A excellent way to start a new series!
I really enjoyed Gray’s Firebird series; I loved the way she handled an intricate multi-universe and dimensional travel but when I heard that she was tackling space… but not only space, but artificial intelligence, rebellion, war and because it’s Gray a complex romance?
I couldn’t be more aboard if I tried and I’d like to start my review off with saying that Claudia Gray does not disappoint!
Defy the Stars starts with Noemi Vidal, a seventeen-year-old soldier fighting to save her planet. In a matter of weeks Noemi is expected to give her life in order to give her people the time they need to come up with a way to win a war against the humans and androids/mechs of Earth.
Abel is an advanced mech that nobody knows exists except for his creator and master, Professor Burton Mansfield. Abel has been trapped on a deserted ship in space for 30 years until Noemi stumbles aboard searching for help. Due to being rescued Abel allows for Noemi to become his temporary master believing it to be a step closer to getting back to Mansfield. Although Noemi uses her new position to her advantage and drags Abel across the universe in order to save her own life and her planet.
What I loved about this book was that Earth was the villain. Earth got greedy, created mechs and once they had destroyed their planet they took over another one. This is totally believable; I mean I can totally see this happening. The world building and plot was slow in the beginning but soon picks up. Gray has created a beautiful universe that she shows off to it’s full potential.
The relationship between Noemi and Abel was one I truly savored. Abel slowly becomes more human the more social interaction he’s involved with, I mean watching him finally use sarcasm was such a highlight for me. I didn’t think a relationship between an AI and a human could have so much snark but Gray managed to pull it off, some scenes were hilarious! Poor Noemi grew so much as a person, it took me a while to warm to her character but once I did I became so invested in her story.
“Your soul is bigger than your programming.”
Defy the Stars was the best mix of the Starbound series and Illuminae. Noemi and Abel battle across the galaxy in order to save the people they love. Loyalty and love are both tested and there’s more than one beautiful moment that had me questioning humanity, filled with terror for my favourite characters and bursting with pride and love them. In short this book will put you through the ringer but it’s more than worth it, I can't wait for book two!