|Across the Universe by Beth Revis
416 pages, Razorbill, (2011-01-11)$17.99 (Amazon.com)
I received an ARC from the publisher. I’ve since given it away in a giveaway.
Overall: 28/30 = 93% A
Cover/Title Bonus: 4
A sci-fi filled dystopia about murder, love, maturity, and power. Amazing technological concepts and a plot that keeps you guessing until the end.
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
Read the first chapter.
Daddy said, “Let Mom go first.”
Most Memorable Scene
I think the opening of the book is one of the best I’ve read. It engages you right into their world immediately, you’re stuck, and unable to get out, kinda like Amy.
This book entails a lot of elements. There’s mystery, the idea of their society, romance, corruption, and technology unheard of. I felt that the plot and overall theme flowed great and resolved itself to be an excellent stand alone novel but there is room to make a sequel should Beth Revis decide so. I personally would love to read a sequel.
You quickly learn that the setting is on a space ship that’s sailing through space towards a new planet for them to inhabit. The ship is very large and full of amazing technology. The ARC edition had a map of sorts so you could visualize the ship better and while that was a neat-o thing, I felt the drawing could have been much better but it was a handy reference as it can get a bit confusing understanding exactly where they are in the ship. While I personally wouldn’t want to embark on a voyage in space on that particular ship, it was great fun experiencing it through Elder and Amy.
I thought the writing style was superb. I love it when the story is told from different point-of-views. In this case it was from Amy and Elder. I was glad that it wasn’t just from Amy’s POV because there was so much about the society and the ship that we would have never found out if we didn’t have Elder telling us.
I haven’t read many, or if any, other space bound books. I would classify this book as sci-fi, YA, and dystopian. The dystopian factor is what initially drew me into this book and I wasn’t disappointed about having the sci-fi part of the story because that’s what made it more original than other dystopias.
The story is centered around Amy, who’s supposed to remain frozen until the ship, Godspeed, arrives at the new planet. Her early awakening finds her thrown into this space ships society. She befriends Elder, the future leader of the ship, who treats her with care and tries his best to make her comfortable and accepted.
Amy’s character was one that I immediately connected with. Her emotion was tangible and I truly felt for her every step of the way. I felt her character evolve from a scared young woman into a strong-willed woman that stood her ground and ultimately she’s a hero.
Elder was weird for me at first. Especially because I didn’t know he was a boy at first. o.O It wasn’t directly stated and there weren’t many, if any, hints to his gender in the first few pages of his narration. I guess I was thinking Elder was a unisex name. I dunno. Anyhow, his character was very immature at first but gradually he matured and fell into his future role of leader quite perfectly. There were a few scenes that I was shocked that he didn’t stand up for him self or others but I quickly forgave him because he genuinely was a good guy.
Elder’s best friend, who’s name is eluding me, was a super cool dude. I enjoyed his character very much.
Then there’s Eldest, the current leader of the ship. I was not a fan of that man. You’d have to read to understand. There’s also a doctor on the ship, again, I can’t remember his name! Gah! Secondary characters I can usually remember their names and I don’t have the book any more so I can’t easily look them up. So sorry!
You can tell from the summary that Amy and Elder do have a connection. Their relationship is handled with care because of the situation they are in. Amy prematurely awoken without her parents, Elder learning his role as a future leader, Eldest losing control of his mind to make the ship continue on it’s path and of course the Doctor and all that he does. While there’s nothing hot and heavy, the romance is sweet and subtle. I’m hoping to see this progress in a sequel.
The cover to this is just gorgeous. Love it! And the title? While it’s a catchy song title, a song I happen to love, as well as a movie title, a movie I also loved, I think it fit fine. I think it would have been awesome to have called it Godspeed because that’s the ship’s name but then some people might not have picked it up.
The ending was well wrapped up. It almost ended so well to be a stand alone novel. But it ends with me wondering what the heck is going to happen to that ship full of people?! I’m pretty sure there will be a sequel but I’m satisfied with how this one ended as it is.