• Page Count: 512
  • Release Date: April 4, 2017
  • My Rating: 2.5 stars

Book Description:

Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars #1)She’s a soldier. Noemi Vidal is a seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine. Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.


My Thoughts:

This was a hard one to rate because it reminded me of some books I truly love, like Illuminae, Empress of a Thousand Skies, and Starflight!

Abel is a prototype mech who’s been abandoned for thirty years when Noemi finds him. His programming means he’s now bound to protect her, so they set off together on space adventures. Abel’s creator is trying to get him back and it’s clear he was designed for a purpose since he’s almost human. But Abel is attached to Noemi now and she realizes he’s actually capable of dreams and love.

The story pretty much maintains the logical tone that Abel thinks in no matter what’s happening. He first describes Noemi as:

“An adolescent, female-presenting human approximately 168 cm or 5 feet 6 inches in height, of primarily Latin American and Polynesian ancestry, with chin-length black hair, brown eyes, the dark-green exosuit of a Genesis soldier, and a Mark Eight blaster that is – to judge by the wavelength of the beams that just sliced through the air – at approximately 45% charge.

Noemi is from Genesis and there’s a whole complicated history about a long war and how her people are willing to sacrifice themselves in a suicide mission in the Masada Run. But Abel knows another way to destroy the Gate… and other planets are in rebellion against Earth now too.

I liked a lot of the ideas here and think Claudia Gray always has amazing science fiction plots! But maybe the problem is that sci fi just really isn’t my thing… I’m only truly into it if it pulls in other genres like YA fantasy at the same time. I’m also not huge on entire stories being told in the present tense… so I just wasn’t able to get into the story as much as I would’ve liked. And I definitely didn’t connect with the characters or romance.

A lot really reminded me of Hayden Christensen’s portrayal of Anakin Skywalker if that makes sense. Like I understand WHY it’s meant to be devoid of emotion and how it’s significant that the character is still dealing with emotions. But that doesn’t change the fact that everything comes off really flat & dry for the viewer/reader…

Sorry, I’ll leave my issues with certain Star Wars movies out of this rating.

Anyways, this IS a really creative world and the sequel is set up to be interesting. The story has a lot of elements that reminded me of the books I mentioned earlier, so maybe check it out if you like one of those or sci fi in general!

4 comments on “Review: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray”

  1. Thank you for that comparison to HC’s Anakin – I now know exactly what I’d be getting myself into if I were to pick this up, and fighting expectations are half the battle haha.

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