Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-In this sequel to Defy the Stars, Noemi Vidal is finally back in her starfighter after being disciplined for disappearing six months ago amid a space battle. During that battle, Noemi discovered a derelict starship with a uniquely human mech, Abel. She and Abel fled the fight to develop an audacious and dangerous plan to save her planet Genesis from Earth's persistent invasions. But it didn't work out. Now, on duty at the interstellar gate, hundreds of strange star-shaped probes burst out, overwhelming Noemi's small squadron. Days later, people all around her are sick, and Noemi realizes that the probes have infected the planet with a virulent disease. Sent to Earth with a message of surrender, Noemi is captured by the brilliant mech inventor, Burton Mansfield, the man who built Abel and who now wants to move his consciousness into Abel's body-killing Abel's mind in the process. Abel is aware of Burton's intent, but can he rescue Noemi and help her save the pandemic-ridden Genesis before Earth and Burton's plans kill them all? The taut writing, engaging characters, unique universe, abundant plot twists, and a cliff-hanger finale in this sequel will keep readers on the edge of their seats and wanting more. The story has added depth through its pondering of intriguing questions of humanity, identity, and freedom. VERDICT This is a must-read for fans of the first title, but it can also be a standalone for space opera buffs, as the backstory is cleverly woven into the narrative.-Gretchen Crowley, formerly at Alexandria City Public Libraries, VA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Though Noemi and Abel have strong feelings for each other, they have gone their separate ways for protection. Yet their efforts are foiled when Abel's wealthy, power-hungry family abducts Noemi, using her as bait to make Abel sacrifice himself for his father/creator. Abel, a first-generation mechanized being with a soul, tracks them and finds himself in the middle of a three-way battle with a family that sees him as inhuman; with rebels bent on destroying the present regime, which includes Abel's family; and with his own desire to save his love. Gray's sequel to Defy the Stars (2017) revisits a familiar cast of characters and disturbing questions about the line dividing human and machine, though what was fresh and intriguing in the first book veers toward a certain predictability here. Nevertheless, readers will care about the potential lovers and the tricky situations that ensnare them. Romantic and adventurous, this novel contains a plethora of STEM-related content and is a worthy discussion starter for conversations about the ethics of technology.--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2018 Booklist