Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

January 6th, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Picked up at NCIBA

Publication date: January 11, 2011

Publisher: Razorbill

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars

Description from 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.

If you aren’t into romantic books don’t let the opening of the book synopsis turn you off.  This was so much more than Amy waking up on a spaceship and falling in love.  Even though 99.99% of the book takes place on a spaceship the world Revis builds is amazing.  She provides such details without it being overwhelming that you feel like you are there seeing this world along with Amy for the first time.  Some parts will make you squirm and some will make you shake your head but they all add up to make a world that is amazingly riveting.

Amy has to quickly adjust to waking into a society where everyone is monoethnic and being pale skinned and red headed makes her stand out as  “freak” as the leader of the spaceship labels her.  I could relate to Amy as she has to deal with all the changes that have taken place in the 250 years she was frozen.  Like now there is The Season in which people pretty much go crazy driven by the urge to mate like animals rather than people marrying and starting families when they consciously choose.  She also has to deal with the fact that because she was woken early by time her parents are unfrozen she will be older than they are.  Elder was a little harder for me to like as he often came off as a petulant brat even when he was making a good point or fighting for those he cared about.  I suppose this isn’t totally unexpected since he is just sixteen but it’s still a little hard to swallow when he is supposedly about to take his place as leader of the people on board the ship.

The chapters alternate being told from Amy’s point of view and that of Elder.  Together the two are trying to figure out who is unlocking the cryo-chambers of the frozen passengers before they manage to kill more people.  They also have to unlock the secrets that Eldest is keeping from everyone.   Some of the choices the characters make at first appear so clear cut/black and white but when they explain their reasoning it almost sounds reasonable that you have to question what would you do if you were put in their position?  Would the right choice really be so obvious then?

I felt this was more of a science fiction/murder mystery rather than a romantic story and I even think it would have been better without the romance. That almost seemed superfluous.  There are twists and turns to the story that will keep you turning the pages as quickly as possible to get to the end and find out what happens.  This is an amazing debut from Beth Revis!

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Science Fiction, Young Adult

7 Responses

  1. Aleetha

    Can’t wait till I have my own copy.

  2. Michelle

    I’m excited to get to this one! I’ve seen you raving about it all day. :)

  3. kay @ Infiniteshelf

    This one sounds great, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it! It’s also nice when the story revolves around other things than romance.

  4. L. Diane Wolfe

    This book is popping up everywhere. Aren’t they making it into a movie, too?

  5. Laurie

    This one sounds really exciting. It was already on my “wanna read” list now it’s moved up to my “gotta reads”. Thanks for the review!!

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