I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
Series: Constellation #1
Length: 503 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2017, 2017 Dystopia Reading Challenge, 2017 New Release Challenge
She’s a soldier.
Noemi Vidal is 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.
It’s been a few months since I read Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray, but I’ve thought about it often. A combination of sci-fi, dystopia, and even a little romance make it a top read for me this year. The book opens during a space battle and the action never slows. It hooked me from the first page and I didn’t want it to end. Plus it’s duel POV in limited 3rd person…..AMAZING!!!!
The premise of the book is pretty cool. Earth was apparently dying so they settled several planets by going through a worm hole to do so. Only one of those planets is identical (or as close as it can be) to Earth….Genesis. Genesis is everything Earth should have been. They believe in relying on nature as much as possible so as not to pollute and corrupt their world. And after so many years (I’m not really clear on how long they have been settled) they are fighting for their independence from Earth. This civil war has been raging for fifty years and GUYS!!!! It reminds me of a cross between Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars. Y’all it’s epic 😀
Noemi is young, but fierce. I love her and her dedication to her world. She believes in what she is fighting for and even volunteers to be a part of a suicide mission to disable the wormhole/blackhole thingy (sorry, I can’t remember what she actually calls it in the book). But the mission goes awry and she winds up finding Abel and taking a trip through the galaxies.
Abel is an oddity. He’s a mech, but not just any mech. He’s the original mech, the A version, the first. He was supposed to be rumor, but Noemi finds him alone, trapped on a disabled space ship where he has been for fifty years. Can you imagine being by yourself for fifty years, in the same room?! I’d die of boredom! It seems Abel has evolved. Abel is kind, he’s thoughtful, his brain has no filter which makes for several humorous miscommunications between him and Noemi. But most importantly for Noemi, he seems to have a soul. It’s hard to think of him as less than human, even if he is. The author has written his character so well…he even bleeds.
I love the relationship that builds between them. Abel is sweet and a little naive, while Noemi is bitter about the future she has set for herself. She wants to live, she wants to have a life, but she is doomed to die to save her world. It’s kind of heartbreaking her determination and willingness to sacrifice herself.
In addition to their relationship, the world-building is phenomenal. It’s everything I love about sci-fi in a young adult package. There are space battles, mechs that resemble cylons (yes cylons *squee*) and multiple worlds to explore. Each world is detailed and unique so you don’t get confused about where they are. Like Noemi, I want to be selfish and explore them all.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. While the pace in the beginning was kind of slow, it does a 180 about halfway through and I couldn’t read it fast enough. Beautifully written I can’t wait for the second book in the duology. If you enjoy scifi, I highly recommend it!