If You Loved Illuminae, Read Defy the Stars Next!

Defy the StarsDefy the Stars by Claudia Gray
Series: Constellation #1
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers on April 4, 2017
Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction, Space
Pages: 512
Source: NetGalley
Book Details
Rating: ★★★★★

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 kind of got Defy the Stars on a whim. I got one of those emails from NetGalley that was all like, “READ NOW for the first 500 members!” Those emails always make me panic.

Normally, before I get anything from NetGalley I put it under heavy consideration.

  • I read the synopsis like 8 times to make sure I really really REALLY want the book.
  • I see if any of my friends have read it already.
  • I deeply consider whether I’m ready to read the book NOW (I don’t like accepting ARCs to read later).

But when I get those “read now for first 500” emails, I panic. I’m afraid they’re going to go so quickly that I need to decide RIGHT THIS SECOND. So all logic and planning goes out the window and I just have a split second to decide.

I guess because of that, I went into Defy the Stars with two things on my mind:

  1. I was wary because I rushed into it.
  2. I had already forgotten much of the synopsis since I blazed through it so quickly.

Then, in the first few pages, religion kept popping up unexpectedly (a lot of “the word of God” and stuff like that). I’m not a religious person and don’t particularly enjoy reading about it, so this worried me. I was wondering if I unknowingly stumbled onto a religious book.

But I decided to keep going and see what the book had to offer… and it blew me away! It soared passed any of my expectations. And honestly, it ended up being EXACTLY what I wanted to read in that moment. (And if you’re curious, the religion bits died down and weren’t a huge part of the book.)

I had just finished Illuminae (LOVE LOVE LOVE) and was desperately waiting for my order of Gemina to arrive. I was hungry for more sci-fi. Not only was Defy the Stars great sci-fi, but it was also surprisingly similar to Illuminae. Not in a copy cat way, but in an, “If you liked Illuminae you’ll really love this next” kind of way. The presentation is TOTALLY different (if you’ve read Illuminae you know how crazy unique it is), but the premise is similar: space travel, space warfare, artificial intelligence, robots, virus, other planets. Very, very cool.

I loved the technology, the space travel, the main character (actually all the characters). the adventure, the conflict.. It was all SO GOOD and SO INTERESTING! I adored it! The world building was intense and vivid. I’m actually itching for a bit more back-story just to satisfy my curiosity, but that’s not to say the book was lacking or anything. It was all very well done.

I can’t wait to

Definitely recommend a thousand times over if you’re into sci-fi and/or loved Illuminae!

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  1. Oh, this sounds like a very exciting book to read. I absolutely love Sci-Fi. I might just give this a try when it comes out.

  2. ahh another fan of Defy the Stars, yes! I’ve read the book immediately when it was delivered on the release date and I LOVED, loved, loved it!! Can’t wait for the sequel!! Ever since reading Illuminae sci-fi books have become a favorite genre and this one was a really amazing read <3

    melissasbookworld recently posted: | MONTHLY RELEASES| JUNE 2017
    1. Yesss! It was so amazing! I’m totally into sci-fi right now. It looks like a lot of new sci-fi books will be coming out in autumn/winter as well!

  3. I’m glad I read your review because I’m about 66 pages in to “Defy the Stars” and I was thinking of quitting because they reference god so much. I thought the basic story was interesting so far, but it seems like the religious references and increasing rather than decreasing right now and I didn’t know how much more preachiness I could take. But I guess I’ll stick with it for longer seeing as the whole book won’t be that way. Thanks again!

    1. Yes definitely hang in there! I think it gets much better. I forget at which point the references died off but they definitely did.

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