Friday, July 19, 2013

DEFIANCE by Stephanie Tyler

DEFIANCE  by Stephanie Tyler
(U.S. link: Defiance )
Published: June 10, 2013, Carina Press

When Tru Tennyson left the Defiance compound three years ago, she was escaping an almost pre-ordained future of submission to violence and abuse. Tru could no longer quietly condone and suffer the treatment women received in the rough male-dominated culture of motor cycle clubs, so she did the only thing she could at that time, and ran leaving her abusive father, her friends and the one guy she would protect at all cost behind.

Her taste of freedom was short lived, because only a few years later, Chaos happened. A build up of natural disasters that annihilated millions and completely changed the natural and structural order of things. Living in a state of almost lawlessness, where everyone is fending for themselves and fighting to survive, groups, gangs and motorcycle clubs like Defiance, stand strongest.

Tru is left with no choice but to return to the Defiance compound, and face whatever consequences are waiting for her. She hopes Caspar will be there, he is the only one she will trust. Caspar is the bastard son of Lance, the club president, but he has always had her back. He is the only person who knows what happened to her and who can keep her safe.

But the club is not happy with Tru's return, it could cause war between Defiance and another MCC. They threaten to trade her to the other club in return for peace, but she will not cooperate and publicly puts herself at Caspar's mercy, which creates an uproar. 

It is now up to Caspar to decide whether he is willing to bond with Tru and face the extensive repercussions of that move, or whether he should turn his back on her, just like she did him, three years ago. But Caspar has an agenda of his own that no one is privy to, and perhaps the return of Tru to Defiance can be made to work for more than one way.


I have to admit, I was a little hesitant at first to start this book. I had read good things about it, it dealt with a motorcycle had to be good, right?? But then there was the futuristic aspect that held me back, I've always been more of a 'here and now' kind of person. I don't do historic novels either. But obviously I eventually gave in, and boy am I glad I did!!! I'm gonna explain why......

I can see why Ms. Tyler placed this story in an age, where circumstances are so barren, so basic and almost animalistic from a cultural standpoint. It perfectly framed the struggle to maintain some morality, in a situation where there aren't really any laws, where the stronger ones rule. And where women sometimes have to find their strengths in other ways when measuring themselves against the men.

Caspar is a tough character, not perfect, but morally sound and he is powerful because that moral conviction carries and it shows a leader.
Tru was conditioned to stand up for and trust only herself, but in this new world, she has to learn to trust in and rely on other people's strengths as well in order to survive.

The plot line is slow to become clear, but it will, you just have to be patient. Things will seem confusing at first, in part because of the unfamiliarity of the environment, and then because of the gruff and often overly coarse interactions between the characters. Remember this is a different world, where white literally dog eats dog, and nothing gets wasted, not even words. So don't expect flowery dialogue, because you won't find it here, it's useless in the post-Chaos world, and one of the things I love about the book and Stephanie (and she) stays very true to the integrity of the story, which is, let's face it, pretty darn crude!

A very well-written, dark, but hopeful, story that was at times very violent, and then very sexual, but you will find very little softness in these pages. And truthfully, it doesn't belong there, which is why the use of the 'post-apocalyptic' framework the story is placed in, is so important here. It's a story of clawing out of the rubble, of rebuilding something that once was good, in hopes of finding that sweet spot again. It's about community, family, support systems and a simple thing like connections that are needed to be able to survive.

A sensational gritty, raw, carnal tale of love and survival!!

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