Saturday, March 5, 2011

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Amy is a 17-year-old girl cryogenically frozen aboard the ship Godspeed. She and her parents are making a 300 year trek across the universe to Centauri-Earth, where a team of scientists and military specialists (also frozen) hope to create a new world.

Elder is a 16-year-old boy, the youngest person aboard Godspeed. Someday, sooner than he'd like, he will take over Eldest's position as leader of the ship and it's monoethnic residents. Every person has the same dark hair, same olive skin, and the same almond shaped eyes: the result of being aboard Godspeed for centuries with a limited gene pool.

Elder hasn't been properly trained for his role as leader. Eldest is too distracted and busy to teach Elder what he needs to know, so Elder is left to his own devices. He stumbles upon a sub-level of the ship; a place he didn't know existed. There he finds a girl with hair so vibrant red and skin so white - he didn't know those colors were possible in a person! - he is irresistibly drawn to her.

Then something terrible happens. Someone unplugs the girl and she almost dies in her cryogenic chamber. And she's only the first. A string of murders and attempted murders slices through the frozens of Godspeed.

When Amy is violently awoken from her cryogenic state, she discovers they are still 49 years and 266 days away from Centauri-Earth. By the time they reach the planet, she will be older than her parents...if she's still alive. Gliding through space in a crowded ship, Amy has never felt more alone.

But, there is Elder.

Amy and Elder must hurry to discover the web of lies and secrets aboard the ship if they have any hope of saving the frozens, including Amy's parents, the future of mankind.

First of all, let me just say...there had better be a sequel! I seriously loved this book. It's very sci-fi, but enjoyably so. We get to see things from Amy's point of view, so she describes them using objects we can imagine (like a Post It note).

I found that the characters were so real and yet so flawed that they were believable. The mystery is intriguing and kept me turning the pages almost faster than I could read them.

I was surprised by how much this book got me thinking about human nature and the motivation for doing what's best - or at least perceived to be best.

Content caution: The residents of Godspeed have a mating season, called Season, so for a section of the book there is frequent mention of sex, and some description. There is also one moderately graphic attempted rape scene.

I found that even though Elder is the future leader of the ship, and takes that responsibility seriously, he's also a hormonal teenage boy.

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Deborah Lawrenson said...

I knew as soon as I saw the title picture that I was going to like this blog. I saw your link on BookBlogs follows and came right over. Signed up!

The Gifted sounds like a wonderful read, and I wish lots of luck with it. I'm another Deborah - another writer, and with another book about matters that can't always be explained...

Deborah A. said...

It's always a pleasure to meet a fellow Deborah, especially one that is an author!

Thanks for stopping by.

soulunsung said...

I have been dying to get my hands on a copy of this book and perhaps I won't have to wait too long, as my library does this awesome thing where when they don't have the exact book you're wanting to check out if you request it to be ordered they will do it or try to anyway. So, it's already been ordered and it'll only be a matter of a couple weeks and I'll have it in my own hands to read. I'm stoked that you found it to be so good. It only serves to heighten my anticipation. Such a fantastic review. :)