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Defiance (Strange Angels #4) by: Lili St. Crow

Beware of the spoilers to Strange AngelsBetrayals, and Jealousy that lurk beyond this message...

Dru Anderson can’t seem to catch a break. Just when she thought that she was safe, a hidden threat emerged. On top of that the man that has been hunting her since he turned her father into a zombie, has her best friend, Graves. If she wants to get Graves back she will have to go on a potentially suicidal mission, all while putting Christophe’s training to good use and defeating Anna, the woman who betrayed Dru’s mother and got her killed. With the list problems that Dru has to face getting longer and longer, Dru has to fight back with everything that she's got. Will Dru manage to survive another day in the nightmare that her life has now become?

After quite a long time of rereading books, I am finally getting to new material in this series! Of course it honestly felt like I was reading this series for the first time because of how little I truly remembered but I am glad to start a book that I have never read before!

Right off the bat, I’m going to let you know that I didn’t like this book as much as Strange AngelsBetrayals, or Jealousy. There are two main reasons for this: I spent a lot of time disagreeing with the actions that were taken by Dru in this book and I felt letdown by Lili St. Crow. As I was reading this book, I just felt like Dru was making the wrong choices, which is completely fine. I have no problems with characters making mistakes. If a character was perfect then the story about them would be extremely boring because there wouldn’t be any tension about whether the character will succeed. The problem was that I could see her going in the wrong direction and I could even see the story play out if she had made the "right" choices. I spent a lot of brain space being frustrated at Dru because I feel like a lot of the conflict and suffering that she experienced in this book could have been easily bypassed if Dru would have been a little more logical about what she was doing. The problem isn’t even that she was behaving out of character, I think it was perfectly in character but thinking rationally is also something that Dru has the ability to do. I’d say that being logical about things is just as integral to her personality as being stubborn is. So my frustration came from the fact that she wasn’t using this tool that was already in her toolbox. The second reason that I didn’t enjoy this book as much was because I felt letdown. Lili St. Crow had been building up to an event for the past three books. This event was supposed to change everything and it wasn’t even that dramatic. I was quite literally expecting fireworks and explosions but instead what I got was a paragraph. Even that paragraph felt a bit an afterthought. Why would you build something up for three whole books only for it to be boring and short? I felt a bit betrayed due to this because it didn’t live up to my standards of action that I was expecting.

While that one piece of action disappointed me, the rest of the book did not let me down in any way. The plot of the book was just as amazing as I was expecting it to be. I will say that this book was definitely slower than Strange Angels and Betrayals but for a good reason. Just like Jealousy, this book was filled to the brim with information. It finally felt like all of my questions were answered. Due to the fact that there was so much information in this book, I am glad the plot moved a little slower because if it had been a fast plot with lots of information there would have been no time to process the implications of what the reader and Dru learned. 

There was one more thing that frustrated me and it’s the way that Lili St. Crow decided to move ahead with the love triangle that she established a few books ago. I absolutely hate it when miscommunication is used as a plot device in a romantic relationship. I hate it so much because the solution is as simple as talking to each other. I understand that talking about emotions can be difficult for people but the level of miscommunication in this book just hurts me. Honestly speaking, I don’t think it’s fair to even call it miscommunication because these two are barely even communicating with another. I can understand it if two characters aren't able to communicate with each other because there is too much going on or because they are in the middle of a war or something that would take up a large chunk of their time and worry but that isn't even the case. There is enough down time in this book for these two to be able to actually sit down and talk to each other but that doesn't happen! If there had been at least some talking I wouldn’t have been as frustrated because at least the characters would have been trying. It feels like the two characters involved aren’t even trying to talk to each other or figure things out and that’s the frustrating part.

There’s only one thing left to talk about and that’s the ending! I have no idea where that ending came from. Absolutely no idea. The ending of this book was so unexpected for me. As I was reading this book, the thought that something like this ending would happen didn’t even occur to me. The thing that I really like about it, other than the fact that it was totally unpredictable is that it was very apt. Every single character involved behaved exactly as I would have expected them to. It was like their defining character trait showed up and molded the ending. In a series where expecting the unexpected had become the norm, the shock of seeing every character do things that were almost instinctual to them was amazing. 

I’m going to give this book 3 stars. There was a little too much that frustrated me in this book to make it a 4 star book. If it hadn’t been for the let down and my anger with Dru, I would have given this book 4 stars for sure. While the ending was really good and I really like the ending, it isn’t enough to counteract one of my pet peeves which is miscommunication or in this an absolute lack of communication. Out of all the books in this series (so far), I think this is the worst book. That doesn’t mean that I hated Defiance, it just means that it isn’t as good as Strange AngelsBetrayals, or Jealousy.


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