Book Review: Defy the Fates by Claudia Gray

Defy the Fates by Claudia Gray

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction           

Publishing Info: April 2019 by Hot Key Books

Pages: 394

Star Rating: 3/5

Back Cover Summary:

Hunted and desperate.

Abel only has one mission left that matters: save the life of Noemi Vidal. To do that, he not only has to escape the Genesis authorities, he also must face the one person in the galaxy who still has the means to destroy him. Burton Mansfield’s consciousness lives on, desperate for a home, and Abel’s own body is his last bargaining chip.

Alone in the universe.

Brought back from the brink of death, Noemi Vidal finds Abel has not only saved her life, but he’s made her into something else, something more. Not quite mech, yet not quite human any longer, Noemi must find her place in a universe where she is utterly unique, all while trying to create a world where anyone–even a mech–can be free.

The final battle between Earth and the colony planets is here, and there’s no lengths to which Earth won’t go to preserve its domination over all humanity. But together, the universe’s most advanced mech and its first human-mech hybrid might have the power to change the galaxy for good.

Defy the Fates is the final book in the Constellation trilogy and while it’s a good conclusion, it could have been better. The last book in a series is always a tough one, since the author has to wrap everything up. And while Defy the Fates wraps up all the storylines introduced in the first two books, it didn’t have the same spark.  

In the first two books, the action sequences had me on the edge of my seat, but in Defy the Fates the action scenes just weren’t as thrilling. There was too much packed into the book and a lot of it felt rushed. The writing overall also wasn’t as good, which is some of the reason the action scenes weren’t as exciting. The suspense wasn’t built as well through the writing. It felt like the book needed a bit more editing. I have a feeling that perhaps this last book was rushed out by the publisher. If the author had been given more time it could have been better. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but that’s what it felt like when I was reading the book, given how much better the first book was.

The book focuses on the conflict between Earth and Genesis, Noemi’s inner conflict as a human-mech hybrid and finally concluding Abel’s storyline with Burton Mansfield. But these primary conflicts are external or internal, with not much personal conflict between characters, which would have created more tension. There wasn’t enough time spent exploring the relations between characters besides Noemi and Abel.

This book just wasn’t as strong as the first two, and the first book is definitely the best in the series. While I did enjoy it, I wasn’t as engaged as I was with the first two books. I was reading it because I was invested in Noemi and Abel and I wanted to see how the story would finish, but this third book itself didn’t keep me as hooked as the first two. It felt a bit repetitive. So I was a little disappointed in the concluding book of the series.

But, despite all that, I would still thoroughly recommend this trilogy. The first book, Defy the Stars, is one of my favourite books and I loved following Noemi and Abel through the series. I found it so interesting how the series explores what it means to be human, different attitudes towards mechs and how artificial intelligence fits into their world.  

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