Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis ★★★

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Series:  Across the Universe  #1
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
ISBN: 978-1595143976
Page Count: 416

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 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.


REVIEW


This YA Science Fiction with dystopian elements is not my usual cup of tea, but since I enjoyed Maria V. Snyder's Insiders duology, I thought I'd give this a whirl as it has similar themes. It's told in alternate first person POVs between Amy, a teenager from earth who's cryogenically frozen at the beginning of the book, and Elder, a future leader of the ship Godspeed, who was born onboard and is set to be leader, or Eldest as they call it, when the ship finally lands. The journey is set to take 300 years and the world's best scientific minds, which includes Amy's mother who's an expert in genetic splicing, and her father who's a military expert, are being sent in frozen form so they can be reanimated upon landing to help with integration to the new planet

The opening scene, with Amy and her parents in the cryo-freezing lab, and the rather stark detailing of the process, was enough to peak my interest from the first page. It's quite horrific-sounding, I've never read much about it before, but it seems you basically have to drown first and have stuff forced into your veins and down your throat. *shudders* But the payoff should be worth it because Amy will get to be with her parents and to live on a new planet. Cool, right? Well, it would be, if someone hadn't woken her up 50 years too soon. Doh!

I thought both main characters, Amy and Elder, were okay. There was nothing unlikeable about them but there was nothing that really endeared me, either. I was thinking, judging by the blurb where it says things like, "A love out of time," and the cover showing a near kiss, that this book would have had a sweet love story in it. There were some very small romantic elements, but a love story it was not. I feel there's probably more to come for this part of the story and it does have a foundation built for it, but the main focus of the plot was on the mystery, not the romance.

I did enjoy the guessing game of just who the heck was waking people up, because it wasn't just Amy. The story was interesting, the world-building (if you can call it that) was also entertaining to read about. It's disturbing to think about how much the humans might have changed after a few generations off-planet, especially after a plague onboard wiped out a lot of them, and since then the history of previous generations seems to have been lost or forgotten, and also the ban on reading material from earth has forced them to evolve and adapt as they will, with unusual results. The split generations, and the "Season," were interesting, if slightly icky, twists.

I thought the plot started to meander slightly in the middle of the book, and I would have like more of a connection between Amy and Elder. The plot twists are enough to make me want to pick up the next one, and hopefully we'll get more romance then, too.

Recommended to fans of Science Fiction, Space Operas, Dystopians and YA.

3 Stars ★★★

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