Sunday, February 5, 2012

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Publisher:  January 11th 2011
Publication Date: Penguin Group
ISBN: 1101486082
Genre: Young Adult,  science fiction/fantasy, romance, dystopian
Author Website: 

Summary:  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.

Review:  Amy is cryogenically frozen with her parents and packed on a spaceship called Godspeed that is leaving Earth for a new planet.  She is expecting to be frozen for 300 years to awaken to her new home, however, she finds that she is awoken early - about 50 years too soon.  Nothing is as she expected it to be - everything is so strange.  

Amy is pushed into a different type of society than she had lived in on Earth.  Upon awakening she meets Eldest - the ruler of the ship, and Elder - the future leader.  Because she is "different" she lives in the hospital with everyone else who are different or does not conform to the mono-ethnic society.  She spends her time trying to figure out how to live in this new world.  During this time, the other cryogenically frozen people are being killed off, so she has to play detective - along with Elder - to find out why this is happening.

The cover of this novel is GORGEOUS!!!  It is everything that the characters of the novel seek out.  From the opening scene where Amy and her family are going through the freezing process, until the very end where she is looking out at the stars, I was captured. I was going to see this story through to the end.  

The storyline is very well thought out, keeping you guessing the whole way through - it is anything but predictable.  Just when you think the characters have something figured out, it turns out wrong, and has to be investigated all over again.  The characters, as well, are very well developed, and fully thought out and believable.  The chapters alternate from Elder's point of view to Amy's point of view, adding to the dimentionality of the characters.  Amy, of course, is the best fleshed-out character, but you learn quite a bit about Elder and his life and experiences growing up in this different society.  

So much happens through out this novel, from learning to live in a futuristic society, dealing with a dictatorship, investigating a murder mystery, experimenting with love, to coming to a realization of what life was going to be like.  I found myself putting myself in Amy's shoes and wondering what I would do if I were faced with everything she was dealing with.  I know the ship was huge, but I don't know if I could stand to live there for my whole life - I think I would find myself claustrophobic.  

The ending of the novel was ingenious and truly unexpected.  And --- it leaves us prepared for the rest of the story ---- A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2).

Just to get a feel for Across the Universe, check out this trailer:

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