Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray (Review)

31423196Title: Defy the Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Romance, Dystopia
Imprint: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Date published: April 4, 2017
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 503
Source: Publisher


A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

SynopsisShe’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.

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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!

unnamedWhere 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!

unnamed (1)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.

unnamed (9)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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Claudia Gray is not her real name. She didn’t choose a pseudonym because her real name is unpleasant (it isn’t), because she’d always dreamed of calling herself this (she hasn’t) or even because she’s hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel she smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, she took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things. She lives in New Orleans. So far, in life, she’s been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. She especially likes to spend time traveling, hiking, reading and listening to music. More than anything else, she enjoys writing.

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20 thoughts on “Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray (Review)

  1. LairOfBooks says:

    FAB review Flavia! So happy you enjoyed Defy the Stars, every time I saw your GR update on twitter I thought to myself…I really hope she LOVES it! 😂 Abel was my fave character too and loved the discussion of AI’s and sentience, the topic also intrigues me. This first book laid down the “meat” of the work & I enjoyed my time getting to know the worlds within this book. EeeeeK can’t wait for the sequel! 🤗🤗🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Flavia says:

      Thanks so much Lilly! I need to go read your review hehe and your Spider-Man one! I saw that you had one up but didn’t wanna read it before I wrote and posted my own hehe. Also yessss I definitely loved it and I can’t wait for the next book! I want it now. And yay Abel fan club!!!! 😁😁😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • LairOfBooks says:

        no worries, I also have to catch up with some posts I missed on your blog 😉 & yea I completely get that, I also wait to read reviews when i’m writing my own cuz if not I will sit there like ohhhh yeaaaa! maybe I didn’t like that either! LMAO! Loved Abel but maybe not as much as Aiden from Illuminae haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Flavia says:

        Haha so much to catch up on! I have quite a few posts planned for this week too haha sorry! And yeah, I don’t want other reviews to influence my opinion, plus if anyone claims that my review sounds similar to theirs, I will at least know that this was by pure chance. And gah…I think I’m going to leave my reading schedule ARC free for November and December (and read some TBR books that have been waiting for a while).

        Liked by 1 person

      • LairOfBooks says:

        Ohmygosh yes! Same frame of mind here, I like to go in with a clean slate when writing reviews & then blog hopping to see what others thought about the book. A ARC free Nov/Dec sounds so lovely *drowns in arcs* I can use that right about now honestly, I miss my shelves…I say this but this morning I grabbed a free copy of Berserker on Netgalley 😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Flavia says:

        Hehe yaaay! I thought maybe I was being weird
        😛 glad we think the same! Yeah I’m trying REALLY hard not to look at catalogs or NetGalley….and I mean I did last week so that I could fill up Nov and Dec, but saw nothing that caught my eye. As it turns out now though, I have 3 ARCs I need to catch up on, and received a copy of Roar….so that’s what I’ll be doing in November lmao. Failing already. And Berserker sounds so cool! I almost requested a copy of that hehe. Looking forward to reading your review 😉 😉 😉


  2. Elise @ Roaming Reader says:

    I’ve been eyeing this one every time I go to Barnes and Noble. The cover is stunning, the reviews have been good, and the synopsis sounds interesting so I really should pick it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Flavia says:

      Yessss it’s really worth it I would say 😁 and I agree that the cover is quite stunning. Very hard to take photos of and filter though haha. Thanks for reading and commenting Elise 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Vicky says:

    I’ve been off scifi for the last few years, no real reason just havent found anything I want read but this book lòoks like a good one to get me back into the genre. AI’s have always fascinated me. Thanks for the review.


  4. Melanie Noell Bernard says:

    Bahahahaha! I LOVE how you comment on the world. Actually, all the reviews I’ve read talk about the world, and you want to know my favorite part? I disagree with EVERYONE! *dying laughing* But I digress. Happy you enjoyed it. 🙂


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