Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Review (ARC) | Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Title: Defy the Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Publication: April 4th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: (Untitled #1)
Pages: 512
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Copy: ARC provided by publisher & Face in a Book
Summary: 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.

Okay, so when I first read the synopsis for this I got really excited because 1. SPACE BOOKS and 2. ROBOTS!  I love learning about AI and wondering what will happen with it in the future, so it was super cool to see that come to life in this book.  I also love exploring the controversy of what makes humans "human" and having souls and stuff.  SO COOL.  And this book did a pretty awesome job of taking that idea and turning it into a kickass story with amazing characters and world-building!

So our two MCs are Noemi and Abel.  Noemi is from the planet Genesis, which is a colony of Earth.  There are three other planets that have been colonized as well, called Stronghold, Kismet, and Cray. So what's the problem?  Well, Earth is sort of dying.  Humans trashed their own planet, so they're looking to others for salvation.  But while Kismet, Stronghold, and Cray are able to take some of the people, there is not enough room for everyone.  Enter, problem.  Earth wants in on Genesis and their resources, but Genesis is like, "Gurl, no, this is our planet now," and they secede from Earth.  Yeah, Earth doesn't like that.  So now there is a war between Genesis and Earth, and Noemi is a soldier fighting for Genesis.  Except they're not fighting against other humans from Earth, oh no.  Earth fights dirty.  Earth is sending these robots that they've designed to fight for them.  They also have robots, that cook, clean, entertain, and do pretty much everything else for them.

Abel is from Earth, and yes, you've guessed it (actually it says it in the synopsis): he's one of these robots.  Except he's special.  Unlike every other robot, or mech, on Earth, he has been designed to be exceptionally intelligent.  So much so that he surpasses AI and moves on to something completely different...

Noemi and Abel are thrust together to complete a mission that might be able to save Genesis, and Abel must help her because of his programming.  But sooner or later he starts to become more than just his programming...and that's when things get interesting.

I loved all of the characters in this book, especially Noemi and Abel.  Noemi is strong and so fiercely loyal, it almost makes your heart hurt because of how good she is.  It took me a while to warm up to Abel, because..well..he's a robot.  But having a POV by him was such a good idea, because even though it doesn't seem like it from the outside, you can tell that he has his own thoughts and ideas and personality.  It was so cool to see him evolve as a character, because you can literally see him become human.  Pretty damn awesome if you ask me.  Besides our MCs, there's also some kickass side-characters as well, which only added to this story.

Overall, this is a solid 5 stars from me.  This is pretty much everything I ever wanted from a book, and I don't know how I'm going to survive waiting for a sequel!  If you like space books and AI and just sci-fi in general, definitely check out this book!

My song rec for this book is Soda Pop Fiction by Polyenso!  Something about this song just makes me think about space and fight scenes in space.  It's also just a pretty cool song, so definitely check it out.

What do you think?  Does this sound like something you want to read?  Do you like sci-fi/space books?  Let me know in the comments!