Title: Defy the Worlds
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Constellation, #2
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre UK
Release Date: April 3rd 2018
A stunning blend of action-packed science fiction and love against the odds. Perfect for fans of Star Wars and the Divergent series.
Noemi Vidal has returned to her planet, Genesis, as an outsider—ostracised for refusing to end the Liberty War by sacrificing Abel, the most advanced mechanical man ever made. She dreams of travelling through the stars again, and when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. The only soldier to have ever left her planet, it will be up to her to save its people. If only she wasn’t flying right into a trap.
Abel, now fully aware of his soul and captaining his own Vagabond ship, never dreamed he’d see Noemi again, not when the entire universe stands between them. But when his creator Burton Mansfield delivers news of Noemi’s entrapment, Abel knows he must save her, even if it means risking his own life.
Danger lurks in the dark corners of the galaxy, and Abel and Noemi will discover a secret that could save Genesis and Earth…or destroy them all.
In this thrilling and romantic sequel to Defy the Stars, bestselling author Claudia Gray asks us all to consider what drives us, and where we truly belong.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts On…
It’s been months since Noemi returned to Genesis after exploring the stars with Abel, months in which Noemi has been fighting against the mistrust and ignorance from her people while Earth has been planning their next attack. Earth sends a deadly plague into Genesis’s atmosphere, and with no other options Noemi is charged with delivering her planets surrender. However on the other side of the gate Mansfield is waiting, and before Noemi has a chance to surrender or save her planet she’s been taken.
Defy the Worlds was one of my most anticipated releases of this year, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. After everything she saw and experienced on the other side of the gate it’s hard for Noemi to adjust to being grounded on Genesis, not trusted with anything but the most basic of patrols, but it isn’t long before she’s sent off into the stars again with just as much at stake driving her as before.
Mansfield wants to make a trade, Noemi’s life for Abel’s, and while Abel gives in to his creators demands he has no plans to sacrifice himself. Instead with the help of his crew and Virginia he plans to save Noemi and her planet. Following the directions Mansfield has left for Abel takes him beyond the known edges of the galaxy, to a place which could end the war between Genesis and Earth if Noemi and Abel can survive long enough to get the secret out.
From the very beginning I was hooked on the story, and couldn’t wait to see where Claudia Gray took Noemi and Abel this time around. I was terrified for the characters at times, and there were a few turns the story took that although I saw coming still left me stunned when they were revealed. Like with Defy the Stars Defy the Worlds is told from both Noemi and Abel’s perspectives, especially handy in this book given how separate their stories were at the beginning.
Noemi has changed a lot since what happened to her in Defy the Stars, she no longer seems to fit in with the people and the way things are done on Genesis but saving her planet is still what she’s fighting for. Even with her own life at risk Noemi’s priority is Genesis, and rather than save her she wants Abel to save himself and get help for her people. Noemi is a good soldier, loyal to the cause, but she starts questioning what she’s fighting for; more than just her planet or the orders she’s given what Noemi is personally fighting for.
Abel is finally free from Mansfield, but there’s something about his creator which keeps drawing him back again. As much as I loved Noemi’s development in this book, seeing her become more than just a soldier fighting for her planets cause, I loved Abel’s journey more. He’s still not sure what he is, what Mansfield created, but he’s the only one of his kind and while in some ways that makes him feel alone it also leaves him with a lot of unanswered questions.
While Noemi is fighting for her planet Abel is fighting for his family; for his crew, for the friends he’s made, and for Noemi. Genesis is important to Noemi so it’s also important to Abel, but for him Noemi’s life and saving her is priority.
Noemi and Abel aren’t together in the beginning of the book, and it takes a while for their paths to cross again in Defy the Worlds, but I loved reading their individual stories. Seeing Noemi take charge when the need arose, even surrounded by her enemies, the people she has been fighting against her whole life, just shows how capable she is, and I loved seeing Abel reunite with the contacts and friends they both made in the first book to save both Noemi and Genesis. While together Noemi and Abel make a formidable team they’re forces to be reckoned with individually as well.
I loved the side characters in this book. Everyone we met in Defy the Stars played a role in Defy the Worlds, some good and some bad, and it was great seeing Abel and Noemi reunited with their friends. My favourite by far was Virginia who takes no crap, is incredibly intelligent, and sees Abel as more than simply a machine and refuses to let him sacrifice his life when she knows she can help him save Noemi.
After everything we saw in Defy the Stars, all the different planets and the dying state that Earth had been left in, I wondered where Claudia Gray could take the next book that we hadn’t seen before. I hoped the answer wouldn’t be simply Genesis, and it wasn’t. Noemi and Abel travel off the map in Defy the Worlds, I won’t say too much because of spoilers but what they discover has really opened up the series in terms of the plot and the world building, and left me wondering what there could be to explore in the third book of the series.
Defy the Worlds was a brilliant addition to the Constellation series, no risk of Second Book Syndrome here that’s for sure. It was fast paced with plenty of twists, had amazing characters and character development throughout, and after the cliffhanger ending which was pretty much pure torture to read I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.
What did you think of Defy the Worlds? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.
All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.