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.
I have always been a fan of sci-fi, so when I received the email from Netgalley with an invitation to read Defy the Stars (if I acted quickly enough to be one of the first 500), I jumped at the chance. Wanting to be sure I was one of the lucky 500, I didn’t even fully read the description, and therefore didn’t know exactly what to expect when I started reading. What I found was a strong-willed, yet sympathetic protagonist with a bit of a chip on her shoulder, although not without reason, and an equally likable, and believable, android thrust together in an adventure spanning the galaxy.
Finding that as the only human around she is able to command Abel to do her bidding, Noemi orders him to help her find a piece of equipment that will aide her people in their was against Earth. Abel for his part would be happier to destroy Noemi, but his programming won’t allow it. There is some great character development as the two get to know each other and understand each others motivations. There is also more real science than I expected to get in a young adult scifi story, and that was a pleasant surprise.
This was my first encounter with author Claudia Gray, but if Goodreads is to be believed and there will be a sequel to Defy the Stars, then it will not be my last.