January 15, 2015

REVIEW: Deliverance (The Courier's Daughter #3)

Deliverance (The Courier's Daughter #3), by C.J. Redwine
Published August 26, 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Format: hardback, purchased
Genre: young adult dystopian
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Everything hangs in the balance, and nothing is certain: Rachel has been kidnapped by enemy forces and is being taken to Rowansmark while Logan, imprisoned and awaiting trial, is unable to leave Lankenshire. Separated from each other and their Baalboden comrades, each must find a way to achieve what they desperately want: to rid their world once and for all of the Commander and the tech that controls the deadly Cursed One.

Fighting through her pain and embracing the warrior she’s become, Rachel will do whatever it takes to escape her enemies’ clutches and join Logan in his fight. But when she learns a secret that changes everything, she realizes that escaping Ian and his tracker friends is no longer an option if she wants to save the people she loves. Instead, she’ll have to destroy Rowansmark from the inside out—if she can survive the journey through the Wasteland.

Logan needs allies if he wants to thwart Rowansmark’s power grab and rescue Rachel. But securing allies will mean betraying his beliefs and enlisting the help of the man he hates more than anyone: Commander Jason Chase. Driven by his fierce love for Rachel and his determination to make their world safe, Logan may be just the weapon the city-states need to defeat the Cursed One.

But as Rowansmark bears down and uneasy alliances are tested, will Rachel and Logan’s love for each other be enough to surmount the unbelievable odds against them?

What a wild ride to the finish. The Courier's Daughter trilogy was an unexpected thrill for me in 2014. I initially picked it up because the covers are so beautiful and haunting. I thought it was a fantasy book, and in some ways it is. But, in actuality, it's a dark dystopian full of evil men and scary monsters. Threaded throughout, though, has been this epic love story between a warrior girl and a brilliant boy. DELIVERANCE, the final book in this fantastic series, puts an exclamation point on Rachel's and Logan's relationship and illustrates in harsh, blaring visions that love really can conquer all. 

Rachel and Logan are once again separated. Rachel is in the clutches of the despicable James Rowan, while Logan is forced to team up with the Commander to rally support from the other city states to wage war on Rowansmark and get Rachel back. Both of them are biding their time, missing each other and making plans for revenge. The final showdown between Rachel, Logan, the Commander and Rowan is coming, and one way or another, Rachel and Logan plan to see it through to the end. 

I had problems in previous books with Rachel's attitude. After experiencing so much tragedy and loss, she closed in on herself and chose to focus only on her anger and thirst for revenge. It hurt her relationship with Logan, who is the only person that she can really truly relate to. He's the man she loves, and she couldn't even tell him how she was feeling. 

The wonderfully amazing Quinn helped get Rachel back on the straight an narrow, though, and in Deliverance, she's a whole different person. Now THIS Rachel is the one I thought was so incredible in the beginning of book 1. She faces some really, REALLY hard stuff in Deliverance. James Rowan, Ian and the rest of the Rowansmark trackers don't think too highly of her. They torture her. It was awful. And, yet, she doesn't descend back into that dark place again. She keeps her mind fixed on Logan and what awaits them on the other side of all this. 

Logan is now and always has been singularly focused on one goal - get his people to safety so he can focus on more important things. Like Rachel. His thoughts are always on his girl. It seems like every decision he makes in Deliverance is with rescuing her in mind, especially now that his people have been taken in by Lankenshire. He is even willing to ally with his most hated enemy for her. That's some serious love there. 

All three books in this series have been utterly brutal. C.J. Redwine doesn't hold back. In all three books there are deaths of some pretty central characters. Many of them were very emotional. I've shed tears multiple times over the course of reading this trilogy. Deliverance is no different. It's the final showdown. Of course there are going to be deaths. With every death of one of Logan's people came a sense of sadness and pride. Sadness because I really connected with so many of these characters, and I didn't want to see any of them go. Pride because many of them went out in a proverbial blaze of glory, committing some selfless act to save others. So. Many. Tears. 

And the end - holy smokes. It was one crazy thing after another as we saw Rachel, Logan and the refugees of Baalboden band together to take down Rowansmark, the Commander and the Cursed Ones. It was exciting and gripping and nail-biting. I loved every single minute of it. The ending is satisfying in all the best ways. 

I'm so glad I read this series. I'm looking forward to seeing what new awesome thing C.J. Redwine has waiting for us. If it's even close to how good the Defiance series was, it's a sure thing.

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