Joint Review – Defiance (Defiance #1) by Stephanie Tyler

Defiance cover image
Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: June 10th
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher

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.

This blurb came from the author’s website.

Lou: When I saw the reveal for this book I was pretty excited as I’m a fan of the MC trope that’s popular at the moment. This also looked different with a dystopian take that looked raw and gritty. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a huge fan of this book and that’s because of the world building which was quite weak. I also had issues with the gratuitous violence which seemed senseless and over-the-top. And whilst the sex scenes were great, I had a hard time routing for both the hero and the heroine. The heroine had misery heaped upon her time and time again, and after a while it became annoying.

E: I heard a bit about this from buzz on twitter and again at RT so I eagerly leaped at the chance to read it. It was post-apocalyptic, NA, and motorcycle club (MC). I am relatively new to the whole MC trope–having only read one other MC book before, never watched any of the TV shows, or joined in the crack reading of another author. I will admit that for the first book in a series I give some latitude for world-building because it is a difficult balance to strike between the world and the characters. Once I got past my initial worry that the set-up was going to be too close to another series that I absolutely love I fell right into Tyler’s book. I did have a bit of confusion regarding the timeline for the hybrid storm because I failed to read the back cover blurb but overall I really enjoyed reading it.

There was certainly a lot of violence in this book and a significant portion of it was directed towards women but as I continued reading I saw that there was the intent within the club to change the status quo. I did wish that Tru started seeing the underlying politics sooner but given her reasons for leaving and her lack of current insider knowledge a significant portion of ignorance was very understandable.

Lou: The woman were treated as a sub-par species and I the violence and intent towards Tru was awful. It made me a little sick to my stomach and I had a hard time routing for the book because of the world-building. I wish we saw more details and background on the world and the hybrid storms. Instead it was briefly mentioned and it didn’t play a part in the way the novel was shaped which disappointed me. It was all character and no world-building and if you’re gonna have a dystopian setting, it needs to be showcased. I think the romance between Casper and Tru was the strongest point in the book and I enjoyed reading about their relationship and the smexy times. Casper was a very hard-nosed character, and the reasoning for behind the way he acts made sense during the reveal later on in the book.

I mentioned the violence and I had a major problem with how it was played out, especially at the beginning of the book where Casper murders people in brutal way that almost had me DNFing right there.

E: I was more focused on the human dynamic then the hybrid storms. Yes I am hoping that Tyler expands that in future books but I didn’t need them to be the center of this story. I was extremely leery at the beginning when it appeared as if Tru was going to be forced to marry someone she despised and he would determine if she lived or if she died a horrible death. I liked how she gambled on a very old friendship but had to hope and trust that somehow things would work out. Unlike you, Lou, I liked the beginning when Casper decided to eliminate several people. To me they deserved it because of their treatment towards women. We, women, can do a huge amount but in my opinion in some societies we also need men to push for the same changes and that was Casper making a statement towards change. In their particular society, violence is the ultimate argument or emphasis on a verbal statement. After that particular scene I sat back to see how far this change would permeate.

I also enjoyed Casper and Tru’s relationship and their smexytimes. It was fascinating watching them connect the past with the future and try to bridge the gap between them. Both Casper and Tru had their secrets which made me enjoy reading their interactions even more.

Lou: For me, rather than the case of whether or not they deserved it, I thought with the unique setting it would be a change of scene of extreme violence and violence against women. I just felt there was no escape from it. The positive was Casper wanting to make a change in the club and he had to do it inside and by waiting patiently for so many years. I enjoyed the romance but I soon got exasperated by the misery that was heaped on Tru. Her story got worse and worse and by the end it lost authenticity to me because I wanted to see Tru become a strong character without all these horrible events happening to her that heaped upon the sympathy.

E: Interesting perspective. I actually liked seeing how Tru was able to rise above her past and try to manipulate her future by bending the rules. I also liked how she never gave in and accepted “her place” but continued to fight and encourage others to stop tolerating the status quo. Like you, I really enjoyed how Casper waited patiently gathering strength and support so when he made his move to change he would be able to make it stick. I found it fascinating to see the divide between some of the old crew and those who had a different dream for the future. Yes, the old crew kept them alive and gained a place of power but I really didn’t like their methods.

I am also super curious about the two ex-military guys who showed up. Yes Tyler gave us a taste of them but I want more **grin**.

Lou: Despite my criticisms for most of this review, I am looking forward to future characters and hopefully the world-building can be expanded on in future books. Sadly for me, Defiance didn’t work and I had hard time engaging with the characters, despite the romance, and I didn’t like the violence that made me put the book down on several occasions.
I give Defiance a C-

E: Overall I enjoyed reading Defiance. There were a few things that bothered me but I was caught up in wondering how Tru was going to survive and if Casper was going to achieve his goals. I do hope that Tyler does provide more attention to the causes of the apocalypse because I think has a lot of potential. I look forward to seeing where Tyler goes with her next installment.

I give Defiance a B+/A-

5 thoughts on “Joint Review – Defiance (Defiance #1) by Stephanie Tyler”

  1. I’ve always loved post-apocalyptic stories and, thanks to Kristen Ashley and Joanna Wylde, I’ve discovered I like motorcycle club stories. The two together?! I am so there! Thanks for the reviews!!

  2. @E_booklover: Yeah, I decided to ignore Lou’s comments because I so loved the idea of the book I wanted nothing to stand in my way of purchasing it. We’ll see after I read it whether ignoring Lou was such a good idea 😉

  3. Pingback: Review – Redemption (Defiance #2) by Stephanie Tyler | The Book Pushers | Book Reviews | Book Chatter

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