My life with the Walte rboys

Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars #1) by Claudia Gray

Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars #1) by Claudia GrayDefy the Stars (Defy the Stars, #1) by Claudia Gray
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on April 4, 2017
Pages: 503
Goodreads
two-stars

She's a soldier -- Noemi Vidal is willing to risk anything to protect her planet, Genesis, including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she's a rebel.

He's a machine -- Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel's advanced programming has begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he's an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they're not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they're forced to question everything they'd been taught was true.

I’m really sad that I didn’t enjoy Defy the Stars. The concept sounded really cool and when I realized it was kindred to a favorite show of mine, Battlestar Galactica, I was even more psyched.

I had a hard time getting into this book. Defy the Stars threw a lot of heavy information at me all at once. I had a hard time understanding the setting, the character’s casual use of unique words and phrases, how the controls on an intergalactic ship work. I was discouraged right from the beginning.

My favorite character was the ‘mech’ Abel, a human-looking robot built with machinery and organic material (just like the Cylons!). Even though there are 26 different mech models Abel is one-of-a-kind. He is the only model A mech. He stands above the other mechs, because he has the combined abilities of all models, like strength and medical experience. Abel was also equipped with the capability to feel emotions, to come to his own conclusions, and make his own decisions. This programming is unheard of in any other mech models. Abel’s journey to understanding human emotions, as well as his own, was fascinating. I loved his inner dialogue, how he learned to analyze the motives and emotional responses from the humans around him, as well as his own.

I hated Noemi. She was my least favorite character. She was bland and boring and I dreaded when the POV switched to her. Noemi says people call her miserable, a “rain cloud”, so I expected her to be sardonic, argumentative, or even snappy, but she wasn’t any of those things. She was lifeless, and I didn’t care about her at all. I just wanted more Abel.

The plot was interesting but Noemi kept ruining it for me. I wanted to see how her and Abel’s relationship would continue to grow, to see how Abel would react and start to understand why he was feeling certain ways about her like caring and even lust. I thought that once Abel acknowledged those thoughts, that this book would be amazing, but I despised Noemi so much that I couldn’t even enjoy that aspect of the story.

I read the first 50% of Defy the Stars, skipped 40%, and then read the last 10% because I wanted to know how book one would end. Minus Noemi, I really liked the last 10%. I can’t bring myself to read that missing 40% which means I’ll be passing on book two.

two-stars
My life with the Walte rboys

Fateful by Claudia Gray

Fateful by Claudia GrayFateful by Claudia Gray
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on March 29th 2012
Pages: 328
Goodreads
four-stars

A tragic tale about falling in love on the world's most infamous ill-fated sea voyage as heroine, Tess, discovers darker secrets that lie beneath the doomed crossing. and a hidden brotherhood that threaten to tear her lover from her forever.

Fateful had two things working to it’s advantage before I even started it. One: I am a huge Claudia Gray fan. Another book series of her’s, perhaps what she is most-widely known for is the Evernight series. When those books came out a few years back, I couldn’t get enough of them. Gray has way of giving tired story elements new breaths of life (Fateful is no exception). Two: Some of my all time favorite authors; Kelley Armstrong and Cassandra Clare have endorsed the awesome that Fateful was said to be. These are two ladies whose judgement I totally stand behind. Besides these two “advantages” I just generally wanted to read Fateful because it sounded interesting. When I first read the synopsis for this book I thought: UM. That’s different… which was quickly followed by: GENIUS. Who’s ever heard of werewolves on the Titanic??!!! Needless to say, I was super eager to jump into this book!

Our main character, Tess Davies, is a maid for the wealthy Lisle family. Seeing a trip to the U.S. as being advantageous, Tess happily boards the Titanic with the Lisles in hopes of resigning once they make dock. Having saved every penny she could manage, Tess just needs to endure a few more days of cruel servitude in order to start a new life. Besides the fact that this is the “Titanic” we’re talking about, Tess has a lot of other obstacles to overcome on this voyage, both good and bad. Alec Marlowe falls into both the good and bad category. Besides being swoon-y and an all-around perfect gentlemen, he’s got a lot of dangerously bad baggage that causes a lot of problems for those around him. There’s a lot of ups and downs in the Tess & Alec relationship-building process. On one hand Tess is third class compared to Alec’s first class which really puts a rift between the two. Alec also has a lot of secrets and repeatedly tries to convince Tess to stay away from him for her own good.

This book was emotionally powerful. Though, how could it not be when dealing with one of this past century’s most horrific tragedies. The sinking of the Titantic, whether taught in school, featured on the history channel, or widely known by the super-long movie featuring the yum-tastic Leonard DiCaprio, is common knowledge in this day and age. Over two thousand passengers boarded the Titanic in April of 1912 with over half dying after the ship hit an iceberg and sank. Reading Fateful was like reading Romeo and Juliet, you already know the ending is tragic which makes you want to delay the reading journey. Although I was completely engrossed in Fateful it took me a couple days longer to finish it. I dreaded the inevitable ending and the pain and sorrow that I knew would come.

I really liked and respected Tess while reading. Society forces the idea of some being better than others on people like Tess, but regardless, she knows that she deserves just as much as anyone else. Although she plays the part of dutiful maid she still has goals and is committed to living a more comfortable and fulfilling life. I also liked that she didn’t immediately fall in love with Alec. Insta-love is a total turnoff. Even though the two only knew each other for a short period of time it felt like their relationship progressed at a decent pace. A lot of trust-building and near-death experiences helped bring them closer together. They also were able to relate to each other on deeper level, one in which they haven’t been able to reach with anyone else. Alec was basically the perfect male lead, courageous, chivalrous and full of kindness; I fell for him almost instantly.

I loved the ”Titanic” setting for this story. Aboard a ship and surrounded my hundreds of miles of ocean water, the danger ended up being always real and constant. You couldn’t run and most definitely would have a hard time hiding from the bad guys in this story. Fans of supernatural romances and James Cameron’s Titanic will love this book! Expect a lot of strong emotions especially sorrow along with sweet romance and mystery. There’s also a lot of great, new werewolf lore courtesy of Gray’s amazing imagination.

four-stars