Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray is one of my most anticipated release of 2017. I’ve been super excited to read this book as soon as I found out about it last year. Since I’m complete trash for Gray’s Firebird Trilogy, I knew I had to drop whatever I was doing to start this one (and I finished it in a day). A massive thank you to Allen & Unwin for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Noemi is a young and fearless soldier of Genesis, a colony planet of a dying Earth. But the citizens of Genesis are rising up – they know that Earth’s settlers will only destroy this planet the way they destroyed their own. And so a terrible war has begun.
When Noemi meets Abel, one of Earth’s robotic mech warriors, she realizes that Abel himself may provide the key to Genesis’ salvation. Abel is bound by his programming to obey her – even though her plan could result in his destruction. But Abel is no ordinary mech. He’s a unique prototype, one with greater intelligence, skill and strength than any other. More than that, he has begun to develop emotions, a personality and even dreams. Noemi begins to realise that if Abel is less than human, he is more than a machine. If she destroys him, is it murder? And can a cold-blooded murder be redeemed by the protection of a world?
Stranded together in space, they go on a whirlwind adventure through Earth’s various colony worlds, alongside the countless Vagabonds who have given up planetary life altogether and sail forever between the stars. Each step brings them closer – both to each other and to the terrible decision Noemi will have to make about her world’s fate, and Abel’s.
Publication Date: April 3 2017
RRP: $19.99 AUD
I truly loved this book! It was an epic space adventure and I had such a great time reading every single page! I need the next book already (like now please). The pace of the story is fast yet fully loaded with character development and breath-stopping twists. Claudia Gray’s intense world building is one of the elements I love most about her writing – which I first experienced in the Firebird Trilogy – and now, Defy the Stars. I definitely recommend it for all lovers of sci-fi books such as The Illuminae Files.
The writing is incredibly easy to follow, another reason why I love Gray’s writing (it’s so unlike some other the sci-fi/dystopian books that I read with a thousand different things going on and I was like “woah, what da?”). I personally know a few friends (myself included sometimes) who are intimidated to read sci-fi novels because of how confusing things can get – but for me, Gray is an exception.
The interstellar journey follow Noemi, an elite soldier from Genesis, and Abel, a robotic mech warrior from Earth (aka Genesis’ enemy). Abel has been abandoned on a spaceship and trapped for 30 years, until Noemi comes into the picture. Even though when they first met – in which they were bound by duty and supposed to kill each other on sight – they formed an surprising alliance that could potentially save their worlds and planets from destruction due to the ongoing, devastating war.
I really enjoyed the dual POV of Noemi and Abel. Noemi is everything I love about a female character – strong, kick-ass, selfless and caring. The way she handles the weight of the worlds and yet be so positive and daring is admirable. Of course, being a soldier calls for sacrifices, and Noemi is as selfless as she can be – for putting the safety and happiness of everyone before herself. The way she kindly interacts with other characters and welcomes new friendships is another thing I love about her.
Abel? Where do I even begin! He’s a precious, charming, little bean who captured my heart from the start. It makes me so sad whenever he describes how lonely and helpless he was all this time when he was trapped in his ship. But thanks to his programming, he never gave up hope – hope that one day someone will come and find him, which someone did, but without the intention of actually rescuing him.
Reading about the growth and development of Abel as a character awes me (to tears really). He struggled big-time when first meeting with Noemi. He’s not a human, and yet he is as unique as a mech can be – he feels human. He feels emotions, pain, and loads of other stuff that no other mechs can feel. As both of them embark their joinery across the galaxy, Abel manages to discover more about himself and tries so hard to deal with his identity crisis. This fact alone makes me want to run (or fly) across space and hug him.
There’s romance yes! But I wish there was more!!! This was the major reason I could not rate it 5 stars. So thank goodness this is a series (well I’m low-key sad about it too because I have to wait a year for book 2), because I NEED to know what happens next! Oh but don’t worry, the ending is good (no horrible cliffhanger or anything). It’ll definitely get you wanting to read the next book that’s all.
This book did not disappoint, and I’m so glad I finished ((my essay in record time so I can binge-read)) it. I recommend it to y’all sci-fi lovers and those wanting to try out the sci-fi genre! (I also HIGHLY recommend Gray’s Firebird Trilogy as well. The first book is called A Thousand Pieces of You).
That’s a wrap for this review! Thanks for reading! Is Defy the Stars on you TBR list? Have you read it? If so, let me know what you think!
Happy Reading! xx