Despite scifi and I having an uneasy relationship, I did quite enjoy Defy the Stars!
I do get a bit confused when people start bopping about the galaxy, starting wars, taking names, existing solely on packaged protein bars. I mean, the latter is the most confusing. How can you exist without fresh cake??? I was under the impression that’s the only reason humankind still persists??? But when the characters win me over, I still say a book is a win! Even if I didn’t have a heckin’ clue what was going. I had the same feel in A Thousand Pieces of You too. I may be doomed.
- Galaxy covers are just ridiculously gorgeous. And this is just an ARC that I have but LOOK AT IT????
- I absolutely ADORED both protagonists. Noemi and Abel are adorable and stupid little darlings who are in denial of their emotions = aka they have so many emotions. I enjoyed their voices so much, with Noemia (17yo military raised human cadet) being all about action!! Duty!! Opportunity!! Stamina!! Shooting things!! And then there was Abel (teen robot, prototype, immortal) who is the best of all robots of ever, doomed to serve you, lowkey sassy, offended 500% of the time when you’re rude to him. They were both complex with A+ for character development. And for some reason I always relate to the Vulcan robots. I DON’T KNOW, IT JUST HOW IT IS. HELLO ABEL MY PRECIOUS.
- I do have a weakness for slightly sassy AIs. Abel is amazing because he develops more human tendencies as the book goes on and he’s on a roller coaster of discovering-free-will-and-emotions-and-love-and-ramen-noodles.
- Noemi was pretty badass! She is also a damaged pumpkin, unloved by her adopted family, will 500% die to save her adopted sister, of Latin American decent, also HONOUR BEFOREEEEE SURRENDER!!!!
- Much action! Guns and explosions and general psycho robots come to eat your soul or turn you into a toaster strudel or whatever it is psycho robots do when they’ve caught you. #options
- It’s in 3rd person/present tense. AKA my favourite of ever and I can’t find enough books in this style. I LOVE IT.
- Unfortunately I haven’t a clue what was going on. Like how can I love characters and enjoy the writing so much and yet…WHAT WAS GOING ONNNNNNNN???? I still have no idea why they were jumping from galaxy to galaxy. Apparently it was important. I don’t understand WHY destroying the wormhole was the #1 Goal For Noemi. Like it’d save her planet, but…why? Why were they at war with earth? How did they colonise all these galaxies and planets anyway? Also why. And I SWEAR I read slowly and carefully…my brain just didn’t mesh with it. Plus I’m about as good with sci-fi-tech-speak as I am at making phone calls. Which is to say: no. However this could JUST BE ME since I have a history of scifi struggles. #mybad
- It had some sketchy morals. I just am not really sure about the whole subplot with deciding that terrorist was just misguided and is totally still a good person. If you’re killing INNOCENT CIVILIANS I say nay sir.
- I guessed the plot twist with Abel far too early. Which either means (a) I’m a genius, or (b) it was a bit obvious. I kind of felt spoiled, BY MY OWN BRAIN.
- I loved BOTH characters but didn’t ship it. And it’s on a spaceship so this is a heinous crime on my behalf. I just never saw any indication that Noemi felt anything for Abel other than friendship. NOT A SCRAP.
- Too much religion. It’s just not my favourite thing to read about? And I was a bit confuse about why Noemi’s planet was built on religious groups that got along 100% fine. Considering reality — THIS DOESN’T SEEM LIKELY. Noemi waxed poetic about religion a few too many times. BUT! It didn’t make religion a villain so that’s nice.
- NO FOOD. Look this needs to be said. You can’t guard the galaxy or whatever they were trying to do (I STILL DON’T KNOW) without food. At least make a snack? Abel slurped some ramen noodles at the end BUT THAT WAS BASICALLY IT. What was Noemi existing on? The righteousness of being Better Than Thou with tea of her enemy’s frustrated tears?
I totally rooted for these adorable starstruck characters who will probably die from their own bad decisions. BUT I LIKE THEM.
Total adoration for the subtle snark, the character development, the writing style and all the planets they got to frolic over.
I just have 0% understanding about the world building or the plot, so I’ll just sit here awkwardly at Table For One Of Cluelessness and sip my tea and try to look intelligent. Because WHY. To everything.
THANK YOU TO ALLEN AND UNWIN AND HOT KEYS FOR THE ARC. Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray is published April, 2017.
Noemi is a young and fearless soldier of Genesis, a colony planet of a dying Earth. But the citizens of Genesis are rising up – they know that Earth’s settlers will only destroy this planet the way they destroyed their own. And so a terrible war has begun.
When Noemi meets Abel, one of Earth’s robotic mech warriors, she realizes that Abel himself may provide the key to Genesis’ salvation. Abel is bound by his programming to obey her – even though her plan could result in his destruction. But Abel is no ordinary mech. He’s a unique prototype, one with greater intelligence, skill and strength than any other. More than that, he has begun to develop emotions, a personality and even dreams. Noemi begins to realise that if Abel is less than human, he is more than a machine. If she destroys him, is it murder? And can a cold-blooded murder be redeemed by the protection of a world?
Stranded together in space, they go on a whirlwind adventure through Earth’s various colony worlds, alongside the countless Vagabonds who have given up planetary life altogether and sail forever between the stars. Each step brings them closer – both to each other and to the terrible decision Noemi will have to make about her world’s fate, and Abel’s.
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