Title: Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Release Date: January 1st 2011
Published by: Razorbill
Source: Publisher (thanks Penguin!) and won a copy!
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
I will be completely honest with you all and say that it was a struggle to read through the first few pages of this book. It took me months to even reach 100 pages. What amazed me is that when I finally picked it up again a few hours ago something just grabbed my interest, yanked it hard and never let go. It's amazing just how much my reaction turned around completely.
Across the Universe is told between the alternating points of view of Amy and Elder. I just love knowing what goes through the minds of lead characters, and this style of writing definitely helped make the story a lot more interesting. Amy wasn't supposed wake up. She had been frozen cryogenically for years, to awaken when the ship she was in, Godspeed, has reached its new home. But when she was unplugged, she lost her family and everything she had known. She couldn't go back. Surviving amidst a ship where being normal means being controlled and looking the same as anyone else, Amy struggles to get used to a life that was entirely different from what she had on earth. No sun, no oceans. Everything was man made. And then the "frozens" were being killed one by one and Amy knew she had to find the killer before he unplugs her parents.
Amy's an interesting character. She's a girl who sticks out like a sore thumb because she's different. Not just because she's a red head amidst a society where everyone has dark skin, same color of hair and eyes, and a different accent, but because she knew that whatever it is the Earth and its inhabitants had, everyone in Godspeed lacked. Free will, emotions, everything felt wrong. Amy opened Elder's eyes to the truths that was kept from him by Eldest. She might be an emotional girl who terribly misses her family, but what she had seen and experienced in Godspeed made her stronger.
Elder knew he would rule one day, a new generation of children who will see land. Then came Amy, and as Elder spends more time with her, Elder starts to question things he had learned, even to question Eldest himself and what he has done for Godspeed. I'm still torn whether Elder will be much better than Eldest was. For one, he's still concerned that they were "the same" (you'll get what I mean). Sometimes, his train of thought becomes so much like Eldest. The only difference is that he knows what was right and wrong, but his decision towards Phydus just irked me. So what changed? The leader? Or was I just reading it wrong? I think Elder still needs to prove himself in a lot more ways to make Amy and readers like me trust him.
Aside from Elder and Amy, there are other interesting characters worth looking at. Harley just made my heart ache so much. His story is sad and it shows a lot about one's strength of character, and how much one can endure. Living in a place where everyone labels him as a freak, Harley longs to see land, to be among the stars, and life on Godspeed just wasn't enough for him. He was a great friend to both Amy and Elder. No matter how crazy people thinks he is, when he gave up, I cried.
Across the Universe touches base with a lot of serious themes. No matter how evil I think Eldest was, when you see how he has acted and the reasons why he did it, sometimes I can't help but think that it was the right thing to do. But what was necessary doesn't always equate to being right. But does things being right or wrong matter if the survival of people is at stake? Maybe it's just a way to justify what horrors Eldest did, but it was still not right. It was a lot to take in, a new world, the delicacies and intricacies of politics, power, leadership and what was right or wrong, Across the Universe is surprisingly deep and engrossing.
Beth Revis takes readers into an unforgettable ride through a society changed by time, necessity and fear. Beth puts a new spin in life in outer space, and life in Godspeed became a totally new experience. With great world building, dynamic characters and solid plot, Across the Universe is a breathtakingly beautiful debut!
Content (plot, story flow, character):
Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.