"What can you do when the society you live in isn’t as good and grand as people want you to believe? For Emma, Leia, and Justa, there is only one way to survive – by being defiant.
Three young adult authors from the Netherlands use their storytelling talents to explore worlds where nothing is as it seems and no one is truly safe.
The Red Messenger
Some things are better left unsaid – or unquestioned.
When Emma finds a mysterious note in a coat that once belonged to her twin sister Sophia, the words written on it won’t leave her alone: “The Angel has come”. Angels are a part of forbidden folklore, remnants of the old Jewish religion that was banned by the Realm long ago. Sophia had secrets she never shared with Emma, and they demand to be unraveled. Now, Emma’s quest will change her world forever.
Leia lives on the Island, where children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are only ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. No one wants to – because the Fools living in the west, behind the wall, are deluded and believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?
When Justa is summoned for jury duty in the Tribunal, she is sure of one thing: she needs to stick to the rules in order to get her best friend’s murderer convicted. In her society, jurisdiction is infallible. The choice ahead of her seems clear – but soon, Justa is forced to choose between justice and lies. Will she use her head over her heart, or will Aron, the accused who dares to look at her with such disdain in his eyes, change her mind for good?"
I really enjoyed these three dystopian novella and was excited to read a collection including Jen Minkman's novella : The Island. I had read her book series and was happy to get to know new authors who write dystopian stories too.
I was given an Arc and so this is my honnest review :
Defiant is a MUST READ of the dystopian genre !
It's exactly the kind of book that gathers the best ingredients of a perfect dystopian novella. The themes are brilliant and well developed through the chapters. The three novellas have endearing, unforgettable and tough characters, beautiful, very smart and inspiring topics.
The main characters and their stories are going to leave a mark on your mind and heart.
You read about the meaning of freedom, the power of love and bravery, and the importance of believing you're capable of the best. These are short reads but it's filled up with intensity and thought provoking moments. Definitly a pager turner !
This is exactly the kind of YA book you want your children to read and it's also great for adults who love History and dystopian universe as unique as it can be. It's beautifully written : intelligent, easy to understand but complex too.
I loved them all, and would love to read more of Mara Li and Lis Lucassen' stories.
Congratulations Jen for translating and thank you for giving me and everyone the chance to read Defiant in English.