Defy the Stars

Narrated by: Nate Begle
Series: Defy the Stars, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: Romance, Science Fiction
4.4 out of 5 stars (190 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

She's a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is 17 years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She's willing to risk anything - including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she's a rebel.

He's a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that's begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he's an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they're not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they're forced to question everything they'd been taught was true.

©2017 Claudia Gray (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The story plays with themes of destiny, honor, and faith, while ultimately asking readers to consider what makes one human. Recommend to fans of The Lunar Chronicles and The Illuminae Files, or to romance readers wanting a sci-fi entry point." ( School Library Connection)
"Poignant and profound...a tale that examines the ethics of war and tackles questions of consciousness, love, and free will. Gray's characters are nuanced, her worldbuilding is intelligent, and the book's conclusion thrills and satisfies while defying expectations." ( Publishers Weekly)
"This first-rate STEM-packed adventure explores what it means to be human and whether people are truly their brothers' keepers." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about Defy the Stars

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I did .. not expect to like this as much as I did

This book has been sitting in my wish list for about a year, and I finally got it on a whim. I'm so happy I did. The building of the relationship of Noemi and Abel was a thing of beauty.

3 people found this helpful

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Much more than C-3PO/Katniss Fan Fiction

For anyone who found this book through Claudia Gray's very excellent Star Wars novels, I suggest picking this up immediately. I was originally worried this would be the awkward romance between characters that were essentially C-3PO and Katniss, but great pains have been taken to make sure this book is just not that simple, and so much more compelling because of it.

I think one of the author's greatest strengths has always been her ability to seamlessly weave parallels from the real world into the story, and that skill is put to good use here, creating a new, original universe worth exploring. With the aid of advanced robotics, humanity has reached the stars, settling a ring of new habitable worlds linked by hyperspace gates. These new colony worlds are ruled with an iron first by an overpopulated and dying Earth, with the exception of a newly discovered paradise, which is in open revolt.

The ideas and writing are both easy to follow and challenging in the issues they present, another hallmark of the author. I also want to add that this is almost first and foremost an adventure novel. The characters have their own goals motivations which drive the plot. Character development is developed naturally as the story unfolds, rather than through agonizing over their odd attractions to the enemy they're stuck with.

Finally, I want to give props to the audible narration. POV changes chapter to chapter (meaning this book works at being targeted for everyone), and the dual narrators are fantastic at emphasizing the differences between the characters in a way that really adds something. Noemi's narrator is soft and emotional, and a little vulnerable. Able is straightforward, and just a little bit (not enough to grate) robotic, while still just a bit human. It really added something for me.

3 people found this helpful

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Just the perfect story

My words are not rich enough to describe how much l loved and enjoyed this story. There are so many references to a movie that I loved which is A. I. by Steven Spielberg... so many quests about the meaning of life, love and faith... I love the way the author fleshed out this story and its MCs. The conclusion is heartbreaking and naturally I want more and I'll be waiting for more books. The narrators' performance was just the right one for this story that I hopeit will be the first of a series...

5 people found this helpful

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Can’t wait for the next book!!

I read this book for my sci-fi book club and I loved it! I can’t wait to read the next book. I loved the world building that the author did.

4 people found this helpful

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Great book terrible reading.

So this book is super good, addictive and creative. The male reader has some sort of sound effect on his voice to make him sound like a robot. This is painful and terrible to be forced to listen to. On top of that, it’s very conflicting to the story! Adam is a high tech mech that is so realistic, you can’t tell he’s not human. Don’t you think if you met someone that sounded like a robot you would be like “Hey man, why do you sound like a robot?” It just really ruins the story and makes it hard to focus on the story itself.

5 people found this helpful

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Lovely Ride

"Defy the Stars" explores the relationship between Noemi Vidal (a human of the former Earth colony, Genesis) and the Earth android Abel. You may think that there’s a war going on between Earth and Genesis with rising tensions among Earth’s other colonized planets as resources dwindle and people are displaced, but really, it’s all about that romance. "Defy the Stars" was awesome. I had a great time listening to it, especially whenever Nate Begle took over the narration as Abel. Kasey Lee Huizinga was…okay. Not my favorite narrator, but still good enough to enjoy the story. There’s not too many YA novels that have a devout protagonist who uses her faith as a way to guide her. Noemi says that she’s unlikable, but she’s really just a ray of sunshine capsuled by a layer of cinnamon rolls and marshmallow fluff, and dusted with tasty pop rocks. I’m glad that she sticks close to her beliefs, but also has the capacity to grow. And then there’s Abel…yes. Please, protect the sweet boy. Can I please stick him in my pocket and keep him forever? He was a compelling character even before he went off on his journey with Noemi, and so seeing him grow even MORE was fantastic! I like how in this novel, Earth is considered the enemy. There are so many novels where it’s Earth versus the entirety of space or aliens or anything, really. But this novel takes us off and away into the mindset of someone who lived her life on a completely different planet and only sees earth as an unwanted tether. It was cool to be placed into that perspective. And now, because I really liked this novel, I want to talk about a few things that could have been done differently that would have bumped this baby up to a full five stars: -This one is just personal. I rarely like novels that are in present tense and are in the 3rd person, especially if the narrator end up being unreliable (confirming to the character’s thoughts.) I’d much rather it be in 1st person to help with the urgency of the present tense and to avoid a passive narrator favoring one character from another. That just how it be for me. -Needs aliens. I was just as disappointed as Noemi when she realized that the new things she’d see would just be more humans, haha. -Slightly predictable plot, but nothing too predictable. It just would have been refreshing to switch a few elements up to catch the reader off guard. All in all, I had a great time with this novel. I am surely going to read the next in the series. I gotta know what happens to sweet Abel!!! (And Noemi, she’s in there, too.)

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Massive Disappointment

I picked this up after falling in love with Claudia Gray's AMAZING "Lost Stars". I had hoped that this would have a similar quality of storytelling and compelling characters. Sadly, this was a slog to get through. The characters were wooden and predictable, and the romance was stilted and unbelievable. Give this a pass unless you are a tween girl.

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best ai/human romance ever!

I've been looking for a romance with an AI and a human, specifically where the AI is a male. The story stars a young girl, Noemi, and she is trying to sacrifice her life. When her friend Ester is critically wounded, she quickly hops to an abandoned ship for aid and meets Abel, an advanced mech. The two actually hate each other for a while, until they begin to get along. The cuteness between them is so good, the main character is a POC, and the twists and turns make this story A+, I will definitely revisit it.

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Heart-racing action mixed with complex romance.

I've never been one to read sci-fi, but I heard great things about this book. The rumors did not let me down. This book kept me at the edge of my seat, has incredible world building and character development, and had me incredibly invested in the two main characters, Noemi and Abel. Go on an incredibly immersive action packed journey with complex, engaging ideas about futuristic war and feel your heart turn against Earth as you root for Noemi's home planet, Genesis. Throughout the book, the relationship between the two characters evolves with incredible build up and development, until you can't even bear the thought of them being apart. This book is everything I have ever hoped for, and one of my favorite novels to read in my lifetime this far.

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just loved it.

I absolutely loved this book. I am a huge SiFi gooroo. The story was quick moving, and very engaging. I would reccomend it to anyone.

1 person found this helpful