Title: Defy The Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Rating: 4/5 stars
Release date: April 4th 2017
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Noemi is a young and fearless soldier of Genesis, a colony planet of a dying Earth. But the citizens of Genesis are rising up – they know that Earth’s settlers will only destroy this planet the way they destroyed their own. And so a terrible war has begun.
When Noemi meets Abel, one of Earth’s robotic mech warriors, she realizes that Abel himself may provide the key to Genesis’ salvation. Abel is bound by his programming to obey her – even though her plan could result in his destruction. But Abel is no ordinary mech. He’s a unique prototype, one with greater intelligence, skill and strength than any other. More than that, he has begun to develop emotions, a personality and even dreams. Noemi begins to realise that if Abel is less than human, he is more than a machine. If she destroys him, is it murder? And can a cold-blooded murder be redeemed by the protection of a world?
Stranded together in space, they go on a whirlwind adventure through Earth’s various colony worlds, alongside the countless Vagabonds who have given up planetary life altogether and sail forever between the stars. Each step brings them closer – both to each other and to the terrible decision Noemi will have to make about her world’s fate, and Abel’s.
What a page-turner this book was! I was so pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it 😀 I don’t read very many Sci-Fi books because of the heavy writing and even heavier world building, BUT Defy The Stars was the perfect blend of action, fantasy and a hint of romance. It made up for a fairly strong (and enjoyable) representation of the Sci-Fi genre, and I’m very impressed!
The highlight of this book was undoubtedly the pacing and the writing. The author does not rush the story – everything builds up well and flows together at the end. It’s actually a very slow burn book, but you overlook all that when you’re reading it because you sort of need the knowledge of the history, back story and the in-betweens of the occurring events to be fully immersed with the plot. The characters were a bit bland at the beginning, but it was totally understandable! Like I said, Gray makes room for development as the story progresses and it by the end of the book you can really tell how much everything changes. Abel and Noemi are both strong-willed and independent, yet they rely on each other for almost everything (which I highly appreciate). We get the sense that though one is a soldier and the other is a sophisticated robot warrior, they both have weaknesses and vulnerabilities and most definitely aren’t flawless.
Quite surprisingly the forbidden love trope doesn’t play that big of a part in the story (considering it is a sci-fi love story following two characters who are supposedly sworn enemies). Not complaining though, I love how there wasn’t any insta-love. We get to read from dual perspectives, and when the two characters meet we don’t watch them as they fall for each other’s faces. Instead, we follow them and their journey as their ‘acquaintanceship’ blossom into something so much more. There was no crazy banters or heated arguments, they were just strangers who accepted each other. Curiosity sparks first, then they begin to familiarize with one another and soon… well, you’ll have to read the book to find out 😉
The plot was sort of predictable and some parts were a bit cheesy, but overall this book was amazing. You get crazy Baymax/Illuminae feels reading this (Abel is too precious for the world ❤ ). I highly recommend checking this book out!
Thank you so much Allen & Unwin/Hot Key Books for sending a copy over in exchange for an honest review!