ARC Review: Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray

Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray
 Untitled #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication: April 4th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Length: 512 pages
Format: ARC

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.

DEFY THE STARS had a premise and setting reminiscent of that of ILLUMINAE—space settings with futuristic sci-fi themes are my jam. This novel is my first Claudia Gray novel, and I’ll definitely be picking up the continuation of the series in the future.

DEFY THE STARS follows Noemi, a soldier, and Abel, a mech, as they travel together for Noemi to fight to save her planet. The plot does remind me of a few novels I have read before, but the main selling point is the space setting and the incorporation of heavily innovated technologies, which overshadows the possible triteness of the plot. The advancement of technology and space exploration is something I’m especially passionate about, so I loved this concept of the novel.

This novel is written in dual POVs and I definitely enjoyed the distinct voices of both characters. I will say that I enjoyed Abel’s POV a bit more than Noemi’s—partly because Abel’s mechanic way of thinking coupled with the growth of empathy and love made him a very complex character that I liked reading about, and partly because Noemi’s character seemed too … stereotypical. While I did appreciate her fighting skills and knowledge about various mechanisms, I was frankly a little bored with her POV.

The romance between Abel and Noemi was pretty well-done. It’s an enemy-to-lover romance during which they are essentially forced to work together; so if you’re into that kind of romance (which I totally am), you’ll be sure to enjoy this romance! The only reservation I have about the romance is that I found it a bit strange, since Abel is essentially a robot and Noemi is, well, a human. I know it’s sci-fi, but it still made me feel weird, I suppose. I guess it’s pacified a bit because Abel shows human-like emotions, but I personally thought it was strange.

Overall, DEFY THE STARS is a solid framework for the upcoming series by Claudia Gray. Filled with a richly-imagined science fiction setting and an intriguing plot, DEFY THE STARS is sure to please. Definitely check this one out if you’re into deep developments of characters and sci-fi!

What are your thoughts on DEFY THE STARS? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


16 thoughts on “ARC Review: Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray

  1. I enjoyed this book as well. For some reason when I first read it I thought it was going to be a stand-alone. I was so mad about how it ended until I realized there would be another book, lol.

    As far as the romance goes, I agree. I’m not really into AI/robots and human relationships. I was raked over the coals a few months ago when I reviewed Wires and Nerve and said that about IKO and a human soldier. It’s just weird to me. I mean, what are the long term plans going to be? Especially with this series (as IKO can just move her chip to an old lady robot body, I guess, haha), Abel won’t age and Noemi will! Maybe the author will work something in there, like most do when dealing with immoral beings and humans.

    The robot thing aside, I did enjoy the dynamic between the two of them and felt the romance was done well also.


  2. I found this one to be terribly slow–though I still enjoyed it! It was more character driven than action-packed (though there was always something happening) than I expected. I’m not a huge fan of stories that are more adventure based.

    I actually liked the romance a lot. I get that the whole machine-human thing is weird but I think the point is that Abel is more than machine and I hope that is elaborated on later on. It was nice that the romance took a back seat though and it really wasn’t something that was brought up until the end.


  3. I’m so happy that I keep seeing positive reviews of this. I just bought a copy a couple weeks ago and I’m really excited for whenever I’m able to actually read it, haha.


  4. Hmm. I’m quite surprised about your comment in the world because i felt as though the world was lacking and underdeveloped. I was sorely disappointed.

    Though, I do agree about the romance. It didn’t feel right. However, I am of that opinion not because of the species difference. Rather, it seemed out of character and forced. :/


  5. It actually made me think of Illuminae when I read about it! Sounds like a very interesting book, and since I read and loved Kaufman/Kristoff’s book, and I fell for science fiction stories, I’ll definitely pick this one up! Thanks for your review, Alice 😀 😀


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