Author: Lili St. Crow
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin imprint)
Before reading this, I reread the first three books in the series. Partially to remind myself what had happened, but mostly because they're freaking awesome. :)
Oh, and there are spoilers for Strange Angels, Betrayals, especially Jealousy, and maybe Defiance. If you want to read the other books first, you might not want to read this.
Dru's always been a good listener. She listened to her dad, but she did have to gun him down when he showed up at their house as a zombie. Then she listened to the Order when they popped into her life, but they kept lying to her. She even listened to Christophe, but still lost the only friend she had left.
Now, Dru's done listening. She's doing things on her own extremely pissed off terms, and she'll fight Sergej, king of the evil vampires, if she bloody well wants to. If the Order has a problem with that, they can kiss their sweet little svetocha goodbye.
I spent the last three days (May 3, 4, & 5) reading this series. I got through Betrayals and Jealousy both in one day. I felt like a junkie just after midnight on the 5th, wanting to read Defiance because Jealousy has a brutal ending but needing to get some sleep.
This book was just as mind-blowing and just as powerful as the others in the series. It took almost nothing for me to get swept back into Dru's deadly and extremely mixed-up world, a world she's somehow survived sort of on her own ever since she had to kill her brand new zombie dad. Nothing happens slowly, even though Dru's continually anxious about how long things are taking. The pacing is quick but smooth, no rough edges to get caught up on or stumble over. Four books in, St. Crow still has the ability to pull me straight into Dru's world until it feels like I'm smack in her head watching everything twist and move and crumble around her.
And once again, nothing's easy for Dru. She really has pulled the shortest straw possible for easiness of life. And thank God that she's still the same Dru I love reading about. She's armed, she's gritty, she's not girly but has that girly part of her brain that worries about zits and looking like a rumpled slob in front of Graves and Christophe, and she's forever ready to beat the crap out of whoever she has to to find out the truth.
Jealousy ended like a punch in the stomach with Anna shooting Dru, Christophe making Dru drink his blood, and Sergej leaving a note saying he's going to Break Graves the way he Broke Ash. It doesn't take long for Defiance to get right back into the action, it doesn't take long for Dru to continue killing nosferatu or learn how to fight with Christophe or ask over and over again if the Order has found Graves.
I don't want to give away spoilers, but the places this book went and where it ended in preparation for the last book in the series was so good and so satisfying. Because it's Dru, nothing was even close to perfect, and at the end it's clear there's a giant mess left to be fixed, but I so know I'm going to get what I want in the last book.
Dru kicking some ass. ;)
Powered by a strong heroine who's not afraid to get a little dirty, Defiance is what readers of Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels series have been waiting for after the huge action-packed mess of Jealousy. Dru's learned, she's grown, she's on the edge of blooming into a full-fledged svetocha, and she'll do anything and everything and whatever it takes to get her Goth Boy back.
When Reckoning hits shelves in November, it'll feel like the end of an era. No more Dru, or Graves, or Christophe. It's almost enough to make me want to hug these books to bed. ;)