Gray, Claudia. Defy the Stars (2017). Hachette Book Group. 513 Pages
This review is based upon a free Galley received from the publisher via NetGalley. The official publication date is April 4, 2017.
From the Publisher
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.
In three weeks, Noemi Vidal will die- here, in this very place.
Today is just practice.
I’ve never read one of Claudia Gray’s books. I found this book by chance. It looked good, and advance copies were available. So I requested it. I’m so glad I did.
I don’t normally enjoy religious books. They usually feel too preachy, too inclined to lean on God and the gospel. This book was not preachy. Religion was there. It was an aspect that was an integral part of the story, but was not the entire story. Noemi’s from a world of devout people. But it is not One Religion. It is many, and they tolerate each other. A real Utopia.
Abel is a complex character, built for a purpose, then abandoned in enemy territory. The many years alone have done things to his programming. Maybe they’re glitches, maybe they’re not. He doesn’t know.
Noemi is prepared to die for her world. She’s desperate to save her people from hostile invaders who would ruin their planet like they ruined Earth.
Things are not what they seem, and Noemi and Abel find themselves on an adventure in space. Their relationship gets more complicated, and they grow, together.
If this is not the first book in a series, then I did not like the ending. If there is more coming in the future, then I am on board. I can’t say more than that without spoiling. I’m sure there are people who will love it just as it is. I am not one of those people.
It is an excellent book. An enthralling story, with solid prose, interesting characters, and a unique, fleshed out world. I recommend it highly, and give it a solid 4/5 stars.