Title: Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1)
Author: Beth Revis
Genre: Science Fiction, romance, dystopian, young adult
Publication Date: January 2011
Rating: 2.5 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
has left the life she loves
for a world 300 years away.
Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet. But fifty years before she’s due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder. Now Amy’s lost on board and nothing makes sense – she’s never felt so alone.
Yet someone is waiting for her.
He wants to protect her –
and more if she’ll let him
But who can she trust amidst the secrets and lies?
A killer is out there – and Amy has nowhere to hide…
I’ve not thought much about cryogenic freezing before. And I never imagined it quite like Beth Revis described it. But from the first scene – she had my attention and I was with Amy as she left everything she knew to travel three hundred years away to a new life on a new world. But not everything goes according to plan. Somehow Amy gets awakened fifty years before the ship is set to land on the new planet. Attempted murder by non-proper defrosting techniques aside, Amy is made to feel an outsider by inhabitants of the spaceship and ends up in the psychiatric ward. Amy has no one but her new friends Harley – a tortured artist – and Elder – the next leader of the ship – to help her stop the murders of her frozen kindred and work out just why the people of the ship are acting so oddly…
The novel switches point of views from Amy – an Earth girl labelled as “unessential cargo” travelling to a new world with her parents – and Elder – a sixteen year old boy on the verge of manhood who has known his entire life that he is going to be the next leader of Godspeed and all its people. It’s a time of change for both of them with Amy having to assimilate to a brand new world on board the spaceship and Elder starting to question the decisions of his life-long mentor, Eldest. They do a good job of showing what life aboard the ship is like for a stranger and someone innately familiar with the set up. There’s some interesting/barbaric things about ship life and I found myself liking how things progressed.
Most sci-fi I’ve read is set in the future and what I loved most about this book is how the main character – Amy – is a child of the present. By having her being taken to another place in time and space we get a great mix of the contemporary times in which she came from and the futuristic spaceship she’s now forced to survive in. The ship – Godspeed – is the perfect mini civilisation with many mysteries and diabolical schemes taking place. There’s a great mix of characters and I loved the creative licence that Ms. Revis used to create the environment Across the Universe is set in. There’s nice little differences like the language and technology whilst keeping things similar to the present day.
There’s a bit of a murder mystery and a great set up for the next books in the series. I enjoyed the characters and the plot but I didn’t really connect with either Amy or Elder and found my attention drifting. I had a few problems with the romance angle of the book – it’s a little forced and whilst I know it’s only the first book it felt a little irrelevant and convenient.
Overall I liked the journey that this book took me on and I’ll most likely be reading the second book – although I think I’ll be borrowing it from the library just in case.
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