Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

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. (From Goodreads)

When I started Across the Universe, I wasn't really sure what I was going to find. I'd been hearing tons of positive buzz, but I still expected it to be heavy on the romance, with only a bit of sci-fi, mystery, and suspense. Saying that I was wrong would be a huge understatement. This book was packed with mystery, sabotage, and crazy twists!

I thought that the characters were well developed, and believable. I really felt for Amy, especially as she began to realize that she was trapped aboard the Godspeed. With her bright hair, and pale skin, she was an outcast. Elder was also an outcast of sorts, the only person on board his age, and was preparing to take over the role of leader. He had a few friends, but he didn't really fit in with majority of the people on the Feeder level (the agricultural hub of the ship). The book alternated between Amy and Elder's point of view. She managed to pull off switching these viewpoints between chapters without making the transitions jarring. I never felt pulled from the story, and I thought that this actually helped me better connect with both characters. Had the entire book been from Amy's perspective, I would have been a lot more suspicious about who exactly Elder was.

As for the pace of the book, I think it says quite a bit about Revis that she was able to fit all that she did into 400 pages, and still maintain a steady flow. Things didn't drag at the start, or feel rushed toward the end. I imagine that this is due to the fact that she has two more books to completely wrap up the story. I also thought she did a good job with the ethical side of things. It was an interesting take on what actions are acceptable in terms of continuing a race of people. I don't want to spoil this for anyone who hasn't read the book, so I'll refrain from saying any more about the subject.

Overall, this is one of my favorites of 2011 so far. The multifaceted plot, and well developed characters left me extremely satisfied as a reader. This is rather rare, but I really had no criticisms when I had finished reading. I happily let myself digest, and began looking forward to the sequel.

Across the Universe
By Beth Revis
Published by Razorbill
398 Pages
Rating: A


Tales of Whimsy said...

Yay! I loved this story too!

Jenny N. said...

They weren't kidding...lots of secrets and lies. I'm already looking forward to bk 2.

Julie said...

This is one of my faves for 2011, too! I love it. That opening scene is fabulous! I kept sucking air like I couldn't breath. I totally felt the emotions of the characters in this book!

Jan von Harz said...

Great review. I actually started this bu did not get too far into it. I am not sure why, but I was quite distracted at the time. I really need to pick it up again.

Vivien said...

The first 15 pages of this book had me hook line and sinker. I loved it as well. Not too many did, but I really thought it was clever.

Fashion Addict said...

I've been dying to read this book for like EVER!! :D LOL. :)
Great Review!

Anonymous said...

great review, the story is good, is in my wish list.

Marg @ Clockwork Reverie said...

I have this book in my TBR pile. I'm always a bit weary of books that switch between characters and use multiple POV. But I'm glad to learn that this was done well in Across the Universe. Thanks for the review.

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