Published: April 6th, 2017
Synopsis: Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier from the planet Genesis, once a colony of Earth that’s now at war for its independence. The humans of Genesis have fought Earth’s robotic “mech” armies for decades with no end in sight.
After a surprise attack, Noemi finds herself stranded in space on an abandoned ship where she meets Abel, the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made. One who should be her enemy. But Abel’s programming forces him to obey Noemi as his commander, which means he has to help her save Genesis–even though her plan to win the war will kill him.
Together they embark on a daring voyage through the galaxy. Before long, Noemi begins to realize Abel may be more than a machine, and, for his part, Abel’s devotion to Noemi is no longer just a matter of programming.
Diversity: main character stated to descent from Chile. People that are encountered are from all parts of the world and therefore are quite diverse. However, no canonly stated lgbt+ characters.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bonnier Zaffree for the advanced reader copy of this book!
I have Claudia Gray books on my bookshelf but this was the first that I’ve actually read and I’m so glad it was!
Defy The Stars is so wonderfully interesting, playing with the strengths and weaknesses of faith and cybernetics and terrorism. The story itself has so many twists and turns. There’s always something that needs to be done, always another target ahead. Gray handles all the characters and all the worlds, alongside all the motivations, so well that the piece very rarely feels unbalanced.
It is shown through the eyes of Abel, the most high-tech mech ever created, and Noemi, a fighter pilot on the planet Genesis currently at war with Earth. It follows their journey to save thousands of people ready to offer their lives for something that might not even work, as well as the process of growing to understand a person vastly different from oneself.
Noemi’s determination to save her world, her strugglings with her self-esteem and her understanding of the world around her, her will to explore and the strength of her belief system is admirable. It makes her a character so easy to relate to, and the best vehicle through which a reader can see this new world through.
In the same way, Abel’s journey from mechanical and programmed, to something “with a soul” is beautiful. He tries so hard to understand the world around him but he too is as isolated as Noemi from the world and although he knows, he doesn’t understand that makes all the difference. His story of want vs programming is something that tugs at heart strings.
Gray’s writing is wonderful and engaging, creating these wonderful images of these new planets and their inhabitants. Enough detail is given to make each world real and tangible to touch, with struggles and successes that are completely adapted to the society’s that they live in.
Harriet and Zayan are Vagabonds searching for a new and better life. Virginia is constantly searching for her next thrill and being able to step beyond the boundaries that her planet gives her.
Virginia is constantly searching for her next thrill and being able to step beyond the boundaries that her planet gives her.
Dunway has strength in his muscles because of the weight of the gravity pressing down upon him.
Noemi lives the life of a soldier because her world demands it, just as her religion and her faith is hugely important to her.
Mansfield is a product of the indulgent Earth that those of the other planets in the ‘Loop’ are rebelling against.
Defy The Stars is a thrilling, action-packed novel with absolutely engaging protagonists and an eloquent writing style that immerses you into this futuristic sci-fi world. This is the beginning of seems to be another series – however long or short – and honestly, I’m excited to read more about these characters.