Title: Defy The Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date of Publication: April 4th, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
POV: 3rd Person
Number of pages: 513
Series: Defy the Stars
Defy the Stars – Book 1
Where this book can be found: Amazon
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
Science fiction has been one of my favorite genres going back to my middle school years. I am a little hesitant to read science fiction because sometimes I have issues with the ships or the language or I just didn’t like the storyline. So, needless to say, I have started a lot of science fiction books and have DNF’d them. So I was happy to see Defy the Stars written as a YA science fiction book. I figured that there would too much teenage drama going on and that would distract me from any shortcomings.
Well, I was wrong. Not only was Defy the Stars a great science fiction book but the young adult sections of the book (well it was the whole book) was fantastic. Again, it isn’t often that you get a book that combines the two perfectly. This book did.
I really enjoyed that Earth was the bad guy in this book. It was a different and welcome change from Earth always being the good guy/underdog. Instead, in this book, Earth is evil. Earth is the instigator and Earth will not let go of the other planets under its control. It was a very refreshing change and I loved it!!
Noemi grew on me during the book. I can understand why she was so angry. Losing her family, being raised by a family that resented her and then being a child soldier in a war that shouldn’t have been going on for as long as it was. She was stressed out. She was trying to keep her best friend, Esther, alive and she was trying to not think about the suicide run on the gate that connected her solar system to others in her area. So she was a little testy and I was surprised that she didn’t have a breakdown when Esther died or when she realized that she was Abel’s commander. But, by the end of the book, she grew so much and changed so much that I actually liked her.
Abel came across, to me, as what a mech should act like. He analyzed everything, he really didn’t understand human emotion and he said some pretty weird things. But, he would protect Noemi with his life because she was his commander. By the end of the book, though, he was his own person and he made his own choices….even when faced with direct orders. He truly became his own master by the end of the book.
This will be the only time that I will say that I didn’t think that the romance element of the book wasn’t needed. There was so much going on that I think it was silly to have included it. Especially since Noemi was so prejudiced against mechs. While it was something I saw coming, I really wish that the book didn’t go there. It really didn’t add anything to the storyline.
The end of the book was very bittersweet. I am glad to see that everything turned out well for Abel and Noemi. I can’t wait to see what book 2 will bring!!
How many stars will I give Defy the Stars: 4
Why: A very well written science fiction/YA book. I was very engrossed with the story. The only thing that I didn’t like was the romance part of it. Weird, I know.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Young teen
Why: No sex (just one kissing scene), mild violence, no language.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**