry but I'm a bit disappointed with what happened. First few pages... So good. Alex (same name as me!) is so cool. I love that she's a good fighter. The best. I'm a sucker for that kind of female MC. Fierce, can handle herself and not a whiny damsel-in-distress kind of girl, and just purely awesome. I love her then.
Enter Prince Damian... he was introduced as a spoiled, whiny, selfish and childish Prince. I do understand the reason as to the why Prince Damian did the things he did. I do. I honestly do and I don't have anything against him. But at the same time I'm not in awe of him. He's an okay character. But that's just it.
I think my favorite MALE character would be Marcel, yes, that twin brother of Alexa. I love that he protects his sister as much as he can and in any way he can. So it saddens me that he didn't get much exposure in this book cause he totally deserves it.
Oh yes, during the later half of this story... I grown fond of the Prince's guards. Derron, Jaerom, Jude, Matteo, and everyone else... They are fiercely loyal and I love that about them. They are loyal to one another too not just to the Prince. And that they follow what they think is right.
The things I didn't like... I really hate it when authors write stories about rape houses. I know. It might happen in the past, it might be true but still... I'm not comfortable with that scenes. I hate the breeding houses. Like women are some kind of cattle or any animal that you can impregnate. It's so horrible. I don't like that it was not mentioned in the blurb. :( If it was I might not read this one. I am so sorry but that one is not something I would agree on even if you say that the authors got the right to whatever they want.
But I know... I know... It's just that even as a child they were herded there and wait for them to get their monthly period AND have the guards and the girls have sex. It's just so freakin' wrong. They (the girls) didn't want that. And I hate that the guards (men) enjoyed it and it was like a game to them.
Didn't they realized that if they did get the girls pregnant, it'll be their child? That if the child born is a girl, they would have the same fate as their mother? Men got it easy. I hate it.
And really this book was like 80-90% love story (love triangle if you must) and 10% action. I love the action scenes and I am a bit annoyed with the love story. If it was changed like 10% romance and 90% action... I'd gladly give it a 4 or 5 stars even with the breeding houses *shudder*.
Also, I don't like what the author did with Alexa next. She's pretending to be a man for Pete's sake. But I can't remember how much SHE BLUSHED in this book while pretending to be a man. Let's not forget how everyone seems to know she's really a girl. Ugh.
Would I recommend it? Maybe. I'm not sure with recommending it. If you're patient and not easily annoyed, then yes. It's a fast paced book so yeah, it can be done. I just don't know if it will be worth your time. It is for other readers, though.