DEFIANCE by Lili St. Crow

Posted 21 April, 2011 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 4 Comments

YA Urban Fantasy
259 pages
Available now
Personal copy

Hey sucker. It’s showtime. The Real World is a frightening place. Just ask sixteen-year-old orphan Dru Anderson, a tough girl who has taken on her fair share of bad guys. She’s armed, dangerous, and not going down without a fight. So it’s gonna take her a while to figure out who she can trust…

Dru Anderson has always been a good listener. She listened to her dad, but had to gun him down when he turned zombie. She listened to the Order, but got nothing but lied to in return. She listened to Christophe, but still lost the only friend she had left.

Time to buckle up, boys and girls. Dru Anderson is done listening. From here on out, she’ll face the King of the Vampires on her won terms. And if the Order has a problem with that, they can kiss their sweet little svetocha goodbye.

When this book arrived on my doorstep Tuesday (delivered by my not-so-cheerful UPS guy–I think he hates me. I don’t know why. I mean, he’s only delivering new books and stuff to my doorstep every other day or so!), anyway, as I was saying, when DEFIANCE plunked down on my front stoop yesterday, it was all I could do not to tear into it at that very second. I resisted it until right after work Wednesday and didn’t put it down until I finished it. Oh. My. God. So good.

This is the fourth Strange Angels novel and, if you haven’t read the first three, you really should check those out first. While it’s possible to pick this book up and read it without having acquainted yourself with Dru, Christophe, Graves, and the rest of the gang, you’d be missing out on a lot of the backstory and might get slightly tangled up in the terminology and details of Dru’s world.

Typical of Lili St. Crow (and her adult writer-self, Lilith Saintcrow), the story is nonstop action with knives flashing, blood spurting, and howls of pain echoing in the night air. Awesome (holy cow, I do love me some urban fantasy!). Finally somewhat safe and sound at the main school for djamphir and werwulfen, Dru’s honing her fighting skills so that when she blooms, she’ll be able to take care of business (killing nosferat, the bad vamps) and not get herself killed. But she’s worried about Graves, her best friend–her only friend, really–who was taken by Sergej, the King of the Vampires.

Dru is so confident one moment, like when she’s in the middle of a fight and her training kicks in and she just knows what to do, and then the next, she’s lost, unsure of who to trust (Though she has every right to have trust issues. Those vamps are sneaky buggers.), unsure of her feelings for the guys in her life, and even unsure of her appearance. It makes her such a solidly real character, that she might be a tough, totally kick-butt girl on the outside and yet, she’s just as confused as every other teen growing up.

And I love the action scenes. Lili St. Crow writes those scenes with clarity and precision, so much so that I can picture each whirl, twist, kick, and slice as Dru battles her way through the bad guys. Great imagery, complete with scents (the taste of rotting, waxen orange signaling the approach of the nosferat), sounds (tentacles sounding like wet hamburger being dropped onto sheet metal), and sights (maggot-white fingers).

DEFIANCE and the Strange Angels series is stellar–a stand-out in the world of urban fantasy that will hook readers from the very start.

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4 Responses to “DEFIANCE by Lili St. Crow”

  1. I’ve heard so many great things about this series, I really need to start it! I love that she kicks butt but she’s also vulnerable outside of a fighting situation, those are my favorite types of characters. Really nice review Mary!

  2. Anonymous

    i have read them all but defiance i can not wait i know someone got it for me as a gift but i haven’t got it yet i want to rush out and buy it anyway