What does it take to survive aboard a spaceship fueled by lies?
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Okay. Can I just start off by saying that this book has a beautiful cover? The starry background is honestly my desktop wallpaper and will be until I die. Because it is awesome.
On to the summary: Amy and her parents were cryogenically frozen and put on board the spaceship Godspeed so that when the ship reached the new Earth, they could be awoken to lead the people (her parents are scientists and military specialists). But when Amy is mysteriously awoken years before the journey is complete she finds that the ship is nothing like its builders envisioned. Not to mention other cryogenically frozen people are being murdered. Now stuck in a strange world, doomed to die before her parents are ever wake up, and forced to untangle the lies that ensnare the passengers, Amy must either put her faith in the ship’s future leader or watch as everything she has falls apart.
The future leader is a kid named Edler and between him and Amy the story is narrated. Though their voices are very similar, their characters are totally different and I found that the duel narration brought a nice fullness to the story because we got multiple points of view.
Amy, Elder and the other characters in the story are well done. Though Amy is probably the most fleshed out and realistic, but still. They were good. Elder falls in love with Amy pretty quickly, maybe because she’s different looking than their homogenous culture, but Amy doesn’t return the sentiments. And it’s not because she hates him, but because she doesn’t know him. Which I thought was an important aspect to their relationship. It would have been totally strange if she was all over him after almost being murdered because they are essentially strangers. They become friends at a natural pace and I think that renders this book an A+ in the romance category.
This reminded a bit of another book I read but I can’t remember which one exactly. I know that the dystopian thing is getting big in YA books these days, especially in the whole forbidden romance category, but I thought that this one was unique and actually quite interesting because it takes place in space; the setting allows for a lot of elements that normal earth-bound dystopias can’t feasibly have.
All these little bits and pieces allow for a full plot— the book is quite long. But I was never bored reading it because as soon as you think you know something it turns out that you were wrong and the suspense grows. I usually don’t like mysteries because I don’t have enough patience for them, but I actually found myself trying to figure this one out. The book isn’t all action, but it’s mixed with daily life scenarios and an exploration of the culture and workings of the ship that kept me interested and made the story believable.
The only bad thing about this was, unfortunately the ending. Well, not the ending exactly, but the climax. The most dramatic part, while dramatic, had a cheesy feel to it. So what happens is the villain is revealed, as you would expect it to be, but then he is taken care of by a friend…who instantly turns out to be a villain as equally insane. The quick dispatch of the first evil, followed by the sudden rise of the second makes it seem just…too quick. Probably it’s a mix of bad pacing and monologues for the sole purpose of explaining why the villain did what he did (really, there has to be a better way to do that), but the end effect is overly simplistic. Just…cheesy.
The actual denouement, instead of answering final questions, creates new ones that set the story up for a sequel. Which, I honestly think the book needed considering the circumstances and the immensity of the problems that the ship faced.
Considering that I thought this book was really, really good, I’m definitely going to be reading the sequel. This was, in short, an excellent debut and I can’t wait to finish the story.
0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…
1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.
2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.
3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.
4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).
5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.
6 and above. What I want my book to be.