Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars Series #1)

Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars Series #1)

by Claudia Gray


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From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Lost Stars and Bloodline comes a thrilling sci-fi adventure that Kass Morgan, bestselling author of The 100 series, calls "startlingly original and achingly romantic...nothing short of masterful."

She's a soldier—Noemi Vidal is willing to risk anything to protect her planet, Genesis, 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's advanced programming has 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.

An epic and romantic adventure, perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles and Illuminae.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316394048
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 03/06/2018
Series: Claudia Gray's Defy the Stars Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 138,734
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Claudia Gray is the New York Times bestselling author of many science fiction and paranormal fantasy books for young adults, including Defy the Stars, Defy the Worlds, the Firebird series, the Evernight series, the Spellcaster series, and Fateful. She's also had a chance to work in a galaxy far, far away as the author of the Star Wars novels Lost Stars, Bloodline, and Leia, Princess of Alderaan. Born a fangirl, she loves obsessing over geeky movies and TV shows, as well as reading and occasionally writing fanfiction; however, she periodically leaves the house to go kayaking, do a little hiking, or travel the world. She will take your Jane Austen trivia challenge any day, anytime. Currently she lives in New Orleans.

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Defy the Stars 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read
bookbruin More than 1 year ago
I'm embarrassed to admit how long it took me to read this! I actually really enjoyed this human/robot sci-fi adventure romance. There was really great world building and I found the characters incredible, but there were times I felt a bit lost and confused about the plot. It was very well-written, but the details sometimes were a little too much. I did like that the book brought up a lot of questions about right and wrong, as well as humanity, religion, and faith. Fans of sci-fi shouldn't feel put off by the romance aspect of the book. It's actually really slow burn between Abel and Noemi and isn't the focus of the story. The best part of the book for me was how Noemi and Abel developed and grew as the story progressed. Each character evolves and changes as they are forced to make difficult decisions and question what they believe. Abel really stole the show though and his POV chapters were my favorite. His logical and matter of fact manner, in addition to his unexpected sense of humor, made him incredibly endearing. The book has a fairly open ending, and presents the possibility of much more to come. I'm excited to see what's next for Noemi and Abel! *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book*
AndrewReadsBooks More than 1 year ago
Claudia Gray writes smart and reflective novels. Although they're marketed as Young Adult section, they're equally as at home in the more traditional science fiction and fantasy sections. I would even suggest Gray's Lost Stars may be the best of the new canon star wars books. Defy the Stars continues this trend. Marketed as a romance, the book is really more about trust and authenticity than love or sex. I was more than pleasantly surprised at how Abel's sexual overture towards the end of the book was declined; it was neither preachy and moralistic nor did it devolve into sex for the sake of sex. Instead it models good relationship boundaries and healthy attitudes towards sexuality in a way that we need more of for young readers. Ok, mini-rant over. The novel really plays with questions of purpose, identity, and personal value in multifaceted and insightful ways. Within YA literature (and scifi and fantasy in general), there's been a push in recent years away from pure "black and white" morality, but usually the "grey" is either "goodguy who is amoral grey" or "good hearted badguy grey". In Defy the Stars, we're treated to a broader array of "grey" positions, and explore how these can work together productively towards common goals. Ultimately, the story brings together many classic and modern scifi themes into a unique and engaging blend. Readers will likely find thoughts of Deus Ex, Saga, Blade Runner, and many more surfacing and resurfacing as the story progresses. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to Book 2.
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
In starting to write this review, I just had one of those weird moments where I couldn't remember the protagonist's name.  I guess that says a lot about my feelings for Defy the Stars.  It was just fine, but it wasn't spectacular.  It was forgettable.  I think that the book makes a lot of promises it doesn't keep within its world-building.  There are very few things that annoy me more than a totally awesome world, and a plot that ignores all that and goes for the budding relationship.  Give me contemporaries for love stories - I don't want them breaking in and disrupting my sci-fi action scenes.  They can be there, but they shouldn't be intrusive. Noemi and Abel are both pretty forgettable characters on their own.  Noemi is your typical hard-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside sci-fi heroine, and Abel is your standard AI-who-discovers-he-has-feelings.  Nothing about either of these characters makes them overly interesting or special.  If you like the characters tropes here, fabulous!  But don't expect any exciting breakthroughs. Listen, Defy the Stars gets fabulous reviews on Goodreads, maintaining an over four-star average two years post-publication.  If you think this is a book you may enjoy and you've been waffling about adding it to your TBR, just do it.  It's a great mix of new elements and tired tropes, but I can see people absolutely falling in love with this one.  I'm just not one of those people.
Annemieke Oosterling More than 1 year ago
I bought Defy the Stars last year as it got such a pleasant buzz and I had read the author’s Firebird trilogy. I kept my expectations quite low as I felt with that cover that this was going to be more of a romance than anything else. But I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by the book overall. The book is written in present tense third person point of view. Present tense always makes me pause because I automatically correct it in my head to past tense. Am I the only one who does that? Anyway as the book continued however I stopped thinking about it and was swept up in the story. We start with Noemi who finds a 30 year old mech in an abondened spaceship as she tries to save her friend who got hurt in the space battle. This mech called Abel is however a very advanced version of what is known to her. Mech’s are her enemy in the war that her planet has with Earth. While her ancestors were originally from Earth they have divided from their home planet as they do not agree with it. Through Abel she finds a way to help out her own planet in the war… While I enjoyed a lot about this story I can see that the world building is somewhat lacking. At least in the history element of the war. There is too much glossed over there for me to really believe in his war, that the stakes really are that high for Noemi and her planet. And why did the war start up again after 27 years? But as it is set in space we do get some excellent space adventures and went to the other planets that humans have settled upon. I found it interesting to see the various communities and that there are more rebels than just Noemi’s planet. That there are more fighting for a cause. Unlike others I don’t think that the book condoned terrorism. And I think there is a lot more left to discover in this angle. I think what really sold this book to me was however Abel. This mech that started feeling human. That started dreaming and was quite sarcastic to Noemi. He stole my heart completely within the first couple of pages. With Noemi I wasn’t quite sure about her as she seemed to have a one track mind. But as the story progressed some layers were added to her. I also quite enjoyed everyone they picked up along the way and I hope we get to see more of them and their interactions in the next one. My biggest fear was that the romance was going to take over the book but that didn’t happen at all. There is some undercurrent there at the end as Abel sorts his feelings and I wish that naming of love would have been slower. But there is no real romance established between the two characters.
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
This is not a bad book but I did find it a disappointing book. I felt as though it touched on so many themes and locations without ever really exploring anything other than the "super-mech" that is Abel and his enforced isolation leading to the development of his Humanity. I did feel that rather than being a science fiction novel it was more of a romance between Noemi and Abel that just happened to take place in the 23rd Century. There is plenty of action to be had and different world's to explore but the action is very linear and the worlds are never really explored in any depth. Kismet is the party planet, Cray is the technology hotbed, Stronghold the resource heavy one and they are all sandwiched between the failing Earth and the verdant and idyllic Genesis. For some reason the planets reminded me of H2G2 when Ford and Arthur meet with Slartibartfast and he explains how they tailor planets to the purchasers needs and the technology of the Gates used for travel between the planets reminded me of Stargate. After reading the first few chapters of Defy The World I was compelled to purchase this book as it felt like this would be a great Science Fiction series and now I am not really that invested in reading the second one. It all felt a little too formulaic and as though it borrowed too much from earlier outings in the genre to be great. Maybe I have just read too much and am too old for this series, after all it is for a YA audience who probably have no idea what H2G2 is - although I suspect they will know Stargate from the multiple TV series rather than the original movie. The characters had no real depth for me and I never felt like I got to know Noemi at all. I knew the bare bones of her history and that she was a determined soldier for her home planet but beyond that she just seems to lurch from one crisis of confidence to the next. Abel is much more rounded as we get to see the emergence of his personality triumphing over his coding. Even then I never felt like I got to know him as more than words on a page. The pacing of the tale was good but I never felt shocked by what happened next or like I had to turn the next page to find out what happened to them and how they would get out of this scrape. The universe the action takes place in is well described and you get a good feel for where the action is set but it never quite manages to spark to life in your imagination. The ending is rather rushed but does leave the way clear for the second installment but gives enough closure that if you can't be bothered to continue following the exploits of Noemi, Abel and The Remedy that you don't feel cheated.
mdemanatee More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure what I was going to think about AI with real emotions, but this did so, so well. The characters were well drawn and the development was realistic. Space seems to be the new favorite for YA, but Gray gives us a world her own. This was action-packed and so much fun. Gray is a voice I will be eagerly be watching.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed this story. I couldn't put it down and want to read more!
LittleFoxAndReads More than 1 year ago
I LOVED THIS BOOKS SO MUCH! It feels like it was written specifically for me. I’ve been getting into Sci-Fi lately and Claudia Gray made me fall in love with the genre even more. The writing, the characters, everything…I adored it all. Defy the stars has definitely made it to my 2017 favorites. I don’t think I can write a coherent review but I’ll try anyway. Let’s start with the writing because that was my most favorite thing. It worked so well with setting; it’s like Claudia Gray was born to write Sci-Fi. The characterization of a robot boy and a fierce soldier was so well done that it’s now my favorite trope (BRING ME MORE BOOKS LIKE THIS). The story is well-paced, has the right amount of action and is filled with unforgettable characters. Also, the romance never gets in the way of the story. If you read the synopsis and got a tropey-romance-centered-YA-book vibe, you’ve got it wrong. This book is so much more. Abel and Naomi… I love these characters so much. I can’t even. Abel is the definition of sassy. A sassy robot, that is. And Naomi is a head-strong, loyal soldier. Their banters give me so much life. I would read a whole book of just them trying to one-up each other passive-aggressively. Another thing this book has going for it is the world-building. I absolutely loved learning about all the planets and technology. The tension and conflict between the different planets is complex and intriguing. Each planet has different rules and values; as well as moral conflicts that come with their way of life. Overall an entertaining and gripping novel (that I believe might be the best YA Sci-fi) that revolves around the question: What does it mean to be human? I recommend it to everyone! Read it then come and suffer with me while we wait for Book 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazingly well written, as with all of Grey's works. I would read this book over and over again. I loved it from the first page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! I absolutely loved the characters and the story.
Taylor_FrayedBooks More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book really surprised me with how much I liked it! I recently have gotten interested in Star Wars and Star Trek, so I was super up for the space vibe that this book was about. I thought it was a unique plot and the addition of the robot sidekick was something that I found myself loving! The character development of the robot in the book (I know I am calling him the robot, but he has a name) was what blew this book out of the water for me in terms of emotion and interest.
Seoling More than 1 year ago
So it took me a while to get into DEFY THE STARS. The only time I ever really have to read is when I’m on my commute to work so I get a good solid two hours to read (although some of that time falls victim to small bursts of napping). It took a few days before I really got into the story and became invested in the characters. I will say that this book starts out slow for me. It was a while before I began to care and even then, I was somewhat bothered by Gray’s writing style. I don’t have an issue when an author writes in present tense, but in this particular book, it just stopped me from enjoying it because I was so distracted by how the words read. Particularly during phrases like, “Probably he was going to say disposal.” I’m not used to the way the words are laid out like this and I certainly allowed it to get in the way of me enjoying the story as a whole, but as I got into the 200-300 pages, I didn’t mind as much. I think that Noemi’s character was a little lackluster as a heroine/female protagonist. As part of the resistance fighting for the Genesis cause and against Earth, I felt like she was identifiable by her relation to these events rather than the autonomy of which she had more. Don’t get me wrong – I really enjoyed her development when it came to her relationship with Abel. I think she grows a lot, but it did not resonate much with me. I think Abel is partly to blame, considering how much he transformed throughout DEFY THE STARS. I was unconvinced that he would appeal to me as a character and it would lead me to not finishing the book, but I loved his character. He was funny, endearing, and made me want to just hug him. Gray was really smart with his character and I loved the bits and pieces that equated to his awakened humanity. Particularly, there were scenes that involved cavalier conversations revolving around prostitution and sex that I found so fitting and taken aback by that they were just perfect in this book. I give Gray kudos for being able to evolve Abel’s character in a way that was tasteful and memorable. There were so many ways that it could have gone wrong and I’m glad it didn’t end up cliché. There were a few moments that were stuck to me in the way that authors want their scenes to affect their readers. One being an exchange between Abel and Burton Mansfield that left me pretty emotionally drained because of Abel’s realization of the true intent behind his creation. I felt so much in that moment for him, more than any other time in the book and I really look forward to seeing more pivotal and moving scenes from Gray in her subsequent books. I have mixed feelings about this book. 5% being mixed and 95% overall adoring the story. DEFY THE STARS is definitely for fans of THE LUNAR CHRONICLES, ILLUMINAE, or I, ROBOT. It’s impossible not to get those insanely sci-fi feelings when reading.
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
Seventeen year old Noemi is a fighter pilot who has volunteered on a suicide mission called the Masada Run to destroy a gate between worlds. While on a last training excercise before that mission her squadron is attacked by some Damocles fighter pilots and ends up battling for her life. A life that she had volunteered to give up in place of her best friend Esther. Esther, also on this excercise ends up a casualty of a Mech fighter pilot, an engineered android, part human part machine. Mechs were created by their enemy for various jobs that humans don’t want to do. In this case, die in a war. When Noemi sees Esther’s plane attacked, she deserts her place to try to save Esther’s life. Using a tractor beam, she hauls Esther and her ship to what she thinks is an abandoned freighter to try to save Esther’s life. What she doesn’t know is that a Mech named Abel has been abandoned on this ship for thirty years. Defy the Stars is about Noemi, a human who lacks self worth, and a humanoid boy named Abel wh, despite his programming, is looking for the love of a father and the meaning of life. Although he is an artificial life form, Abel, unlike other Mechs, was programmed to learn, think evaluate and grow. 30 years abandoned on a loading dock of an empty freighter has given Abel a lot of time to think about the meaning of life, and his programming allowed him to evolve. So, at the beginning of this book, Noemi and Abel are emotionally at the same place in their lives, and as they interact, make decisions, and come to have feelings of friendship for each other, they grow at the same pace. Although one is human and one is not. Despite the father son similarities to Pinocchio and Gepetto, or even Data and Jean Luc Picard from Star Trek Next Generation, Abel’s journey of self discovery was vivid in color and interesting to read. Even if his thought processes were a little analytical and dry. But, what do you expect from a Mech! On the other hand, Noemi’s inability to see beyond her lack of self worth, her skepticism of Abel’s decisions and abilities, painted her character gray and dismal. Until her moment of discovery, which I won’t spoil, but at that moment her life the choices she makes redeems everything I’d felt about her earlier. The first third of this book was hard to slog through, but I believe the author was setting the reader up for that “moment” of discovery when reading this book became worthwhile and the relationship that developed between Abel and Noemi surpassed the relationship Abel sought with his “father”. As with all children, Abel grew up and that pedestal he’d put his father on, turned out to be not so realistic. For those of us who are adults, we can look back and see that moment with our own parent, when they became real and not all knowing which helped me connect to Abel. Noemi’s defining moment was a lot more subtle and emotional. I guess I need to be hit over the head with the obvious because I felt more for Abel, but then he had a much larger challenge to overcome. He was after all a humanoid to her human. This is the first in the series and I definitely want to see how much more both of these characters grow, and then also to see how they grow together because you know that’s evolving too! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
NovelKnight More than 1 year ago
YA sci-fi is always a tricky genre for me because I either really love it....or really don't. But I can safely say that I loved Defy the Stars! This is exactly the kind of space adventure I never knew I needed but couldn't get enough of! Noemi is a soldier from the planet Genesis, seventeen and ready to give her life to provide Genesis with a little more time to prepare against attack. Instead, she ends up on an abandoned ship with Abel, a mech, not human but with some human tendencies. Cue space travel and lots of world-building goodness. The first hook of this book is the writing. You're immediately thrown into the midst of the action with a fast pace and short chapters to keep you on your toes. I liked the alternating perspectives, and when I saw that this book has been related to Illuminae that made sense. I loved AIDAN and Abel reminded me a lot of the AI but a bit more...human? If that makes any sense. It's hard for me to not compare these two books because both feature non-human characters that have a bit of snark and a bit of otherness to them that instantly draws me in, while the female protagonists are tough, independent, and so beautifully created within an expansive world. So yes, I definitely recommend Defy the Stars to any and all fans of Illuminae and Gemina. Noemi was that steadfast sort of heroine that really grounded me in the story. She's fiercely loyal and determined to do whatever it takes to help her planet. Hers is a tale of discovering who she is beyond a soldier originally sent to her death. Abel, on the other hand, isn't human, but has an unusual grasp on humanity that he struggles to deal with, forming a tension between his programming and his own mind that has formed over the years. I think Gray truly excelled with their relationship, drawing out both of their flaws while allowing them to strengthen each other. Theirs were stories that transcend space and planet saving and the uncertainty of a future on a ship. And just as she crafted their characters with such detail, she did the same with the world. I'll be honest, I'm not one for sci-fi generally because the world-building can get pretty technical, causing the story to become dense and slow. Defy the Stars had a good balance of description without delving too deep into the jargon of the genre, appealing to me as an infrequent sci-fi reader but also anyone who tends to shift away from the genre because of the language. Now I can't say this book was perfect. I had questions at the end that makes me glad there will be a sequel because I feel like there is so much more here to explore. But for the first in a new series, Defy the Stars was an action-packed, fast-paced read with a stunning world and characters that you can't help but like. Regardless of whether you normally read science fiction or not, you need to read this book!
FayTannerr More than 1 year ago
Defy the Stars was an epic space adventure! It had action, adventure and some romance too. I found Noemi Vidal interesting, strong and kind. She is willing to do anything to save her planet even to die. Abel was also an intriguing character and so much more of a human than his creator ever was. The plot was great and really drew me in. Abel and Noemi must work together in order to save her planet, Genesis. They travel to the other planets in the Loop (Kismet, Cray, Stronghold and eventually Earth) and meet exiting characters like Virginia Redbird along the way. It was an interesting concept to see how different and unique all the planets were. Claudia Gray's depiction of all the planets was amazing and very detailed. This was an amazing novel I will never forget! Recommended for fans of science fiction, fantasy and space adventures!
KarenfromDothan More than 1 year ago
An amazing sci-fi story starring Noemi Vidal, Genesis warrior, and Abel, a super advanced mech. Set in a dystopian future where Earth is a dying planet and it’s inhabitants are desperate to leave. There are few options available, most of which are less than ideal. Unless you’re super rich, super smart or incredibly healthy there is little hope for you. There is one planet though called Genesis, that was once an Earth colony with a pristine environment, only thing is they don’t want to share. I really loved this novel. The world-building is incredible. You’re really swept away into a very different time and place. The characters are great as well. My favorite is probably Virginia, a spunky young genius, who comes to their aid on more than one occasion. Well plotted and excellently paced, fraught with danger and suspense, this book is a genuine page turner. I think it’s particularly relevant in today’s world and could even be called a cautionary tale. I also liked the way the author finished the story and eagerly await the next book in this exciting new series.
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray! Noemi is a soldier for Genesis and she's very loyal to her planet and her friend, Esther. Abel is a machine made by an Earth scientist to be the culmination of all other machines that have been created. The scientist, Mansfield, wants Abel to be as human-like as possible, including feeling emotions and having conscious thought. Esther is injured and Noemi finds the functioning but deserted ship, the Daedalus, not knowing that Abel is on board. Noemi wants to help Esther by getting to the ship's sickbay. Abel does everything in his power to save Esther and he and Noemi become reluctant comrades while Abel treats Noemi as a commander. They are going together to destroy the gate between Earth and Genesis. On their trip they make discoveries about each other, such as integrity, loyalty and other values and skills. They also note each other's intelligence. The mystery of Abel's creation and purpose makes both of them more and more curious. They meet and befriend others while on their quest and the action and suspense continues to build. This story turned out better than I thought it would, since science fiction isn't my favorite genre. Claudia Gray built a complex, futuristic world full of diverse and dynamic characters, 5 stars !
Arys More than 1 year ago
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray is an amazing story where Ms. Gray creates an expansive sci-fi universe with interesting worlds, technologies and futures to explore. Noemi Vidal is a young fighter pilot in the last weeks of prep for a suicide mission that will buy her world, Genesis, time to better prepare to fight the incursion of merciless Mech (terminator-esque battle drones) armies, sent by an Earth low on resources to exploit her home world. When a minor battle causes her to make an emergency landing on an Earth ship, abandoned 30 years ago during the on going war, she comes face to face with her worst nightmare, the most advanced experimental Mech ever created. However, instead of killing her, it informs her that as the only human on board, she is now its commander. To top off the strange turn of events, Noemi finds it knows a way to destroy Earth's ability to attack them... What is a girl to do? Obviously... go on a voyage around the circle of worlds in the known habitable universe, avoid getting blown up, get chased across said universe by battle Mechs, make new friends, have some narrow escapes, and of course...the most important bit and my favorite part... get an awfully lot closer to a surprisingly human android than she ever thought she would. Like I said from the start...amazing story! And that's barely touching the surface. More than anything, what I liked about Defy the Stars was the growth of the characters. While Abel, a recently sentient AI has some obvious growth to do, both Abel and Noemi learn more about themselves and each other than they ever imagined. I wish there had been another chapter or two at the beginning to get a better feel for Noemi in her native environment, but we learn a lot about her as we go. I enjoy Abel's transition from a rather know-it-all android to a more human character and that Noemi is the one who causes this final development, from a machine which just barely did more than fake humanness, to one with his own feelings. I also liked how in many ways it brings out Noemi's own version of development as she learns more about herself, Abel, and the scope of the universe she is adventuring in. In the end Defy the Stars gives you both a sense of satisfaction in the characters who you've spent chapters bonding with, but a serious case of wanting more. I'm ready for the next Noemi and Abel adventure and the ink isn't even wet on this one. I wholeheartedly recommend! (I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review.)
terferj More than 1 year ago
What more can I say about it but that I loved it? How about I adored it. I cherished it. This book just hooked me right from the beginning. This is the second book I’ve read from the author and so far I’m not disappointed. She writes in a way that draws me in like it was nothing (which is good because she has a lot of books to read). I thought this was just a fascinating book. I loved the descriptions of everything in the book; to the mechs, the technology, & the planets. I loved how different the planets (Genesis, Kismet, Cray, Stronghold, & Earth) are from each other - from the looks and the people who inhabit them. I think all would be interesting places to visit. I loved that the story switched between Noemi and Abel. Noemi was awesome. She’s smart, compassionate, brave, quick thinking, and…oh yeah a badass. I liked that she started with this goal in mind to it gradually changing slightly. Abel was one of a kind. He was of course very smart, strong, fast, and everything a mech is supposed to be. Oh but there was so much more to him. It was so nice in his perspective I was able to catch glimpses of his changes, see his questioning, and to understand him better. I loved the dynamics of the duo. Their dislike and distrust grew to something neither of them expecting. Loved. I can’t wait to see what’s next for our space travelers. I know it’s going to be spectacular. *I received this through NetGalley.
onemused More than 1 year ago
Simply stunning! "Defy the Stars" is a beautiful and incredible YA sci-fi. We begin with Noemi, a 17-year-old soldier from Genesis, a planet formerly settled by Earth and now engaged in full combat with Earth. Earth is dying and they want to take over Genesis. Genesis is free from pollutions and well maintained- they are worried Earth will destroy their planet too. Noemi is one of the soldiers who has volunteered to go on The Masada Run- a suicide mission intended to buy Genesis more time from Earth's attacks. Genesis is connected to the other planets of the Loop through gates in space. It is through these gates that the "mechs" or mechanical robots from Earth (named between B-Z, each letter having a different purpose; e.g. Charlies and Queens are the fighters) come. While doing a scouting mission for the Masada Run, they detect some Earth mechs who have come through to attack. They must fight, and in the process, Noemi's adoptive sister, Esther, is attached. Noemi must save her at any cost and flies onto an abandoned spacecraft from Earth. Little does she know, there is a mech onboard who has been stranded for 30 years. Abel is something different and something special. There had been rumors of an A-model, but no one has actually heard of one. Abel also carries knowledge that could prevent the Masada Run and needless loss of life. Together, Abel and Noemi embark on a quest throughout the galaxy and around the loop to save Genesis. Along their quest, there are some big questions the book poses, such as what it means to be human and have a soul- but also what is life and love. It is a beautifully intricate tale that grips you from the first chapters and carries you throughout. The book also addresses some other big points in terms of humanity's future and values as they travel from planet to planet- including some big things like elitism (intelligence and economic), refugees, terrorism, etc. This is absolutely brilliant book, and I loved it! I am so sad that it ended; Gray has really outdone herself on this one. If you loved her Firebird series, you will love this one even more! The ending is not final but open, and I wish so much the next book was already here! This is an incredible series, and I cannot wait to continue it. This is definitely one of my newest favorite books! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Candace-LoveyDoveyBooks More than 1 year ago
I remember my first foray into the world of Claudia Gray. It was the era of the Evernight series, and a part of my bookish life that firmly remains in the past. While not crazy about vampires in a creepy, Gothic boarding school, I went totally ga-ga over Defy the Stars. Space battles and butt-kicking mechs is part of what I love about science-fiction and a simmering romance on the side is icing on the cake! It's like iRobot and Battlestar Galactica met with Melissa Lander's Starflight and decided to have a party! Claudia Gray gently rolls into the story by introducing Noemi Vidal in the heat of battle against a swarm of mechs and Abel, the first mech with advanced intelligence, is abandoned in an old Earth ship. In just a few scenes she defines the parameters of this world. In an effort to keep Earth from pumping Noemi's home world, Genesis, full of toxins and ultimately killing it they fight to remain free of Earth's control. They have planned a Masada Run to incapacitate the gate that allows travel between Earth's galaxy and Genesis', effectively giving them more time to regroup. However, one chance encounter with an extremely advanced mech gives Noemi the opportunity of a lifetime. With Abel's knowledge she will be able to completely destroy the gate and save her fellow young soldiers from the death run. I wasn't immediately captured by the story until Abel and Noemi set off on their journey to save her world. As the two travel through the Loop to other worlds Abel explores his newfound sense of humanity. He desires to return to his creator, but his programming requires that he serve Noemi as the highest human authority in his vicinity. Noemi has been taught all her life that mechs are just machines, then she meets Abel who defies that logic. Their perspectives change as their experiences together cause them to question their beliefs and understandings. The war between Genesis and Earth has dire consequences for many in the worlds Noemi travels through. All the compassion and grace that she thought she couldn't feel spurs her to accomplish her goal even faster. Where I expected just another interesting science-fiction read, Defy the Stars takes readers fruther than an action-packed space opera. Claudia Gray forces readers to place themselves in Noemi's shoes and wonder what Abel must feel as he ponders his own existence. I'm excited for the next flash installment in this series, I can't imagine where Gray will take us next! *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great book! Kept me reading even when I shouldn't have been. Very much recommended.