Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: 5 Soaring Stars

Posted April 19, 2017 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in All-Time Favorites, Reviews / 34 Comments

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: 5 Soaring StarsDefy the Stars by Claudia Gray
Series: Defy the Stars #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on April 4th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 512
Source: NetGalley
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing, though there is a small amount of talk of sex; Some violence)
My rating:
5 Stars

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 Take copy3

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.

Author Links:
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34 responses to “Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray: 5 Soaring Stars

  1. OOoh niiice!! You’re easing some of my concerns on this one Nicole!! I was a bit worried because I don’t always do well with “space” books. Usually because the world-building gets so complicated with technology talk and just overall “future-like-ness”. It can overwhelm me sometimes, especially when it’s constantly expanded upon and all that! So glad to hear it was set at the right level! Will definitely have to keep my eye out for this one! I still need to finish up Claudia’s Firebird trilogy, sooo behind on it! I read the first book as an ARC eons ago…hoping to get back to that one soon! But I loved the first book and totally recommend that series! Great review!

  2. YEP yep yep! So much agreement here! I loved this book- also added it to my all-time favorites list! I feel you though, it can be a little scary to add first in series books to the ol’ favorites list! Fingers crossed that the next one will be just as fabulous! Great review 😀

  3. Aha I read this recently and it was pretty enjoyable! I’m not really a huge sci-fi person but it was easy to get into and well written so a good read! The only thing that disappointed me was how it was advertised as a sci-fi romance but there wasn’t an actual lot of romance! Like yes, it was hinted here and there but there wasn’t a whole lot or at least as much as I was expecting! However I am quite excited for the sequel to know what happens to Noemi and Abel! Thanks for this awesome review!

    • Sci-fi isn’t always my favorite genre either, but this book doesn’t get too technical or “space alien creatury” (um, that’s totally a thing, right?), so it worked for me. I think it will appeal to a lot of people who don’t typically enjoy hardcore sci-fi.

  4. OH OH OH MY MY stars! You know who can’t resist religious undertones??? ME ME ME [btw I worry too about my WIP which also has religious undertones because your are right! hit or miss!] and then action pack and complex character AND WORLD BUILDING He he he he [nervously giggles] I WANT IT!

  5. This was sooo good! Glad you loved it, too! I loved Noemi and Abel, and Abel’s snark was one of my favorite things about the book. I’d never read Claudia Gray’s books before, and I definitely need to catch up!

  6. I’ve heard only amazing things about this book. Not a single less than perfect review so far. Wow.. my TBR is long but I can’t ignore this beauty. It’s calling my name! Awesome review. Thanks for sharing, Nicole. ???

  7. I’ve had this book on my radar for a while and now I’m glad I have because your review really makes me want to read. I’m going to have to buy what with the strong characters, excellent worldbuilding and action packed. Yes, these are the things I like in a book, and I’m intrigued by religious undertones. Sounds like this will have many layers.

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