Hello everyone, and thank you for visiting us on our tour stop of the DEFY THE STARS Rock Star Book Tour. We have been fans of Claudia Gray for a long time and are so very excited to be a part of this tour and to help spread the word about this exciting novel. Make sure to check out the other stops on this tour and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post. GOOD LUCK!!
About the Book
Title: DEFY THE STARS
Author: Claudia Gray
Pub. Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook
After a surprise attack, Noemi finds herself stranded in space on an abandoned ship where she meets Abel, the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made. One who should be her enemy. But Abel's programming forces him to obey Noemi as his commander, which means he has to help her save Genesis--even though her plan to win the war will kill him.
Together they embark on a daring voyage through the galaxy. Before long, Noemi begins to realize Abel may be more than a machine, and, for his part, Abel's devotion to Noemi is no longer just a matter of programming.
Claudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)
I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Goodreads or (of course) my own home page.
If you want to contact me, you can email me, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.
For DEFY THE STARS, my soundtrack contained more instrumental music than pop songs. That's the first time that's ever happened for one of my book playlists. I think the instrumentals helped me imagine that futuristic galaxy. The scores that form the biggest part of the soundtrack: "Interstellar," naturally enough; the inelegantly named but very enjoyable "Epic Action and Adventure, Vol. 14" by Epic Score, a group or individual who only records potential movie trailer background music; and "Children of Dune," which had an otherworldly-but grounded feel, and also starred James McAvoy, so I got to see his face come up on my phone a lot.
Some pop did make the cut, though.
Here are a few, along with the most relevant lyrics and some thoughts:
"Glass" – Bat for Lashes
And with two suns spinning
At two different speeds
Was born a hot, white diamond
Burning through the rainbow
Flames fell into orbit
To hold eternally
Two heavenly spirits
That just wouldn't seem
To be made of glass
When two suns are shining
The battle becomes blinding
To be made of glass
But we ride tonight, tonight, tonight, we ride
"Yellow Flicker Beat," Lorde
To me this feels very right for Noemi as she throws herself into battle—and into the Masada Run, from which she never intends to return.
I’m a princess cut from marble, smoother than a storm
And the scars that mark my body, they’re silver and gold
My blood is a flood of rubies, precious stones
It keeps my veins hot, the fires find a home in me
I move through town, I’m quiet like a fire
And my necklace is of rope, I tie it and untie it
And our people talk to me, but nothing ever hits
So people talk to me, and all the voices just burn holes
I’m going in (ooh)
This is the start of how it all ever ends
They used to shout my name, now they whisper it
I’m speeding up and this is the
Red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart
"Neutron Star Collision," Muse
The lyrics are all metaphors—except in DEFY THE STARS, where much of it is very real!
I was searching
You were on a mission
Then our hearts combined like
A neutron star collision
The world is broken
Halos fail to glisten
You try to make a difference
But no one wants to listen
The preachers, fake and proud
Their doctrines will be cloud
Then they'll dissipate
Like snowflakes in an ocean
"Radioactive," Imagine Dragons
I know really this is a song about withdrawal. But the first time I heard it, I had the very first flickers of this story in my mind, and it was impossible for me not to take some of the lyrics very literally.
I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
"Veins," Charlotte Martin
And revolving doors inside of my brain
Preachers and whores
And the neon pulpits burst into flames
I come from both
Sides of me and either side of their tracks
Humbling my ghosts
Let the life that floods my veins bring me back
The unshackling of the chains on my wrists
And the loyalty to pain that resists
And the greatest books are talking about this
Why must everybody die to exist?
"Don't Let Me Go," RAIGN
I feel like this song gains even more power if you think about it being sung/thought/felt by someone who doesn't have a living body…
Don't let me go
Hold me in your beating heart
I won't let go
Forever is not enough
Let me lay my head down on the shadow by your side
Don't let me go
Hold me in your beating heart
So let me freeze time
Before it turns cold
The moments go by
And life goes on
The torturous stars
Are taking every breath I wish I held
The love in my heart
Is never ending
"Mechanical Heart," Beth Hart
This song is SO on the nose you could be forgiven for thinking I wrote the book after hearing it. But in fact I'd just discovered some of the other music of Beth Hart during my writing process, so when I stumbled upon this song, it felt like…kismet, I guess?
I was born with a mechanical heart
Miles of wires and video parts
If only I had a human touch
I’d give you the love you deserve so much
And if heaven’s way up in the clouds, way up in the clouds
For you I’m gonna bring it all down, I’m gonna bring it all down
I will be your aeroplane
Give you the world and watch you dance in Spain
Fly you way above the stars
And show you what you are
In my mechanical heart
Finally, and most importantly—you know in your heart that Abel's song for Noemi has to be "As Time Goes By," as sung by the great Dooley Wilson in "Casablanca."
1 winner will receive a signed finished copy of DEFY THE STARS, US Only.
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