Across the Universe by Beth Revis

March 28, 2012 Reviews 0

Beth Revis is the author of the NY Times Bestselling Across the Universe series, published by Razorbill/Penguin in the US and available in 17 countries. The first book in the trilogy, Across the Universe, is a “cunningly executed thriller” according to Booklist, and the second book, A Million Suns, was hailed by the LA Times as “a fast-paced, action-packed follow-up.” The final book of the trilogy, Shades of Earth, will be released in early 2013.

Amy has left the life she loves for a world 300 years away.

Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet. But fifty years before she’s due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder. Now Amy’s lost on board and nothing makes sense – she’s never felt so alone.

Yet someone is waiting for her. He wants to protect her – and more if she’ll let him. But who can she trust amidst the secrets and lies? A killer is out there – and Amy has nowhere to hide.

Taking the book at face value I find that I liked the examination of human nature within the story of Across the Universe. The book explores how human society would change and adapt to life on a generation ship, with startling results. I think Amy is justifiably scared when she wakes up on the ship and her loneliness is only compounded by the differences between herself and the people on the ship. I loved Harley – he was an awesome character and kept me guessing throughout the whole book. Here, however, my tenuous appreciation of the book ends.

First of all I have an intense issue with the characters. Amy is a more rounded character than Elder but this is due to Elder being such a poorly envision man. He doesn’t know who he wants to be, rails at Eldest, the ship’s leader, unnecessarily and yet meekly follows him when he should question orders. Elder falls in love with Amy at first sight, for no other reason than she is different from the mono-ethnic people of Godspeed. He doesn’t even try to understand her and ignores her when she insists that human society has been warped on the ship from that it was intended to be. Amy, on the other hand, understandably misses her parents and is scared for their well-being, but all she can do is whine about her Daddy (forgetting her mother all together) and her ex boyfriend.

I won’t get started on the science used in this book. I will direct you here, to a blog post on the heinous science errors in this book. I will say that the book is not at all grounded in science but rather popular misconceptions of space travel entertained by a largely clueless populous.

This book is certainly not for me. Sadly, in my opinion Across the Universe doesn’t raise any interesting issues (the alteration of Earth’s history is intriguing, but poorly handled and largely ignored), had only one character I enjoyed reading about (who will not be making an appearance in future works) and while the twists in the plot are enjoyable, the characters do not react to them in a satisfactory manner (the ending was simply ridiculous).

About the book:

  • Date published: 02 October 2010
  • Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Format: Paperback, 398 pages
  • ISBN 13: 9780141333663  ISBN 10: 0141333669
  • Categories: Young Adult, Science Fiction
  • Goodreads / The Book Depository

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