Series: Defy the Stars #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on April 4th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing, though there is a small amount of talk of sex; Some violence)
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.
Defy the Stars is sci-fi at its very best—it’s exhilarating!
What Fed My Addiction:
- Complex characters you’ll love! Noemi is the type of person you can’t help but root for. She’s a bit of an underdog—doomed from the start of the book to die, she’s accepted her fate. After all, she doesn’t feel like her life is worth much anyway. Her story is sad but compelling, and the first person to truly convince her of her intrinsic value is an android (with a soul, of course). Speaking of that android, Abel is fantastically complex. As the book progresses he realizes that he just might be “broken.” After all, he has thoughts and feelings outside of his programming. Ironically, Abel is one of the funniest characters in the book—his sarcasm and his sometimes misguided understanding of human emotions make him a fascinating character. I loved every minute of him!
- Action, pacing and worldbuilding. This is the type of book that catches your attention from the very beginning and never lets up. I was enthralled, ready to follow Noemi and Abel to whatever exotic planets they led me to (there were a few, and they were all very distinct). The worldbuilding is incredibly complex and developed, but it never felt at all overbearing or confusing to me. I’m not a fan of over-complicated worldbuilding with tons of descriptions, but I want to have a good sense of the world and how and why it got that way—this book fits ALL of those criteria perfectly. Noemi and Abel encounter plenty of peril on their travels (and the heart of their mission itself is incredibly dangerous), so there’s action throughout the book and the pacing felt perfect as well!
- Religious undertones. I was honestly a bit worried when I realized that this book had some religious undertones. As a Christian, those can be hit or miss for me (sometimes religion can be portrayed pretty poorly). But Gray manages to explore religious themes and the concept of religion without giving “right or wrong” answers and without making any one viewpoint look bad. She shows us good and bad sides to religion and she portrays a main character who isn’t quite sure what she believes—she’s searching for truth and for her own understanding of a religion that’s been “given” to her. I think many people can relate to that concept. But, don’t worry, if you don’t like religious themes at all the book is very light on them—they’re definitely there, but they don’t overwhelm the plot in any way, shape or form, and they can pretty much be ignored if you prefer it that way.
What Left Me Hungry for More:
- ??? I can’t think of a single thing. I’m sure there must have been something I didn’t love, but if there was, it was completely overshadowed by the awesomeness.
With its amazingly complex characters, intense action, surprising twists and beautiful storytelling, Defy the Stars is a book you don’t want to miss! I can’t wait to read more Claudia Gray now—I’ve apparently been missing out! This book gets 5/5 stars and I’m (somewhat hesitantly—only because it’s the first in a series) dubbing it an All-Time Favorite.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Claudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)
I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, GoodReads, Instagram or (of course) my own home page.
If you want to contact me, you can email me via my website, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and GoodReads.