Book Reviews

Across the Universe – Beth Revis

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.

Discovery: A lot of buzz on book blogs made me consider reading this book, but it was Beth Revis’ remarkable first chapter that sealed a spot on my to-read list.

+     Unique and intriguing plotline. I’m a huge Doctor Who fan, and when I first heard about this book, I couldn’t help but make comparisons to the fifth series’ second episode, “The Beast Below.” A ship full of cryogenically-frozen people, a planet that promised to be paradise and a young man who found secrets to unravel=it was practically a Who episode already.

+     World-building. I love the care that Revis went to in order to make her setting believable. All four levels of the ship were masterfully described and it was very easy to imagine Elder and Amy walking along the corridors.

+/-   Romance. As I mentioned earlier, the book was marketed as a teen romance, epically set in the middle of the universe. Starcrossed is an inevitable pun. That said, it never really got off the ground. Sure, there were some kisses and yearning looks, but Elder and Amy never achieved a true intimacy, at least not one believable enough to readers. This may be a positive point for the novel, however, as the non-romantic plot is strong.

Recommendations: Ultimately, Across the Universe is not as compelling, exciting or romantic as it is painted out to be. Teen readers looking for a hint of sci-fi with their romance will enjoy Elder and Amy’s shy courtship.

Rating: Excellent.

Go check out Beth Revis’ site and follow her on Twitter @bethrevis.

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