genre: young adult fantasy
Rachel may no longer have her mother, but she does have her father. Strong. Reliable. He taught her how to survive and her taught her how to fight. In a city ruled by a ruthless leader, constantly threatened from the outside by a dragon-like vicious creature, those skills her father taught her were necessary and endeared him to her with a fierce adoration. But one day he goes on a mission into the wasteland and doesn't come home. And Rachel is determined to find out why.
Rachel doesn't have to go alone, of course. There is a wonderful love interest, a boy who is not only strong but smart and resourceful, a brainiac who is as dedicated to Rachel's family as she is. And good thing she's got help. She's going to need it.
Defiance is engaging. The plot is swift enough and the love story pulls you along. I liked their medieval fantasy/high tech world - it was a pleasantly different spin in the genre. It was just really violent. Several in-your-face deaths and the Commander guy was unredeemably evil. Sometimes Rachel's head was just an upsetting place to be. However, I did really like reading it and the sequel is already requested at the library. 3.5 stars.