Sunday, April 29, 2012

Defy (Firstborn #1) by Raine Thomas

Defy (Firstborn #1) by Raine Thomas
Publisher: Iambe Books
Release Date: April 30th, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
Source: Author
Format: Paperback

Goodreads Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Tate is about to make her parents’ dreams come true. Unfortunately for her, their dreams foretell her death.

Eager to explore more of the Estilorian plane and prove her abilities, Tate goes against her parents’ wishes and leaves the area of protection surrounding her home. Her choice puts her on a deadly path…one that leaves her alone, severely injured and battling for her life.

Her possible savior arrives in the form of Zachariah, a male who has removed himself from Estilorian society for more than fifty years. Fighting an unexpected connection to Tate, he must decide whether saving her life is worth destroying his.

As Tate struggles to find a way home, she ends up drawn into a dark Mercesti plot involving multiple murders and a powerful ancient artifact. With the unpredictable Zachariah as her only source for aid, she’ll soon find out if her abilities are strong enough to help her defy her Fate.

My Review: 
It is often said that when you love something it usually is hard for you to say why you love said thing because how can you explain perfection in just a few words, right? Well, this is how I felt about Defy. It was brilliant. It was such a breath of fresh air with it's unique blend of intensity and humour. It had mystery, intrigue, depth, romance, and an amazing cast of characters. Defy does not disappoint as it is the first book in the follow up series to the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy which in it's own right is such an interesting and unique YA fantasy/Romance trilogy with it's introduction to all things Estilorian. Estilorian being beings with special powers who had to remove themselves from human society and who eventually became the stuff of what myth and legends are based on. In Defy we get to learn more about Estilorian society and it was beyond intriguing.

In Defy I think that Raine Thomas does a really great job at expanding the Estilorian world for the reader and it has to be said that she truly has an imagination that is out of this world. Her twists on traditional fantastical elements never cease to amaze me. The creatures she creates, the landscapes described, and the abilities/characteristics of the beings and people in this novel really are amazing and truly transport the reader to a whole new world in their mind and really what is a better testament to excellent world-building, right?

The characterization in Defy is also pretty incredible. Every character is so well developed. They are so complex that there is not one instance in which you feel like you truly know it all about a character. New things always keep coming to light and I love it when an author can persistently keep you guessing and on your toes about what really is going on underneath the surface in a character's life. It is the mark of truly good storytelling for me and this book had that in abundance and I loved it. The secondary characters in this book are all so charming and strong and determined to try to do the right thing. I fell in love with the newly introduced cast of Estilorians, too. And the main characters in this novel are a riot. Tate and Zachariah are so much fun and it is really surprising because throughout the novel they are facing danger at every corner, from beginning to end; but their personalities always remain so strong, stubborn, willful and funny and I thought it was really great to read about. To say that I liked them doesn't even begin to express the amount of love I had for these characters by the time I finished reading this book. Which leads me to the romance in this book.

Tate and Zachariah have a chemistry that is off the charts. It really is. I thought their banter was hilarious because they are just both so slick, clever, passionate and fearless and what I loved about them is that they both have incredibly strong personalities and it truly works for them because they challenge each others perceptions at every turn and it wasn't instantaneous love either. It took them a while to get to know each other and every word of it was fun. And what is really great about this book is that there are also two other big romances brewing in this book amongst the secondary characters which were also incredibly compelling, interesting, and humorous. Raine Thomas just knows how to do romance and I think she outshines herself in Defy. Tate and Zachariah especially were flawless. They just were. No other way to put it really.

Besides the really great characterization, world-building and romance. What I loved about Defy the most had to be it's exploration of emotions with it's special emphasis on what self consciousness and arrogance can do to a person's perception of self. A lot of the characters in this book including the main characters go on an incredibly journey of self discovery and battle not only physical danger but psychological danger, as well. It was really interesting to get into these characters head and to see how they would overcome these struggles that they had with themselves and when you add to that a backdrop of an incredibly scary cast of villains/dangerous landscapes and twists at every turn, you truly have yourself a very adventured filled book in every sense of the word.

My Rating: 5/5


  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review DEFY and participate in the DEFY book launch tour, Jennifer!

    1. You're welcome, Raine. Defy was such a fun book to read. Loved it :)

  2. Wow! Your love for this book shines. It seems that Thomas did a wonderful job of immersing you in the story. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.
    Lovely review!

    1. Thanks so much :) She really did. It was SO good. No love triangles. No insta love. And the main characters were badass but hilarious at the same time. It was just pure awesome and different, too =)

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