Review: Across The Universe by Beth Revis

Written By: Kellie - Feb• 10•11

across the universe


Synopsis: 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. -Goodreads

Review: This is Beth Revis’s debut novel, and it’s getting quite a bit of hype. We got quite a few copies at work, and the cover is pretty spectacular so I figured it was worth a read. And it was… ish. Alright, it was actually a bit of a let down but still a decent book. It was a good debut novel, but it still left a fair bit to be desired.

What is it actually about? Across the Universe focuses on two characters, Amy and Elder. Amy was cryogenically frozen on a spaceship in order to make the 300 year journey to a new planet. Elder is one of the few thousand people who are living aboard the ship, Godspeed, while it makes the journey. Elder is on his way to being the next leader of the ship when Amy is mysteriously unfrozen, starting a chain reaction of events aboard the ship. Crazyness ensues!

This book combines the building blocks of a dystopian sci-fi novel with a fairly basic murder mystery. Now, I won’t tell you what it is… but I figured out the big twist pretty quickly (and I’m usually pretty slow on the uptake) so I never really got that “Whoa, what an awesome ending” moment that this book was obviously working towards. On the opposite end of that argument though, I do like that there were clues throughout the novel that hinted at what was coming rather than just throwing something at us out of left field, I just feel that more subtlety was needed.

The characters are like able but a little two dimensional, plus it feels like the book could have benefited from a bit of a sense of humor. For awhile I actually found myself rooting for Amy to be interested in Elder’s artistic best friend, Harley romantically rather than the more awkward Elder. They make a point that the masses on this ship are fairly mindless and empty, while the “weird” characters are the ones who are more free thinking. But I found that the Doctor, who was fairly key was pretty empty as well. He doesn’t seem to think much or make his own decisions. Or even when he does, there doesn’t seem to be any real reasoning behind it except as a plot device. Argh! I’m going to have to get better at saying what needs to be said about a book without giving too much away. I wanted the doctor to explain his actions or non actions better. There.

The writing itself was actually pretty good. The scene where Amy is watching her parents being frozen before doing the same is really vivid and a little horrifying. The world they live in is described well enough to give you an outline and let you fill in the rest for yourself, which is just the way I like it.

I wish a few more of the lose ends had been tied up as some points that seemed pretty ominous initially ended up looking pretty pointless. That being said, I’m curious where this series will go next, as some of the factors that made this novel “dystopian” aren’t in the picture anymore. I’ll definitely pick up the next one if I happen to come across it, but I can’t see myself holding my breath until it comes out. That being said, I seem to be in the minority here. A lot of the reviews I’ve been reading are raves, people seem to love this book. On Goodreads I’m seeing oodles of 5/5 stars, which is odd because this is in no way a perfect novel, but the series has potential and for a debut that is saying a lot.

You can visit Beth Revis online, here.

Buy the book @Amazon (US) @Amazon (CAN)


Second Opinions:
@Alison’s Book Marks
@Justin’s Book Blog
@I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

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