Book Review: Defy Blog Tour + Giveaway!

By Raine Thomas
Published April 30, 2012
Ages 14 and up
Nelson Thomas, Inc.
Reviewed: e-book provided by publisher
Author’s Website
Paperback | Kindle (Only $3.99!)

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.


Thank you to the author, the publisher and to YA Bound for allowing Making the Grade to be part of the DEFY Blog Tour!

Greetings everyone! First and foremost before I proceed with my review I need to explain a couple things. So buckle up! Because we are going on a rough ride. I’m trying to assist you all so you don’t fall into the same trap I did. First, don’t be fooled by the title of this book. It claims to be the first in a brand new series by Raine Thomas, a favored author of many. Let me assure you it is not. I’d arguably say it is a continuation of Thomas’ first series, Daughters of Saraqael. I was not aware of this when I read Defy and as a result I was very confused throughout my entire reading experience! I strongly suggest if anyone is interested in reading this book that they read the Daughters of Saraqael series first. It will probably save you from the unrelenting frustration I endured.

Plot: 7

It is difficult to describe, in just a few words, the plot of this book because I felt there was more than one story going on within the pages of this one novel. There were three distinct stories Thomas was trying to tell and they were all integrated together. For a few paragraphs you’d be reading about a certain group of characters and their experiences and then you’d jump over to another story with a completely different set of characters. The first story is the main focal point for Defy, it is more prominent then the other two. The second story is more of an introduction to some serious drama that I foresee taking place later on in the series. And story three was really just a side note.

Firstly, Defy is a coming of age novel. It primarily focuses on Tate, a spirited young lady who seeks adventure and has a stubborn, rebellious streak. The premise for Defy is about one of Tate’s more defiant moments where she finds herself in a life-threatening situation. Will Tate ever find her way back home? Has she finally learned her lesson? Will she survive this ordeal and live to tell the tale?

Sounds interesting right!? So you’re probably wondering why I’ve scored the plot a seven. Well, at best, I found the plot to be rather childish. I felt Tate’s whole ordeal was to teach her a lesson she should have learned when she was five years old. Listen to your parents, children. I know it’s shocking to hear but they actually do know what they’re talking about. The only thing that really saved this novel was story #2 (you remember me talking about three separate stories in this book, right?). Although story #2 was really just to introduce the main plot for the second book in the series, it was intriguing, suspenseful, and kept me reading till the last page.

Characters: 5

This is really where the book took a hard blow from me. I’ve learned that I prefer fictional characters who have “old soul.” Characters with “old souls” may physically still be young but have gone through some serious experiences in their lives. These experiences help mold and shape who the characters are by the time I am first introduced to them. These characters are wise and mature for their age.

I would describe Tate as having an “infant soul.” Tate has the body of an adult and the soul of a three year old. Her child-like spirit even has an influence in how she dresses. She’s 17 years old for crying out loud and she chooses to wear a tank top and a lime green puffy skirt over bright purple pants. Seriously folks, this is what my three year old niece chooses to wear when she isn’t flaunting a princess dress. While some found her adventurous, spirited, and courageous I found her childish, annoying, and whiny.

Zachariah, Tate’s love interest, is mysterious through and through. He is a man with many secrets and is a very closed book. It was difficult for me to grow attached to Zachariah because he was so secretive and closed off throughout 98% of the story. As protection, Zachariah built a mental wall around himself to fight off anyone trying to get close to him. His defense methods consist of a hot tempter, impatience, and rudeness. By the time Zachariah did open up I felt it was too late. By the end of the book I just didn’t care for him.

Setting: 10

I applaud the author for taking a risk and constructing a whole new world with mythical creatures, societies, and ways of life. Although this world was the main cause for my confusion and utter frustration I was still pulled in by the magical, enchanting universe Thomas made. I respect Thomas and admire her creativity.

Pacing: 8

Pacing is difficult to grade because had I gone about reading this book the right way I don’t think I would have had a problem with pacing. Because I jumped into this story right in the middle, as previously mentioned, I was very confused by everything. There were many paragraphs I had to reread to try and make sense of everything. It became very tiring and my interest started to dwindle significantly. Had I read Daughters of Saraqael first I would have been much more prepared to tackle this series. Therefore, I won’t grade pacing too harshly because I’m sure there will be plenty of people who won’t have a problem with it.

Style: 8

Style, just like pacing, is also very difficult to grade. Again, I feel had I read the prequel series first, I wouldn’t have a problem with the style of Defy. But I must grade the style based upon my reading experience. The author graciously provided a glossary of terms that the reader needs to be familiar with before diving into the book. This glossary saved my life! It was so nice to refer to it every time I came across something I didn’t understand. However, over time it became very annoying. Reading this book took twice as long because I kept having to jump to the front page every few paragraphs. Even though the glossary was helpful it still left me with hundreds of questions that I’m afraid could only be answered by reading the prequel series.

To wrap up, I find most of Raine Thomas’ current fans will love this new installment. It’s magical, adventurous, and dramatic. The world she’s created is phenomenal and very captivating. However, make sure you can fully appreciate this new book by being fully prepared. Read Daughters of Saraqael first and you will be well on your way to an enjoyable read.

Grade: 88

Enter to win a Defy Prize Pack!

(including a signed paperback copy of all of Raine’s books!)

Visit the Defy Blog Tour Page to Enter


About Jenna (Does Books)

Working momma of a little pink princess and reader of all things YA. I'm an artist, writer and avid reader who swears that she's having a hard time letting go of the childish things... Let me read your latest YA book and let's see if it makes the grade!

Posted on May 10, 2012, in Blog Tour, Book Review, Four Star, Giveaway and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks so much for being a part of the DEFY launch tour and for taking the time to read and review the book!

  1. Pingback: Weekly Roundup (2) + Book Haul! (vlog) « Making the Grade

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