Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 17, 2012 | 2 Comments

Review: Across the Universe by Beth RevisAcross the Universe by Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #1
Published by Razorbill (1.11.2011)
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 398 pages
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

4.5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

What a delicious sci-fi/fantasy with a dash of dystopian and a pinch of murder mystery!! I loved this one from start to finish. The intro was heart-wrenching for me, because I can’t imagine ever having to leave my parents. Or having to watch them go through with the horrible experience of the freezing. Or waking up without them. I really felt for Amy on that part.

The world inside the Godspeed was so real and convincing, I was totally captivated. The technology on the ship is way beyond us and I thought it was awesome! The ideas of the floppies, the wi-coms, and especially the hole in the wall where you can just push a button and automatically get food, were all awesome.

I love it when books switch back and forth between main character POVs, because you can really get to know each of them and be in touch with their individual thoughts and feelings.
The characters had great depth and development. I really liked Amy, she was an easy character to relate to – strong yet flawed. She was fiery and stubborn and even a little impatient, yet compassionate and smart. I had mixed feelings about Elder – he had good intentions, but he sometimes made bad decisions borne of ignorance and naivety. And I kinda hated him at the end, for Amy’s sake. I’d have punched him too.

I despised Eldest. I thought he was a selfish and monstrous tyrant. Not to mention a control freak. I thought the way he controlled everyone on the ship was wrong and borderline creepy. I was horrified by the dystopian aspect of life on the ship. Different is wrong, and anyone with creativity is considered “crazy” and has to take pills (although there is a legitimate reason behind this). Everyone else acts like a mindless herd of sheep that can’t think for themselves.  I found all the brainwashed sheep-people disturbing. And the Season – that was slightly more than disturbing and grossed me out a little.

I felt really sorry for Amy as she was trying to adjust to that life. In Eldest’s opinion, difference causes discord, so everyone on the ship was monoethic. Which meant that Amy was labeled a freak for her red hair and pale skin. I can’t imagine how horrible that would be, to be taken away from your parents and be alone in a world where everyone regards you with contempt and disgust.

I also think being trapped on a ship would be terrible. Stale air and weird processed food, no stars or sky or ocean…I would definitely miss Earth.

What can I tell them about Earth? How can I describe how the air smells different, how the earth feels richer, how you yourself are different, just from knowing the entire world is at your disposal? Should I start with the mountains always hidden in clouds and snow – or do they even know what those words are: cloud and snow and mountain? I could tell them about the different kinds of rain, pouring rain that’s perfect for when you want to stay inside and watch a movie or read, or piercing rain that feels like needles on your skin, or soft summer rain that makes your first kiss with your first love all the sweeter.

I thought this was a perfect reference to Earth. I can’t imagine living in a world where everything is fake.

The mystery aspect of Across the Universe was glorious! There were lots of lies and twists and betrayals to keep you on your toes. I must admit that I didn’t figure it out, though – and when it was revealed, I felt rather simple because I didn’t. It was like, OHHH! Everything makes sense now!! There were so many little things that I remember reading but didn’t pick up on the fact that they were actually clues. I was too engrossed in the story to notice!

I will be eagerly waiting for book 2 to arrive!

quotesA leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others so that they may have the strength to stand on their own.
A leader doesn’t make pawns – he makes people.

Plot: 4/5
Writing Style: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 5/5
Pace: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5 starfish
Jessi (Geo)

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2 responses to “Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

  1. I, too, loved this book and just got the second one from the library…JOY! I loved all of the various aspects of this story as well. It will be interesting to see what direction the next book goes and how it deals with all of the issues that are bound to come up! Love the look of your site!

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