Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Razor, 01-11-11
Read for 2011 Debut Author Challenge AND
A-Z Reading Challenge

Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Frex, I just don't know what to say about ATU! I finished this book days ago and have just been trying to let my thoughts percolate, so I can write a halfway decent review. I don't think that's working, though...

This has got to be one of my top-five most anticipated books of 2011, and I'm happy to say that it was worth the wait! From the moment Amy is frozen up until the last pages, I could not read this book fast enough.

I still cannot get over the awesomeness that is Beth Revis. It's unimaginable that Across the Universe is her debut novel. Her writing is so polished, her characters so developed, that it seems as though she's been writing for years. She is a pro.

So, the story. It's a little sci-fi, a little dystopia, and a whole lotta fun. The early scene where Amy and her parents are frozen was very visual. Claustrophobic me was mighty uncomfortable with the descriptions of the freezing process. Amy is rudely awakened (and almost killed) fifty years before the Godspeed is scheduled to land on the new planet. This means while her parents remain frozen, Amy will age. That means that if the ship does land on time, she will be older than her parents. Mind-blowing, I tell you.

In the 250 years she's been frozen, the Godspeed has become its own planet, if you will. Generations have come and gone, and a new monoethnic race has developed, which I guess is to be expected. What I didn't expect was that Earth's history would be completely revamped and rewritten to suit the minds of a select few. Amy makes a Hitler reference at one point in the story, and I was quite inclined to agree. Eldest resorted to horrible levels to insure that his people would survive the journey to the new planet. His reasoning is that it's what's best for the people, but I shudder to think how being a mindless drone could be best for anyone except Eldest.

Oh, but Elder! He's got such a kind heart, and wants to do what's right for all. He suspects that Eldest's way of ruling might not be best, but he's not sure, and wants to weigh his options before making any rash decisions. And Amy...she's got a good head on her shoulders, too. Although I think there are times she should just shut up or risk getting tossed into space, I completely understand her attitude and the reason she behaves the way she does. I certainly wouldn't be a happy camper if I was in her shoes.

But the Godspeed! The ship is the real star of this book. Beth Revis created a fantastic world inside this ship, and exploring it with Amy is an incredible experience. Generations have lived and died aboard this ship, and most of these people have never even see the sky they're traveling through. Most of the residents are content to live their lives, farming or researching. No one questions why drinking water suddenly alters their mood, or why they're limited to roaming only certain parts of the ship, or why mating is done only during the Season, and in such an animalistic fashion. And why would they? This is the only life they've ever known, and it's pefectly fine, for most people. Until Amy comes along and rattles loose whatever doubts Elder has ever had about the ship's leader, Eldest, and the Eldests that came before him.

In case you can't tell from my review, I loved this book and am anxiously awaiting the next in the series!

Purchased book.

Enjoy your reading!


  1. I had never actually planned to read this one but then I saw it at the library and read it. Best decision ever. I agree with you totally. Across the Universe is amazing.

  2. It was a great book, wasn't it? Not only that, but I loved the idea of the reversible cover! And actually used the blueprint of the ship while i was reading.


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