Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier in an interstellar war, fighting to defend her home planet against Earth's robotic mech armies. When the disastrous aftermath of a space battle strands her on an abandoned enemy ship, she encounters a deadly mech determined to kill her--until a twist in his programming compels him to do her bidding, and to reveal a secret which could save her world.
Abel, Model 1A of the Mansfield Cybernetics Line, is his creator's masterpiece: the most complex mech prototype ever made, he not only appears perfectly human, but possesses an artificial intelligence so sophisticated that he can feel human emotions. When Noemi boards the ship he has been trapped on for decades, his programming demands that he obey her as his new commander--even if she's fighting on the other side of the war, and even though her plan to win that war will kill him.
As they embark upon an exciting and dangerous journey through the galaxy, Noemi begins to recognize the soul within the machine, and Abel's devotion to Noemi soon becomes more than a matter of programming. It's a journey that will teach both of them what it truly means to be human.
*"Nuanced philosophical discussions of religion, terrorism, and morality advise and direct the high-stakes action, informing the beautiful, realistic ending. Intelligent and thoughtful, a highly relevant far-off speculative adventure."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
*"Poignant and profound...a tale that examines the ethics of war and tackles questions of consciousness, love, and free will. Gray's characters are nuanced, her worldbuilding is intelligent, and the book's conclusion thrills and satisfies while defying expectations."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Claudia Gray is the New York Times bestselling author of many science fiction and paranormal fantasy books for young adults, including Defy the Stars, Defy the Worlds, the Firebird series, the Evernight series, the Spellcaster series, and Fateful. She's also had a chance to work in a galaxy far, far away as the author of the Star Wars novels Lost Stars and Bloodline. Born a fangirl, she loves obsessing over geeky movies and TV shows, as well as reading and occasionally writing fanfiction; however, she periodically leaves the house to go kayaking, do a little hiking, or travel the world. She will take your Jane Austen trivia challenge any day, anytime. Currently she lives in New Orleans.