Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review for Act of Defiance by Adrianne Brooks

4 Stars. Dark and Fascinating. I found this book well written and filled with beautiful imagery. It was darker than most YA I’ve read, but in a way that fit the story. It has some truly dark dystopian elements that wouldn’t have worked if they’d been taken more lightheartedly, so I appreciated the author taking the story to the places it needed to go. Parts were honestly scary, but each scene had a purpose.

This book has a really interesting religious element. It takes place in a dystopian world where demons have taken over the earth and the surviving humans all worship Satan. So much time has passed that living under the satanic church’s rule is all they’ve ever known. It took a little time to completely understand why the world was the way it was, but the pieces came together at a nice pace. It was interesting hearing the biblical stories I knew well from a demon’s perspective, and it was all written in a way that made it easy to understand why the people lived the way they did.

As for the main character I didn’t like Defiance’s name it just felt a little too obvious, especially when I loved the names of the other characters. It felt like the author put some thought into naming her characters and the places they visited. I did, however, like Defiance’s character. She’s trying to make her way in a world that doesn’t offer her many choices. She’s a little rebellious, but she has a big heart. I enjoyed watching her character develop and seeing her start to question all of the things she’d been taught growing up.

I also really liked Uriel and the comradery between him and Defiance, however I didn’t quite feel the chemistry between them. Near the end of the book, when they start to get to know one another better they felt closer, but for most the book it felt like they had more of a mentor/mentee type relationship. During the moments when they’re put in more romantic situations it just didn’t quite feel right to me, and considering Uriel is an archangel there was something that felt off about him kissing Defiance, especially when she still openly worshiped Satan. I hope with the second book that their relationship will develop more.

My main complaint with this book, and why it lost a star for me, was that it felt short, and ended in a spot that made it feel incomplete. The beginning was great and there was plenty of mystery to fuel the story and keep the plot moving forward, however it didn’t end with the main character meeting any of her goals. Defiance and Uriel survive a fight, but they had set out to find the graves of the “Four Saints” and they don’t make it there. Knowing this is a series, obviously the overall plot isn’t going to be resolved, but it felt too much like the story just cut off.