Let me start off by saying that I didn't know if I wanted to read this book or not. I originally bought it because I really liked C.J. Redwine, and she was really great on Twitter. I bought this book with a mere glance at the blurb—and that's not like me. So when it arrived in the mail, I put off reading it for as long as I could. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. But the cover was so beautiful, and I really suck at not giving in to books. So I opened it and was sucked in to a world unlike any other.
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the
city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew
dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel
knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When
her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is
declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her
father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two
years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her.
Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel
decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the
Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland
could destroy her.
At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast.
Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on
learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his
plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive
daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan
goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake
than disappointing Jared.
As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked
by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for
blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a
war decades in the making.
This book is the first of a trilogy.
Age: 13 years and up
Review: 4.5 stars
It took me a few chapters to get into the story. But once I was sucked in, there was no coming back.
Rachel is a hard-headed girl who doesn't like others doing heroic things by themselves, but when it's her turn, she doesn't want help. Her motives are pure—she doesn't want them to get hurt on her account—but it's still a little hypocritical.
I adored Logan. He was my favorite character of the whole book. Though I could never calculate things or invent things or plan things like him, I loved that he could. I loved that he didn't rush in on pure adrenaline like our heroine.
However, I also understand Rachel's point of view. I, myself, do things on impulse most of the time. But though she realized that Logan was right and it was better to plan, she still never did anything to plan herself. She relied heavily on Logan's planning and forethought, and never sought to plan herself. She was driven by emotion—be it anger, love, fear, or hope.
Apart from these flaws, or maybe because of them, it made this book really realistic. After all, people are never perfect. I absolutely hated the Commander—and was with Rachel 99% of the time when it came to him.
Seeing the story grow and evolve from both Rachel's and Logan's point of view really added more depth to the plot. I loved knowing what was happening inside both of their heads and hearts.
The world Redwine created was slightly historic, but it also included technology that's beyond our time. I loved how it had many obstacles and many intrinsic themes. And as a romantic, I loved the romance as well!
It was also realistic. Not every good person survived, so be warned. People died, and there were gore-y parts. There was blood and fighting and conflict. But it's part of what made this book so good!
I will be (impatiently) waiting for the sequel to come out, so I recommend this to anyone who seeks adventure, love, internal (as well as external) conflict, and strong-willed heroines and heroes.
Labels: adventure, fantasy, fiction, four stars, life lessons, love, reviews, romance, teen, young adult