Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book: Defy the Worlds (Constellation 2) by Claudia Gray
Release Date: April 3rd 2018
Tags: Sci-Fi / Artificial Intelligence / Space Ships / Planets / Plague / Space Travel
Other books in this series I reviewed
Defy the Stars
Other books by this author I reviewed
A Thousand Pieces of You / Ten Thousand Skies Above You / A Million Worlds With You
Possible spoilers for the previous books in the series
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.
I read Defy the Worlds fairly close to the first book, Defy the Stars, and I think that was a good decision. This way it was easier to remember the differing planets. I am a little conflicted on this book. There isn’t anything that I particularly disliked and I can pinpoint exactly what I do like but I am still left with a small feeling of being dissatisfied.
The book starts us off about six months after the ending of Defy the Stars. Abel is trying to continue on with life as a vagabond with his ship now called Persephone while Noemi is struggling to settle back into her life at Genesis as her fellow cadets shun her. Then Genesis is under attack and hit by a modified version of Cobweb. Noemi is send out to Earth to surrender and heads straight into a trap. This is the start of a chase for Abel to get Noemi back to safety.
The start of this book is rather on the slow slide. Abel going after Noemi and Noemi in captivity show a lot of inner monologue and leave room for little action on both accounts. It isn’t until Abel catches up with the group that some speed starts to hit the story, well around the 50% mark, and I found it hard to put the book down. There is more interaction between characters coming into the series at this point that matter. There is also quite a bit more action that comes into the plot, a plot that has then moved beyond just Noemi and Abel.
I wasn’t sure where the title Defy the Worlds was coming in at first but it started showing in the second half of the book where a rebellion is mounting towards Earth by more than just Remedy and Genesis. I did think getting everyone aboard with the plan was a little too easy and some things perhaps weren’t thought that well through. But they were little bits.
Romance wise I was quite pleased with this book. It builds on from the first book where Abel basically confessed his love for Noemi who at that point did not feel the same way. But as time has passed and they miss each other, and then find each other once more there are clearly more feelings there coming from Noemi too. This isn’t jumped into the I love you too but more of the I am open to this. And yes there are some smooches. I feel that it was very in line with how things were developed in the first book and it didn’t take away from the overall story line. Their reunion doesn’t entirely go without a hitch either as there are a few things they disagree with one another with, even morality wise. But they talk these things out and it doesn’t get away of what they have to do. No big drama. Such a breath of fresh air in that regard.
I think what bothers me about this book is that I had the expectation that this was going to be a duology. But as we hit the last 30% of the book it was clear that there was still too much to wrap up for this to be the end. There is going to be at least one more book. That cliffhanger confirmed it. And speaking of that cliffhanger, I think I am also hesitant about the direction this cliffhanger is taking us. It didn’t entirely feel as Abel and I’m not sure how to feel about that.
Special mention to Virginia who is a beam of light that shines throughout these books.