Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: Defiance by Stephanie Tyler

Title: Defiance
Author: Stephanie Tyler
Series: Defiance, Book 1
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, New Adult, Romance
Release Date: 10 June 2013

Rebelling against her legacy as the MC's princess, Tru Tennyson escaped the ruthless, male-dominated culture of the Defiance motorcycle club. Three years later, her newfound freedom is ripped away, thanks to a massive hybrid storm that killed millions. Now, in the post-Chaos world of semi-darkness and near-total anarchy where gangs rule, she discovers the dangerous world of Defiance may be the one thing that can keep her safe.

Tru is at the MC's mercy when she's dragged back to her former home … and to the only man she's ever pictured a future with. Caspar is the bastard son of the club's leader, her safe haven when life got rough — and her onetime lover the night she left. When Tru refuses to trade sex for power and be claimed by a rival club leader, she also dares to announce she wants Caspar instead, throwing the MC into turmoil.

Tru's brazen revolt could start a gang war and destroy the club from within. Now both Tru and the MC must wait for Caspar's response … and the inevitable fallout.

Motorcycle Club books are everywhere these days – at least they’re filling up my Goodreads feed. It seems like all my friends are reading and loving them. I know some people in motorcycle clubs in real life, but haven’t ever spent time with them in that capacity, nor do I watch Sons of Anarchy. So this is my first experience with this type of extreme setting. And it is extreme.

It’s also incredibly interesting. This book does a lot. Not only is it a MC (as they’re frequently called) book, but it’s New Adult – both characters are in their early-twenties – and it’s Post-Apocalyptic. I have to say I was a little concerned it was trying to take on too much. That the book would be spread so thin that the story would be lost and garbled. I was most definitely wrong.

The world has suffered a cataclysmic series of events. Ash covers the sky, governments have pretty much collapsed, and the only law is the one you’re willing to enforce yourself. In this time the Defiance motorcycle club is surviving fairly well. Prior to the apocalypse they were well-prepped, with bunkers, firearms, provisions, and a well-built compound with plenty of space to defend and keep. Survival of the fittest seems to be the rule of the game here. Whatever it takes, is a close second.

I admit that I had my doubts about the MC being this organized, prepared, and well-stocked. But as soon as I accepted it for what it was, and accepted that this was how the MCs operated – there was more than one – I fell right into this world where might makes right.

The characters were my favorite part though. Tru was running from a truly horrible childhood before the disasters, but when hard times hit it became too dangerous. Pretty soon she ends up back with her “family” and now they have to figure out what to do with her. I liked Tru, she’s not perfect. She has some serious flaws, like always thinking of running first, but she is willing to recognize them and try to fight for what she wants. Even if it’s herself she’s fighting against. When she decides to go and declare her intention to ‘bond’, and by that I mean basically marry/mate/commit etc. Whatever you want to call it. She becomes someone’s old-lady, in their vernacular, gets tattooed and falls under his protection. Anyway, when she declares that she’s going to bond with the bastard-son of the MC leader – all hell breaks loose.

Casper isn’t sure whether to be happy or pissed when Tru comes back. And when she calls on him to bond with her, it demands a lot of maneuvering and preparing. When Tru left years ago, Casper was barely acknowledged as accepted. Now he’s an Enforcer of the Definance MC, basically the second in command. He’s helping to run the MC and keep things working well for them. Can he accept Tru as his old-lady, save her, and still maintain the safety of the MC? Especially when there’s a rival MC calling for her blood.

As Tru and Casper decide how they’re going to make it not only work, but excel they both learn a lot about themselves and each other. I can’t get too much into the overall story, because I have to admit there are some twists and turns. And a lot of double-dealing, so it seems. I’m, honestly, not sure how anyone trusted anyone else, thought it made for one hell of an exciting ride!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. My first foray into the MC stories that are popping up everywhere. I do admit, that being a pretty big outsider to this kind of culture, some of the references, talk, and slang flew over my head. There are some words that I still don’t know what they mean, but it wasn’t enough to seriously detract from my enjoyment. I’ll definitely be grabbing the next one in the series as this one ended with a BANG! I can’t wait to see what happens next with some of the other characters I really came to enjoy.

Rating: B

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Title: Death and the Girl Next Door
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Darklight, Book 1
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: 2 October 2012

Things get turned upside down for sophomore Lorelei MacAlister when the Angel of Death starts high school in her small town. What she doesn’t know is that she has been slated to die. It’s simply her time. And Death has been sent to do the deed.

But when he touches her, when he peers into her eyes and reaches into her heart, he realizes she is more than what he was led to believe, and he disobeys his orders. He brings her back from the brink of death when he was supposed to push her into it. Because of this, he gets trapped on this plane.

And that’s when all hell breaks loose.


This review is a long time in coming, and I'm sorry for that. I'd honestly forgotten that I had it to write; went through a bit of a reviewing hiatus for a while at the end of last year. I'll also apologize because I don't remember most of the specifics about this book - only general feelings now.

Because I have such weird responses to Darynda Jones hit series, Charley Davidson, I thought I'd give something else of hers a try. Everyone (I swear it feels that way) but me is getting on with her style, humor, and books. I've come to the conclusion after this book that she's just not for me.

This is Charley Jr. The snarky, constant, humor is there - just like in Charley; the somewhat campy/mysterious relationships feel like they could come out of the same thing. The paranormal elements even feel the same (though they are, IIRC, slightly different).

I persevered with this book mostly because I wanted to know if she was going to throw in a crappy love-triangle - is that bad of me? - but lo and behold! Ms. Jones didn't!! In fact, the only other character that could have qualified seems to be interested in the MC's best girlfriend - that's right she has a friend that's a GIRL and she doesn't constantly berate/snark about her.

Honestly, the above is a huge plus for me, and made me consider reading forward to see if something different came up for the characters and their development. I feel like I have a better chance of that happening in this series because it's only a trilogy, I think, instead of the never-ending saga that is Charley Davidson.

I can't honestly recommend this, but I think that's more a case of me and my issues with Darynda Jones writing. If you loved the Charley Davidson series, it's highly likely that you're going to like this as well. Conversely the same is true if you disliked Charley...

Grade: C-

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