My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Amy is a teenager who was forced to make the decision whether to be frozen and shipped off to a new planet with her mother and father; a journey that is going to take 301 years to reach it’s destination, or stay at home on earth with her aunt and uncle and friends and everything she knows to be normal. After deciding to take the journey she is first surprised that she is partially conscious, in and out throughout the journey, and then surprised again when she is accidently awakened 50 years before the journey is to have completed.
Elder has been raised to become the leader aboard the ship Godspeed. He is being raised and trained and taught what is best for the people. But Elder is not like Eldest, the current leader, he sees things a little differently and is a bit rebellious when it comes to the rules and expectations of his mentor. This rebelliousness leads Elder to begin to uncover layers of lies that are contained within Godspeed.
Together, Amy and Elder begin working towards discovering these lies and their true meaning, as well as work on finding out why someone is killing the people who were frozen and preserved for life on their new planet.
I was pretty excited about the release of Across the Universe. I got a little bit of a sneak peek several months back when the first chapter was revealed as a teaser. The book, the entire concept sucked me in right from the beginning. That is the glory of a first chapter that every single author should learn, it is probably the most important chapter of the entire book, it is the foundation for the rest of the book.
Over all, this book had a good story. I felt that time times it was moving a bit slowly. There were so many details about what was going on with the frozen people and the discord between Eldest and Elder; and then Amy and her adjusting to life on the ship. It sort of left me wanting for a bit more action. Still yet, I loved the whole basis. This world being created within a ship, and we being dropped right in the middle of the journey and getting an up close and personal view of how living life has changed over the past generations.
At first I was disappointed with the relationship between Amy and Elder. I sort of wanted more than what was given. But as I take a step back and look at the book as a whole, first – THEY aren’t what’s going on in this book. While they are the main characters, the book isn’t really about them. Second, it’s actually refreshing to watch a relationship being built at a normal pace rather than instantaneous, absolute, all encompassing love. Both Amy and Elder are real. They are concerned with what is important, the people and the goings on within their home, their ship. So after second thought, I have come to realize that the goings on between Amy and Elder are perfect…this is not really a romance novel, despite what the cover may look like.
I will be honest though – I had a lot of the book figured out pretty early on. I was waiting for the twist, that moment when I discovered I was wrong and when my thought process went off track, but no. There were a few extra details I didn’t figure out, but mostly I did find it predictable.
Beth Revis has done an awesome job for her first novel. I love the idea, and the execution was pretty good too. I look forward to more from her in the future!