Title: Defy the Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Format: eArc, provided by NetGalley
Description (Source: Amazon):
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.”
Defy the Stars is a great read that’s full of action, suspense, and love (both romantic and love of humanity).
The book’s opening line draws you in immediately:
In three weeks, Neomi Vidal will die–here, in this very place. Today is just practice. “
Right away we learn that Noemi is training on a (literal) suicide mission to help save her planet (Genesis) from an Earth 300 years in the future. Earth has depleted the resources available to it and has started to colonize other planets. Genesis attempted to break away from Earth about 30 years prior to the beginning of Defy the Stars, but Earth has recently redoubled it’s effort to reclaim their planetary salvation. The people of Genesis resist, because they know that Earth will ruin Genesis like they did their own planet.
When a training exercise goes awry, Noemi ends up on an abandoned Earth ship from 30 years ago with a snarky advanced AI (Abel) who is bound to obey her by an unexpected oversight to his programming . Noemi finds that Abel may hold the secret to saving her planet, thus propelling them on an adventure through wormholes, other planets, and finally: Earth.
It took me a couple chapters to get into it, but once the action starts it’s pretty much non-stop. I really enjoyed the book, save for the last little bit (read more about that below).
What I liked:
– Noemi was strong, independent, and skilled. She also knew when to forgo her pride and let someone else take over when needed. This is a big bonus for me in a character, as I find arrogant characters insufferable (*cough* Aelin Ashryver Galathynius *cough*).
– I loved being able to see into Abel’s mind. His revelations at his own transformation were really interesting to read. His growing sense of humor made me chuckle more than once. Abel was hands down my favorite character in this book.
At some point Abel will have to analyze whether he has developed the capacity for passive aggression.”
^^I’m a queen of passive aggression, so this made me LOL.^^
– Okay, so this one is kind of silly, but I really liked having names in a YA sci-fi that I could actually pronounce. There were a couple names that were more unique, but nothing like some of the high fantasy or dystopian names you see. Adding the comic below, because “Wicker Basket” gets me every time. 😂😂😂
What I didn’t like:
– Okay, so I got ahead of myself and wrote out this section before I saw that this will be at least a duology….but I’m going to leave it to show how strongly I felt after finishing it, lol. In reality, there were no real cliffhangers (which I don’t mind, as long as I know they will eventually be resolved), but rather a lack of closure.
The ending. I know a lot of people will really like it, but I hated it. Most of the book was great, but I realized at about 95% completion that there was not enough time to end it in a way I liked. The lack of closure ended on a sour note for me, but the rest of the book was really good. I still recommend it, but cautiously. If you don’t mind an ending where the story isn’t wrapped up all neat and pretty you should definitely read this book. I however, prefer the “wrapped up neat and pretty” kinds.
– lol see? strong feelings about it.
– The only other thing that somewhat brought the rating down was the use of a few predictable tropes, but these are found so often in YA and sci-fi that they can be easily looked past.
– Honestly, I probably would have rated it 3.5/5 stars if it was a standalone. I’m glad it’s not though so I happily give it 4/5 (maybe even closer to 4.5/5) stars.