Today’s review is part of the official blog tour for Defy the Stars. Be sure to keep reading for your chance to win a copy of this book & more!
A story that is both epic and intimate in scale, Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray is a far-reaching saga across the universe that seeks to define what it is that makes us human.
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.
It’s no secret that I adore Claudia Gray’s books. Her writing, characters, and storytelling are always compelling — whether the subject is vampires or witches or alternate universes; I always find myself sucked into her worlds and deeply satisfied each time. She is, what we book nerds like to call, “an auto-buy author” for me. That is: if Claudia Gray writes it, I will read it.
Defy the Stars might be her most epic story to date, with a premise that is complex, grandiose, and yet deeply personal at the same time. After all, the premise sees our characters rocketing across galaxies — hopping from planet to planet, through deep space portals, and fighting off enemy forces. The scope of the story is grand, on par with the likes of Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, or other intergalactic sagas.
And yet, the heart of the story is something much more primal. Something we grapple with here on earth, in the real world. What makes us human? Defy the Stars seeks to ask and explore the many nuanced facets of that question. Is it our genetic material? Or is it something more? Science … or something else? Is humanity rooted in our biology, or is it more about who we are, what we do, and how we feel?
Defy the Stars would suggest the latter — and what a stunning, complex and beautiful suggestion it is, as told within these pages. Gray deftly and delicately tackles the subject with aplomb, giving both her characters and her readers plenty to question — all the while hurtling from action-packed fight scene to fight scene. Climax to climax. The action hardly lets up in this book, but tying together each heart-pounding, action-filled moment is this thread about what defines our humanity.
Cleverly plotted and elegantly executed, look for Defy the Stars in stores April 4th.
Claudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)
I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Goodreads or (of course) my own home page.
If you want to contact me, you can email me, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.
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