*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Defy the Worlds
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads:
An outcast from her home — Shunned after a trip through the galaxy with Abel, the most advanced cybernetic man ever created, Noemi Vidal dreams of traveling through the stars one more time. And when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. As the only soldier to have ever left the planet, it will be up to her to save its people…if only she wasn’t flying straight into a trap. A fugitive from his fate — On the run to avoid his depraved creator’s clutches, Abel believes he’s said good-bye to Noemi for the last time. After all, the entire universe stands between them…or so he thinks. When word reaches him of Noemi’s capture by the very person he’s trying to escape, Abel knows he must go to her, no matter the cost. But capturing Noemi was only part of Burton Mansfield’s master plan. In a race against time, Abel and Noemi will come together once more to discover a secret that could save the known worlds, or destroy them all.
Defy the Worlds continues the story of Noemi and Abel in the second instalment of the Constellation series. Noemi is an outcast at her home planet and Abel is on the run. A scheme thought up be Abel’s creator, Burton Mansfield, quickly puts both characters back into danger, pawns to other peoples’ plans with very few option to escape or succeed. Gray’s writing is as intense and fast-paced as ever as these two race against the clock to save the lives of so many innocent people, and hopefully, themselves.
Although this is still an excellent book, I think it’s my least favourite of Gray’s so far. I still really like Noemi as a character with her defiant attitude and her set mindset that is not to be defeated. Her relationship with Abel pushes boundaries and comes up against barriers at all turns, yet she moves forward with him unflinchingly. Even in the worst of circumstances, she’s always thinking on her feet and searching for solutions to better things for the greater good. In this series, Gray has created an expansive and ever growing world with new surprises to behold as the story unfolds. I believe I’ve said this once, but I’ll say it again, Gray is a master world-builder. Her imagination is boundless and even if the plot isn’t your thing, the world is sure to mesmerize you.
POTENTIAL SPOILIES. READERS BE WARNED:
I only gave this book three stars on Goodreads because I feel like it tried to do too much, reaching a little too far and not in a great way. As new characters are introduced and new plot lines explored, the story becomes quite erratic. I will try to not reveal to much, but there is a young character that we meet for the first time who is representative of an enormous technological change in this world, however who causes undue chaos in the plot–an unnecessary device that is seemingly meant to cause more suspense and action, but in my opinion, only serves to distract from the main story. The chaos is not what I first imagined it would be, but quickly becomes more of an annoyance to get through when reading. When there are so many antagonists and threats in this book, it seemed to be a bit superfluous to add an additional one.
Still, Gray has become one of my top YA authors to read and that remains the case despite the few issues that I have with this recent edition. She crafts beautiful and clever characters and settings, so I will most assuredly be on the lookout for more of her stories in the future.