Series: Untitled #1
Length: 512 pages
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!