(Cover picture courtesy of Bookworm Confessions.)
It hasn’t been long since Fennel, a Sightless Groundling, and Peree, her Lofty Keeper, fell in love and learned the truth: the Scourge, and their world, are not what they seem.
Fenn and Peree are determined to guide their people to the protected village of Koolkuna, but first they must convince them that everything they believe is a lie. An impossible task, especially when someone seems hell-bent on trying anything–even animal sacrifice and arson–to destroy the couple’s new bond and crush the frail truce between the Groundlings and the Lofties. Not everyone wants to uproot their lives in the forest, and those who stay behind will be left terribly vulnerable.
Fenn and Peree’s resolve to be together, and the constant threat of the Scourge’s return, push both groups to the breaking point. Unable to tell friend from foe, Fenn must again decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to ensure the future of the people of the forest.
Only this time, the price of peace may be too high to bear.
[Full disclosure: I liked the first book so much that I asked A. G. Henley for an ebook copy of The Defiance in exchange for an honest review.]
Oftentimes series with great first books never really measure up to the potential that I see in the first book. Usually the second book lets me down in what I like to call Book 2 Syndrome. Fortunately, The Defiance didn’t suffer from this at all. In fact, it should probably be held up as an example of how second books should be written.
The Defiance starts off pretty much where we left off: with Peree and Fenn back in their respective tribes, trying to tell people that the Scourge are really just sick people and not real zombies. Trying to tell someone something that would change their entire worldview is very difficult and that fact is reflected in the slower pace of the story. Even though her very life is at risk, Fenn tries so hard to convince everyone that they should go to Koolkuna when she and Peree leave. She wants everyone in both tribes, even the truly horrible people, to go and live a good life.
I’m not someone who is big on romance, but I love how Fenn and Peree’s romance has progressed. It’s gone from a sweet, budding sort of young love to a more mature, secure love. You can tell that these two people love each other no matter what, even though their respective tribes will do practically anything to keep them apart. What’s so interesting about the whole Brilliant Darkness series is the fact that Fenn is blind and yet we get such a vivid picture of the characters and the surroundings. It’s sort of refreshing that the main character isn’t constantly describing how perfect her love interest’s looks are. No, Fenn focuses on who Peree is as a person and that is just what I like to see in YA.
The plot starts off a little slow like it did in The Scourge, but things quickly heat up. The mysterious threats about Peree and Fenn’s relationship, the plotting of several community members as well as the impending move to Koolkuna made me read The Defiance all in one sitting. It really was that good and I hated it when I knew the book was about to end. And on such a cliffhanger! I can’t wait for the third book, The Fire Sisters!
I give this book 5/5 stars.