Destiny Defied by J.A. Marx (The Destiny; 1)

The Synopsis:

Destiny Defied | Book One in The Destiny series.

A dramatic shipwreck emancipates Riki Hammad, but the island where she finds refuge is compromised. Unless she finds a power truly great enough to defeat her dark past, she will choose death over returning to captivity. Lord Vétis, high priest of a cultic underground, will stop at nothing to reclaim their chosen one. Using black magic, he manipulates Riki and her four self-assigned bodyguards, triggering a battle that consumes the entire island. The underground will never allow Riki to live out her dreams of a normal life…something she has never known.

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


Destiny Defied is an attention grabbing novel that will have you up until the wee hours of the morning!

Destiny Defied is a different kind of YA novel; without an over-dramatic cover yet still eye-catching and not having tons of characters, yet there were enough to keep you guessing. I loved how this was a slower paced adventure novel, concentrating mostly on the characters and how they handle Spiritual Warfare yet it was still full of adventurous tactics.

The way Marx presented The Gospel in this book was also very inspiring. I loved her boldness in how and what she talked about God, giving each character a different personality so that she could cover many different responses. For example; Akiko, the college boy who only believes in science; Isaac, the EMT who is over-confident in his own abilities; Jasen, a new Christian battling with his lust for women; Sabio, the man with the logical point of view who tends to over analyze; Riki, the young girl who battles anger and pain because of her past; and finally Lord Vetis, complete and utter rebellion against God’s will, relying on black magic and the like. As you can see, just about everyone can relate in some way to at least one of the characters, which makes this story so effective.

As for questionable content, because Jasen has always been a “lady’s man” he tends to make a few disrespectful comments about women, but Riki is the only woman on the island so these comments are all in past-tense because he looks at Riki as his sister. Riki’s past is very sad, as she was forced to work on a brothel ship, though there are no actual scenes of her doing this, but she is pretty detailed when she reveals this to the guys. Lord Vetis is the only other (and main) problematic character as he curses at the other characters, prays to demons, etc.

Aside from these things, the only thing that I did not care for was the sophisticated language that Marx used to write the story. It was charming to start off with, but I grew tired of it quickly the more I had to re-read something to understand its meaning. I did however love the way Riki talked, I just wish that the author had not included such big words in telling the story.

Other than that, I loved Destiny Defied and rate it 4 out of 5 stars for a refreshing read and I look forward to finishing the series!

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