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I Belong

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis

GenreYA Sci-Fi

Series: Across the Universe (Book 1)

Publication Date: January 11, 2011

FormatHardcover, 398 Pages

ISBN-10: 1595143971 (Razorbill/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-1595143976 (Razorbill/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: This was a great Sci-Fi filled with suspense, mystery, and a touch of romance.  I found the story to be very intriguing and hard to put down.

Opening Sentence: Daddy said, “Let Mom go first.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Amy has spent the last 300 years frozen on a space ship called Godspeed.  She decided to leave earth with her parents and travel 350 years to inhabit a new planet.  She’s not supposed to wake up until the journey has ended, but something goes terribly wrong and she is woken up 50 years to soon.  Amy was 17 years old when her parents decided they wanted to leave earth.  She loved her life on earth she had great friends, was in love with her boyfriend Jason, and just all-round loved her life.  Her dad gave her the choice to stay behind and live out her life, but Amy couldn’t do that to her parents.  She decided to give everything up and go with them, but now all her dreams have been shattered.  She has been woken up, but her parents won’t be until they land on the new planet which isn’t for another 50 years.  Amy is going to have to adjust to living on the strange ship.  Everything is so different from what she has ever known.  Most of the people are emotionless, they all look the same, and differences are frowned upon.  As Amy struggles to adjust someone is starting to kill some of the other frozen on the ship.  Amy has to figure out what is going on before her parents become the killer’s next victims.

Elder has grown up on the ship Godspeed.  He will someday soon become the next Eldest and lead the whole ship.  Elder is 17 years old and still has a lot to learn about how things run.  Eldest is supposed to be teaching him, but he is hesitant in doing so.  There use to be another Elder, but he didn’t exactly agree with Eldest.  He died a few years ago, and now Eldest has to start over with the new Elder.  There was a plague on the ship that killed over three quarters of the people.  After the chaos there needed to be a leader and that is how the Eldest system was started.  There are breeding seasons that form generations.   There is a single Elder that is born a few years before each generation that is designated to be the leader for that time.  Elders generation is about to be breed and time is running out for him to learn.  Eldest has kept so many secrets from everyone and one of the main secrets is the frozen people that are aboard the ship.  As Elder starts to uncover Eldest’s secrets he realizes that everything is not as it seems.  There are many mysteries that he uncovers and not all of them are good.

The book is alters between Amy and Elders point of view.  First we have Amy.  She is a very loyal person.  She left everything behind to be with her parents even though they gave her the option to stay on earth if she wanted.  She searched for the truth even though it puts her in grave danger. There were times when she would let her past memories bring her down a little, but she usually recovered quickly and always tried to make the best of her situation.  I thought she was a great heroine and I really connected well with her.

Elder was an interesting character for me.  At times I felt a little disconnected from him, but other times I really liked him.  At first I think he was a little bit boring, but once he met Amy, he got more interesting.  He is fascinated by Amy because she is so different than anyone he has ever met.  She is beautiful, independent, smart, and just different.  As he gets to know Amy better, he starts to figure out that things on Godspeed aren’t as normal as he thought.  Once he has the motivation he starts to really dig and find out what is really going on.  He always tries to be honest and do the right thing even when it’s hard. Overall, I liked Elder the more I got to know him and I am hoping that continues in the next book.

This was really one of my first space books and I really enjoyed it.  The plot had a lot of good twists and turns that kept me interested and surprised the whole way through.  There was good action, blossoming romance, and an intriguing story line.  While I didn’t love all the characters from the very beginning, by the end I really came to care about them.  I felt that the writing was very well done and I would love to read the rest of the series.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes YA Sci-fi or space stories.

Notable Scene:

One of the doors is already open.  A long metal tray extends from the mouth of the door like a tongue, and on that tray is a narrow clear box filled with frozen water speckled with blue glitter.  Floating immobile in the ice, as still and silent as this empty room, is a girl.

It’s her hair that pulls me forward.  It is so red.  I’ve never seen red hair before, not outside of pictures, and the pictures never caught the vivacity of these burnished strands tangled in the ice.  Harley has a book of paintings he stole from the Recorder Hall, and one of the paintings is just a series of haystack, the covered in snow, the one at sunset.  Harley went loons over it, saying how the artist was so brilliant to paint stuff with different light, and I said that was stupid, there’s light or there isn’t, and he said I was stupid, on Sol-Earth there were things like sunrise and sunset because the sun moves like a living thing and isn’t just an overrated heat lamp in the sky..

This girl’s hair is more brilliant then the rays of the sun on Sol-Earth captured by an artist Harley said was the most genius man ever to live.

I reach out to touch the glass that traps her inside, and only then do I realize how cold it is.  My breath is rising in little clouds of white.  My fingertips stick to the glass.

I stare down at her.  She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, but also the strangest.  Her skin is pale, almost translucent white, and I don’t think it’s just from the ice.  I lay my hand on top of her glass box, above her heart.  My skin is a dark shadow over the luminescence of hers.

Across the Universe Series:

0.5  As They Slip Away

1. Across the Universe

2. A Million Suns

3. Shades of Earth

FTC Advisory: Razorbill/Penguin provided me with a copy of Across the Universe. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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