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(The Ley Brothers #2)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Eight years after immigrating to the United States, German-born Lukas Ley embodies the American dream: successful athlete, gorgeous girlfriend, loving family. But beneath the surface, eighteen-year-old Lukas is driven by ambition, resolved to avenge the murder of his father at the hands of the Nazi regime. Unfortunately, a failed physical throws his plans for flight school ...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published April 2017 by Covenant Communications
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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A.L. Sowards
Feb 08, 2017 marked it as books-i-wrote  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my sixth novel, and it comes out in April!

Oftentimes publishers and authors will tout something as an untold story. This isn’t an untold story. If it were untold, what would I have used for research? But it does showcase an often overshadowed story, and I’m excited to bring this part of history to life for my readers.

This book is a little different from my previous novels. Most of those were historical suspense or historical romantic suspense. This one is more of a coming-of-age and goin
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
DISCLAIMER: I was asked by the author to read and review this book and given an advance copy for free. However, my review is honest and forthright based on the content of the book in question and not influenced by outside factors.

That being said, A. L. Sowards is one of my favorite authors of historical novels, and this book is on par with – and perhaps better than – the author’s previous works (which each got 5 stars from me). This book is connected to the excellent and dramatic “The Rules in R
Julie Carpenter
I've had this book sitting on my to read pile for a few months. Every time I'd finish a book, I'd look at it knowing I needed to read and review it. When it came out I heard so many great things about it, the reviews were all high ranked. So when perusing NetGalley, I happened to see it and put in a request for a review copy. My request was approved and I had a copy waiting for me to be read. Life got a little busy and with everything going on, I just needed some light hearted, happily ever afte ...more
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
First, I love this cover. The picture within the picture is awesome and I feel like it fits the story so well.

I love reading books by A. L. Sowards. You can tell that she does her homework because her stories come to life. They feel meaty, real and emotional. One of my favorite genres is historical fiction- just like this.

War is never an easy subject to read about. While I loved this book, I had to read it in doses because my heart just couldn't take it all in one sitting. I had so many emotions
Katie W
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, wwii, war
I love that last line of the blurb--"Sometimes survival is the ultimate act of defiance." Surviving when all odds are against you seems impossible. I have to admit--I'm kind of emotionally exhausted after reading this book. It's not an easy read, as,'s about war. But the writing is real, raw, and just plain amazing. Sowards has an uncanny ability to write about this time in history in a way that engages the reader, tells things how they probably were, and really makes a reader think.

Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
I want to start the review by expressing how amazing the books written by A. L, Sowards are. She takes a look at parts of the war that are not the mainstream war novels. She writes books that look at the nitty gritty part of the war. In this case, she takes a German American and places him in the war fighting for the Americans. He is neither fully accepted by the country where he lives and he is not treated well by the Germans.

When the book begins Lukas has just graduated from High School. He li
Bev Walkling
I was very pleased to receive a copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I have read several of the authors books before and always enjoyed them. This particular book has some characters which were apparently introduced in the author's previous book "The Rules in Rome". I have not read that book, but it made no difference to my enjoyment of this one.

The main character in this World War Two centred story is Lukas Ley, a young Morman man who was born in Germany but emigr
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes survival is the the ultimate act of defiance. I love this line since it describes this book so well. Lukas is a great character whose cockiness in the beginning ends up breaking down in a POW camp until he's not even sure who he is anymore.

Reading this book makes it feel like you're there, seeing the atrocities of WWII firsthand. A.L. adds such amazing details. So well researched.

I kept thinking of my great uncles who fought and came home but never uttered a word about the war or wha
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was my first time reading a WWII novel but I'd heard wonderful things about other books by the author, A.L. Sowards.I was surprised how much I really liked this book, since this genre is out of my "reading comfort zone". Lukas Ley and his family (older brother, 2 older sisters and mother) immigrated to the United States from Germany 8 years earlier after his father is killed by the Nazis. Lukas is now 18 years old and recently graduated from high school,and can't wait to enlist to be a figh ...more
Sara Cardon
This WWII story left me in awe. I can't pick up another book yet because I'm still thinking about this one!

Lukas Ley is the best American guy - he loves 1940s pop culture, football, his mom and her pies, is sweet on a girl, plus works a newspaper route and earns some money with farmwork. I LOVE how his perspective is in 1st person. It fits. He's so eager to serve for all the right reasons. And he's an average guy (especially compared to his older brother). I love him more for it!

When he's at th
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing

If you see this book getting 5 stars from most reviewers, there is a good reason why... because it truly deserves it! This book takes you on an emotional journey from 1940's America to the war-torn countries of France and Germany during World War II.

Lukas is a great main character who can't wait to graduate and head to the war to bring honor to his family and his father who was killed by the Nazis years earlier. His older brother has just returned from the war along with a missing limb and a wi
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Defiance by A. L. Sowards is a WWII story. I started reading historical fiction this year and this is slowly becoming one of my favorite genres. Each book brings something new even if they mostly cover the same time period. In this story, Lukas is a German- American who has recently graduated from high school. The war is ongoing and his brother Bastian is serving his country in the military. Lucas is at home with his mom although he is about to enlist and join the forces. I like the fact that th ...more
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
DEFIANCE is a heartbreaking but inspiring story. A candidly told story about the struggles of one young man and his fellow soldiers during WWII from the front lines to various POW camps. It's also a story of survival, perseverance, forgiveness, and faith. Highly recommended!

This author does such a fantastic job in writing relatable characters that you can't help cheering on. These characters that, as a reader, you have such hope for, who you cry for, and laugh with. I loved them all! I loved see
This story is intense. Sowards did an excellent job with research and wove facts into this book so flawlessly that I felt like I was right there alongside Lukas through every scene–the fun ones with his girl back home, and all the ugly ones once he was shipped out to the front lines. My emotions got battered, and I wanted to cry a lot as kids got killed and the war revealed all its ugly heads. The battles in this book took place in Luxembourg as the Germans are trying to push their way through t ...more
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A.L. Sowards has become one of my favorite historical fiction writers. She seems to have a knack for creating great characters, intense, intriguing plots, and powerful historical settings. Defiance certainly fits that description. The fact is that war is hell and those of us who haven't experienced it really can't fully understand what it's like. The main character of Defiance is a young German immigrant who unfortunately discovers this for himself. Luke's family immigrated to the United States ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been trying to slug through this book for a while now. All in all, I think it was okay, and those are the hardest books to rate/review, because nothing stands out as particularly excellent or miserable, so whenever I try to think of what to say about the book, I can only come up with “the plot was okay, the characters were fine, the story was okay,” and so on. And that doesn’t do the writer, who spent untold months or years working on the book, any justice.

But I think I figured out where th
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy the books that take place during the WWII era. This book did not disappoint. A.L. Sowards's writing style is such that the characters, as they are introduced, come alive to the reader. And you feel as if they are your neighbors next door and soon become your friends. The main character, 18 year old Lukas Ley, "is driven to avenge the murder of his father at the hands of the Nazi regime. Unfortunately, a failed physical throws his plans for flight school off course...He can't fly, ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Behind the enemy lines, fighting for his very life and sanity makes this story and the character Lukas believable. I've read many historical fiction books, and the ones that can put me into battle I know of, or describe towns and how life would have been like make it so much better and believable. This book was a great heartfelt story and I would recommend it to all my friends.
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really like the way this author writes her World War II books. I feel like that's a really confusing time in history and she does a great job making the whole time period make sense to me.

I also really like her characters! Luke is an amazing guy and I really liked "seeing" life through his eyes. He had just graduated from high school and the only thing he wanted was to be in the war, and his reason is sound. He wants to be able to fight against Germany because the Nazi's had taken his father
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have read several of A.L. Sowards' books, and she always weaves a well-written tale, with characters, events, and settings drawn with careful historical details. When I had the opportunity to receive a review copy of DEFIANCE, I took it! DEFIANCE is set near the end of World War II, and is told from the perspective of Lukas Ley. Lukas was born in Germany, but his family emigrated to America when he was ten, after his father was killed by the Nazis. Lukas is eager to join the fight against Nazi ...more
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A.L. Sowards' new book Defiance is a must read for WWII fiction fans! It is an excellent story that I devoured. And, like Sowards other historical fiction novels, she is able to engage readers and really make them feel the horrors of war without bogging them down with graphic, gory, details.

Sowards creates such deep characters. You can't help but become attached to them. I really liked Lukas, and I ached for him and his fellow soldiers. The friendships Lukas made were bright spots in a dark time
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is such a great book. It's one that I hope to remember or maybe even reread (I never reread books). This is more than a story; it's a lesson, a parable, a sermon. The events serve to lead the reader to a point of truth where all of us should be, regardless of our circumstances. It's an intriguing and non-stop WWII story, but it's so much more.
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, emotionally gripping story of the meaning of one man's journey from excitement to get into the Air Force and help in the war against the nazi. Then his disappointments of his assignments, his awakening to the hell of war and struggle to stay humane despite inhumane circumstances in POW camps and keep his morale up, and stay alive to make it back home to his loved ones and girl!
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am always intrigued by books about WWII--
So many people, especially the young ones want to 'get into the action.' They want to 'fight for their country.' Would I have been like that? But we all know that war is not glamorous. War is hard! I cannot even imagine living in a foxhole or seeing someone get shot dead. And then there is the running for your life and hiding so no one see you and simply surviving any way you can. Not to mention if you ever got caught and what happens to you as a prison
Joy Schmidt
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am very interested in World War 2 stories, movies, and documentaries. This book was about a young man who went into the army, fought battles, and survived a POW camp. While not a factual account of a specific person, it was based on actual people and events. I thought it was an excellent book, and it made me realize more about the difficult situations that people endured during the war.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gripping and powerful, A.L. Sowards latest novel Defiance packs a one two punch among those who love stories surrounding WWII. Defiance takes the reader along the journey of a young soldier Lukas Ley and the battles he has to fight both on and off the field.
Lukas Ley has been anxious to join the fight against Germany ever since his father was taken prisoner and died at the hands of the Nazi’s. Now in America and a high school graduate Lukas is ready, willing and able to do his part. Hoping to j
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it

My husband looked at the cover of this novel, and then looked at me, and then looked at the cover and said, "This isn't your typical read." It's's not, but boy did I stay up way too late finishing it. I'll even admit I peeked at the end before going back and devouring the rest of it.(I know that makes a lot of people cringe, but I can enjoy my books better when I know what's coming).

This story reminded me a lot of Unbroken, but probably only because they are both POW's and got singled
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well, I didn't expect to finish reading this book in tears. It hit a little bit too close to home for me. Not necessarily because of the war stories and experiences that the main character went through but the spiritual journey he took at the end of learning to turn to God when he felt not good enough. How many of us have experienced that? How many of us have experienced that maybe we are not worth saving because of some of the choices we have made in our lives? Those times when you feel like yo ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this LDS war book- it dealt with the harshness of war without language or grisly details, but still left you feeling like you went through the same ordeal.
It's about a young man who gets drafted into World War II after high school and about getting caught after the battle of the bulge.

I loved the touch of the gospel, especially in the end. It wasn't overly done, nor was the character so righteous or so perfect that you couldn't relate to him. I compared it to the Children of the
Kathryn Veil
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A WWII novel about a German born American who fights in Germany and is taken prisoner. A few LDS references that add to the story. The author focuses on the development of the main character Lukas who discovers that war is not what he thought it would be. He experiences hard things that change him. His family and friends are there to help him see that there is recovery and help through Jesus Christ.
Overall I enjoyed the book, it drew me in with the main character and continued to impress me. I s
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I love books, so that makes Goodreads my favorite social media site. As a reader, I enjoy a variety of books. As a writer, I create historical novels with a wholesome mix of action, adventure, and romance. My novels include a Whitney Award winner and several Whitney finalists.

I grew up in Washington State, then came to Utah to attend BYU. I’m still in Utah, where I live with my husband, three chil

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The Ley Brothers (2 books)
  • The Rules in Rome

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