Title: Defy the Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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 is eye-opening and expansive, thrilling and dangerous. A race against time and through space, an exploration of the stars and of the soul.
Noemi is determined, focused. Single-minded. She has a mission, one shes willing to die for. Genesis has a plan to cripple Earth's incoming mech armies, at least for a time, but it has to be done. Genesis was right to separate from Earth, to claim its independence. They're the ones in the right, right? Her discovery of Abel is a surprise, but considering his programming and his information, she'll be able to use him in order to help Genesis survive. In order to keep so many from dying. But Abel isn't what she thought, and after seeing the universe outside of Genesis, Noemi isn't so sure about a lot of things she thought she knew.
Abel. It's hard to describe Abel. Yes, he's a mech, an Earth creation that's a combination of technology and organic material. He's programmed to follow orders, to take in information and extrapolate. To be practical and truthful. But he's got a personality. He feels things like pride and confusion. He sleeps. He dreams. And he wonders, as the only one like him, what he was created for. Was he only created to serve? Or is there no limit to what he can do?
This is a curious science fiction story that covers multitudes. Like faith, like belief in a high power or being, after all of their technological advancements and exploration across the galaxy. What is humanity? How is a soul created? Like empire and colonization, like immigration, how people of all races and background travel to different planets looking for the same things they've always looked for. Employment, companionship, entertainment. Safety. Hope. Freedom. I adored this book and I imagine that fans of the author's past books, especially of Lost Stars, will as well. Even with the wait for the next book.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada.)