Well what have we here- a robot human love story set in space? Don't mind if I do!
Noemi is the human- she's a solider for Genesis, an Earth colony planet. Genesis has been at war with Earth for years. Basically Earth has continued to die under the strain of its human population and Genesis doesn't want the people of Earth to use it as a back up planet they can destroy too. Abel is the robot- a super intelligent and humanlike robot designed to be the most intelligent, strong, and advanced robot out of all the models designed by Burton Mansfield, a fancy old man Earth engineer guy. Genesis is way behind Earth in its technology. On Earth there are robots for everything from soldiers and nurses to sex workers and cleaners. The people of Genesis are very wary of robots and Noemi is no exception.
Noemi and Abel's paths cross during a battle and they end up on a mission through space to save the fate of Noemi's planet despite their differences and mistrust of each other. They make their way around the other Earth colony planets and along the way learn they maybe don't want to kill each other and maybe actually like each other. Noemi realises that Abel is maybe more human than robot and begins to question what really makes her more human than Abel, if anything.
A compelling story, with a satisfying plot, working in a circle around the planets. Claudia Gray builds a really visceral sense of both space and Space, two really convincing internally conflicted characters, and an impressive supporting cast of vagabonds and vagrants.
I received a copy of Defy the Stars from Hot Key Books in return for an honest review, which this is!