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Book Review: Defiance

DefianceLance Erlick. Finlee Augare Books, April 27, 2015, Trade Paperback and Kindle, 290 pages.

Reviewed by Serena Wadhwa.

In the third of a four-part series, the growing tension among the Federation’s highest leaders bring additional excitement and questions to this action-packed sequel. As the legend of a rebellion becomes more of a threat, and the GODs’ (Grand Old Dames’) fears drive reactions that divide some of the key players’ loyalities, Regina is even more determined to find her sister and make peace with her mother. Knowing that the Federation needs her, Regina wants to make sure it is on her terms. 

“Regina’s DNA was vital to reversing a worldwide fertility collapse, but only if she was alive.”

The discovery of a seed vault increases the tension and defiance, as Regina wants to negotiate the release of her sister with precious seeds from a variety of plants, animals, and humans. She ensures there are enough for those that helped her in this discovery and when tragic news hits, she is aware it is now up to her to see if other vaults like this exist. And Regina’s mother returns to the scene. We are not sure in what capacity; as in the previous volumes, we are led to believe there is allegiance with the Federation. Regina also struggles with her own sense of abandonment from her mother.

In this volume, we see a lot more action than in the previous two. As Regina makes her way to her sister’s location, we witness many occurrences of running into Federation agencies and other people that cannot be trusted. We witness the loyal Marginals, Working Stiffs, and other women who believe in the legacy and have found hope in it. Many of these women are willing to risk their life to get Regina where she needs to go, believing she is the key. And we witness a flourishing relationship Regina develops with Ester, her partner in navigating the terrain to Alaska.

Erlick does not disappoint as we read about Regina’s travels and narrow escapes to find her sister. I like the consistency in Regina’s character and the moments of vulnerability the author allows her to have. We see how valuable family is to Regina, how it’s hard to trust others, and how that process occurs in her relationship with Ester. I think the story provides a good example of how trust builds slowly. I was torn between following the adventures of Regina and the sub-plots relating to the women of the Federation, yet felt there was a good enough balance between the two. 

I am looking forward to reading how this all ends as the book continued to hold my curiosity and attention.


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