Summary: 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.Publication date: 06/04/17 (UK)
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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When I first read the summary of Defy the Stars I was immediately drawn in as it kind of reminded me of the Partials trilogy by Dan Well - one of my favourite YA sci-fi books.
Defy the Stars is a thrilling adventure with two likable protagonists. Noemi is strong, kind, and selfless. I loved how determined she was to save her planet, and far she was willing to go to do this. Abel, a robotic mech from Earth, was just as interesting as Noemi. Although he is a mech his POV is far from boring. In fact I loved his reflections on humans, life, and the world. His unintentional humour also made me smile.
Defy the Stars is a really thought provoking read, I''ve always found stories about humans and robots fascinating. Throughout the book I was questioning things just as much as Abel . For example, does a mech have a soul when he can think for himself and feel?
Noemi and Abel's adventure from planet to planet was fun and exciting. I liked the inclusion of diversity, Noemi herself is a POC and the worlds that we are introduced to are diverse in terms of religion and race.
The romance was also well done. Noemi and Abel start of as enemies, but slowly come to understand, trust, and rely on each other. This is my fave kind of romance - all slow burn and shippy.
Overall, Defy the Stars was an addictive read. I finished it in 4 days which for me is a feat because I usually don't have much time to read due to work. In this case, however, I found myself staying up far longer than I should have. I'm both excited and nervous about the sequel!