18 January 2011

Tuesday Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe Bookplate

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 awake 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 a 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.

This book was #8 on my 2011 anticipated books list, and, after reading, I kinda wish I had put it higher. This book not only failed to disappoint, it totally exceeded all my expectations. Somehow the author managed to cram a dystopia into a great space opera, proving that there can be fantastic hard sci-fi that young adults will read and enjoy. The premise is rather simple: a girl is cryo-frozen in order to ride along on the 300-year trip to colonize a new planet with her parents. She's woken up early, though, and she has to figure out how to live in the ship's society while also trying to figure out who unfroze her and who wants to kill the other frozen colonists. She has the help of Elder, a boy her age who was born to eventually lead the ship. I thought the characterization of both of these people was amazing. I felt for both of them, and yet when they kept things from eachother or other people I entirely understood why they were acting how they were. I think the first-person perspective helped a lot in this. I wasn't confused in the perspective switching each chapter between Amy and Elder, and, in fact, I specifically remember being suprised when I hit chapter 19 and realizing that I'd been reading the whole book in first person. Usually first person annoys me, sometimes even causing me to put down a book on that alone, but this book was so beautifully done that I didn't even notice. The plot was engaging, however, I did feel towards the middle of the end that there should have been a few more clues along the way so I could watch the characters figure things out a bit more. As it was I felt that the solution was really fed to them at the climax all at once. It wasn't a huge detraction for me, but it was slightly frustrating to not be able to play along.

No comments:

Post a Comment