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Review - Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Thursday, June 2, 2011
4 Stars: A Great Read
Series: Across the Universe #1
Hardcover: 398 Pages
Publication: January 11, 2011 Razorbill

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.

Across the Universe crosses the genres of mystery, science fiction, and romance to bring you a thrilling read in outer space. The story starts with Amy watching her parents being cryogenically frozen. The scene is told with such detail, that you can’t help becoming absorbed into the story; you can’t help wondering just how agonizing it must feel to be in Amy’s place. Soon, it becomes apparent that the story is not hers alone, for it switches point of view between Amy and Elder, the future leader of the ship Godspeed. The same ship Amy boarded on a couple centuries ago.

I really enjoyed reading the story from both perspectives. The switching of perspectives works much like switching scenes in a drama. You reach a climax in one, and then you deflate because you have to wait to see the results. Why? Because you’ve moved on to another perspective—and now you’re sucked into this scene. The switching perspectives makes Across the Universe a fun, suspenseful read. Each character knows something that the other doesn’t know. Amy knows about Sol-Earth. Elder knows about the ship. Amy relishes independent thought. Elder has yet to cross Eldest, the ship’s current leader.

It was a little disappointing for me that the killer didn’t strike a zillion times. There may be a killer in Across the Universe, but it’s not a thriller or an action story. It’s a mystery in space, and mysteries involve deduction. For the most part, the story is a slow read with Amy learning more about the futuristic world aboard the spaceship. Which I did enjoy! It was amazing how the ship could support so many people; it was a world of its own.

I loved learning about the future that Revis saw in her story, and I loved watching Elder learn about Amy and how to cope with her (as she’s very different from the Feeders, the main inhabitants of Godspeed). Amy, she doesn’t fit in with the manufactured world of Godspeed. Having known the sun, the wind, and the sky, she knows Godspeed for what it is—a cheap (well, expensive if you count costs to build and maintain it) imitation of Earth. She’s unique and independent, and she doesn’t understand how the Feeders can be content with the menial tasks they’re assigned to complete… how they can be so simple and animalistic. Her questions open Elder’s eyes to what it means to be a human. It means free will, free thoughts, and giving people the opportunity to choose their way of life. It causes him to begin defying Eldest in ways he hasn’t before, to join Amy in her quest to find out the secrets of the ship.

I’m sad that Amy is forced to make the resolution to accept life on the ship without the parents for whom she sacrificed so much to join them on their quest to colonize a new planet. While she does have Elder supporting her, she can never regain the years she’s lost to be with her parents.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading A Million Suns, the sequel to Across the Universe!

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25 comments on "Review - Across the Universe by Beth Revis"
  1. Wonderful review. Amy sounds like a strong herione and I love how its from the perspective of both her and elder. This is on my wishlist, I can't wait to get it.

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  2. Oh, excellent. I've been searching for a book like this for ages (fulfilling my secret desire for sci-fi/romance/mystery) and now I can't even wait to get it. Defs on my wishlist!

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  3. Great review, I am going to check my local library for this one ASAP. :)

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  4. I cannot wait to get my hands on this! I've heard so many good things and its sounds so interesting!
    Great review :)

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  5. I loved this book, especially the characters. Your review makes me want to go and read it again!

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  6. I've been looking forward to reading this. Excellent review, it's definitely jumping to the top of the tbr pile!

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  7. I love soft sci-fi stories like this, so it's already on my wishlist!

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  8. I've been desperately waiting for more info about the sequel. I did enjoy this a lot, but need more! Nice review. :)

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  9. Ahh! I'm so excited to read this! I didn't realize they switch perspectives in this and I love when books do that. Thanks!

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  10. Read the first chapter on Beth's website before the book was released. I was hooked after that, and the gorgeous cover. I got Across the Universe as soon as it came out. I loved the alternating perspectives. Made for a great story. Patiently waiting for the sequel.

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  11. Oh! I'm so excited about this book! Been wanting to read this for a long time now.

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  12. Lovely review! I have been seeing this book all over the place since I started blogging, but never until now did I really find out what it was about. I rather like the sound of the story. A spaceship definitely makes for a different setting! I haven't read many sci-fi books, but this one sounds very good and I am definitely going to be giving it a try!

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  13. Finally a new idea (for me)! Everywhere are vampires and werewolves so this book sounds really good.

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  14. Great review! Across the Universe has a unique story and the cover is the most beautiful cover I have ever see.

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  15. ill definately add it on my Goodreads to read list
    Thanks!

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  17. Nice review! I have to say that the detail in the opening scene was insane- I actually had a hard time reading it because I'm claustrophobic and the description nearly caused me to have a panic attack. I LOVE this book though, one of the best books of 2011 for sure. Elder is just great and Harley... *sigh* Can't wait for Million Suns!

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  18. Awesome review, thanks for it! :-) I heard a lot about this book and I also want to read it but I have another books on my to-read-list before this one. But I am looking forward to read it. I love dystopian novels! :-)

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  19. Nice review. Like I said before, I have this one out from the library right now and I can't wait to read it. I'm interested about Elder starting to rebel... sounds cool. Also, I love switching perspectives! Hopefully that will be a great bonus for me when I read it :) Thanks!

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  20. This book sounds fantastic. I so can't wait to read it!

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  21. I have had this one on my shelve for sometime....I really enjoyed your review....it has made me want to pick it up and read it more than any other review I have read so far :D

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    1. I'm delighted to hear that, April! Across the Universe is a wonderful and unique read. I hope you enjoy!

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  22. I really loved reading Across the Universe. I feel bad for Amy for having to go through everything that she has on board the ship. Can't wait to find out what happens next!

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  23. I have heard many contradicting reviews of Across The Universe. Some of them are really positive, some really disappointing! But I loved your informative review.
    You have an awesome blog

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  24. Excellent review, I have been wanting to read this book for a while now and will do as soon as I get my hands on a copy!!

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