Title: Defy the Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Romance, Dystopia
Imprint: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Date published: April 4, 2017
Page Count: 503
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 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.
– MY REVIEW –
I went into reading this book with some pretty high expectations due to the feedback I’d encountered about this book up to this point. This of course then also had me worried, because it’s easier to be disappointed if your expectations are higher, right? Well, it turns out that I had nothing to worry about, because this book was absolutely wonderful!
Where to even begin? But I suppose I’ll start with the world, because it was so complex and easy to imagine, that I found myself daydreaming about floating through the galaxy which Claudia Gray created for us. As is mentioned in the synopsis, our leading lady, Noemi, is from the planet Genesis which is a settlement planet of Earth. But Genesis is at war with Earth, and it’s really interesting to find out why! There are also a few more planets in this world, all of which can be accessed through wormholes. It’s all so cool! And Gray made each planet and its inhabitants really unique and memorable. I look forward to reading more about these planets and their citizens in the next books!
The characters were really awesome, memorable, and also quite diverse! Noemi is the descendant of a bloodline from Chile, and there are also supporting characters from varying backgrounds (Earth-wise), as well as planetary-wise! I really liked Noemi because she’s very tough while also possessing some very human attributes, such as insecurities, doubts, impulses, intuition, and innovation! My favourite character in this book, however, would have to be Abel the AI. If you’ve read my reviews for The Scorpion Rules, The Swan Riders (both by Erin Bow), and The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid, you’ll know that I really like narratives which tackle the questions about sentience and the soul regarding robots and AIs! Besides that, Abel is just a character that I wanted to hug tight and never let go! He’s just very likeable, and it was really interesting to see the thinking process of an AI like him, as the perspective in this story switched between Abel and Noemi.
This book was written in the third person (which is my favourite form of narrative), and although some people have a hard time becoming attached to characters which are written in the third person, I have never had this problem. I also feel that we get a lot of information about the characters (at least Abel and Noemi) and their inner workings through the third person narrative style. I think that this style was also suitable for the type of book that Defy the Stars is, since there were quite a few explanations which were necessary in order for the reader to understand the world. The pacing of this story was also very pleasant for me, and also quite suitable for this particular plot. It is evident that Gray is a skilled and experienced storyteller!
I highly recommend this book to young adults, and adults, who enjoy science fiction, interesting galactic worlds, well-paced adventure, romance, and questions regarding AIs and what it means to be human!
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THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!