Defy the Stars is the first novel in Claudia Gray’s sci-fi Constellation series.

The novel follows two protagonists, Noemi Vidal and Abel Mansfield, switching perspectives with each chapter.

Noemi is a soldier from an earth-like planet called Genesis, at war against an Earth with nothing left to give, and a volunteer for a suicide mission, in hopes of keeping her best friend alive.

On the other hand, Abel is a futuristic machine, with a mix of artificial and organic material, who appears to progressively becomes more human with each chapter.

Romance is present, but the fact that it isn’t the focus of the story is part of what hooked me. There are no romantic intentions between the two characters until around page 400, which gives more time in the beginning to establish the character’s personalities and setting.

In Defy the Stars, Claudia Gray also takes an unorthodox stance on religions, portraying it in a neutral way, instead of portraying it as a positive or negative.

I found every character in this book to be compelling, instead of just the main characters, with idealists seeking to save humanity in their own ways, rebellious young scientists joining forces with the main duo, and two planetary wanderers seeking livelihoods across the abyss of space.

In conclusion, Defy the Stars is a wonderful book that I recommend to anyone into the sci-fi genre, even those not big on romance books, as it is much more than just a romance.