I picked up Defy the Stars mostly because I’d read a book by Claudia Gray I didn’t like. Maybe that sounds odd, but she’s so popular I thought maybe it was my chance to try again. I wanted to see if maybe my dislike was a fluke. At the same time, my feelings for that other book was so strong it made me push Defy the Stars back. I didn’t have high hopes at all, despite everyone else’s excitement and the absolutely gorgeous cover. (I mean, isn’t it incredible. These are the covers I like. I really hope it doesn’t get redesigned with some lame female model.)
I’m really glad I decided to request it, and also that I forced myself to get over my nerves, because I liked Defy the Stars. The biggest draw for me was the development between Abel and Noemi. Both of the characters were interesting on their own, but it was the way they interacted I enjoyed the most. They both come from opposing sides of a war, which automatically gives us conflict. Abel is also a mech, which basically means he’s a robot. He’s just the most advanced kind of mech, one with feelings, can rationalize, and understand abstract thoughts. I thought I would have a problem with the developing relationship between Abel and Noemi, but Abel was so perfectly human (and slightly mechanical too) that I didn’t. I felt for his situation far more than I did Noemi’s. I’m not saying I disliked Noemi, it just hurt my heart to read Abel treated badly because he wasn’t born, and instead he was made.
And that ending! Ugh, it killed me. It wasn’t a cliffhanger, I didn’t think. It felt complete, it tugged on my heartstrings. Clearly I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll say it’s made me really want the second book. I at least want the blurb. I need to know how this story is going to play out from where we were left.
It’s great that I loved the characters so much, because the plot of the story didn’t really thrill me. I wasn’t a fan of the war. I didn’t think the reasons Genesis was fighting for their independence was explored and explained enough. We were introduced to side characters who didn’t feel nearly as fleshed out as they should. Basically, when it came to everything outside of Abel and Noemi I was pretty lukewarm.
I also find most Sci-Fi stories feel too rushed to me. They’re so busy zipping every where, back to the ship, now to this planet, then fight their way back to the ship… sometimes it feels like my mind can’t keep up. The plus side, if I’m not liking where they’re at I know they won’t be there long. The downside, I’m not really connecting to the story the way I should. I want to fall into the story, and every time I’d start to fall the story would flip on me. It was like my trust building partner was letting me drop. Maybe it’s me though.
Despite my issues with the plot, I’m still giving the book 4 stars. To put it simply, Abel is worth every bit of 4 stars. And after that ending, I couldn’t possibly go any lower. I really can’t wait for the book two.
Thank you to Little Brown Books for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.