Friday, January 3, 2014

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Title: Defy (Defy #1)
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publication Date: January 7th 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press

*ARC provided by NetGalley*

Rating: 3 out of 5

Goodreads Blurb:
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?

An amazing debut that leaves you waiting for more- Defy will capture your attention. But, I warn you, that might be all that it does. 

Alexa, disguised as Alex, is sworn to protect the seemingly sullen and uninterested prince and at the same time make sure no one discovers her secret. After her brother is killed, things q
uickly spiral out of control and soon Prince Damian, Alexa, and a fellow Gaurd member, Rylan, are kidnapped by the enemy and travel through the jungle. 

The main character Alexa, reminds me of Katsa from Graceling with her superior fighting skills and tough exterior.
In the jungle, several interesting revelations take place and Alexa has to decide exactly who to trust. This book was fast-paced and intriguing, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Graceling and Mulan.

I really enjoyed the plot, although it was sometimes lacking. I felt as if the romance took over at times, but overall this book was enjoyable. SPOILER. There is a love triangle.

This book was riddled with revelations, secrets and hidden agendas. I liked how all those fit together to make the book interesting. Even though I felt as if there was too much being thrown in, it was altogether satisfactory.

Although the book was definitely good, I do have some qualms. The world building was practically nonexistent- yes there were definitely some details that seemed interesting (ex: black sorcerers, jungles, the war) but overall there could have been more. Also, this book wasn't particularly creative- it had too many elements from the standard fantasy YA books that were altered a bit to fit the author’s taste. So even though this book didn’t make me go “OMG this is one of my favorite books!” or even “This book is spectacular!”, I still recommend it to anyone looking for a light, enjoyable read.