Across the Universe by Beth Revis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
3.5 stars – I have to be honest. I started this book, then I put it aside because I wasn’t invested, I wasn’t connecting and I found myself stuck around 35%. And there it sat on my bookshelf… for weeks.
Then this past weekend I was bound and determined to finish some of the 10 books I had sitting on my currently reading shelf. I wasn’t ready to give up completely on this because the plot was intriguing and I wanted to see where Revis was going to go with it.
Here’s the thing. If you can wade through the first 40% the pacing eventually picks up and things start to happen. I promise.
This story is told from alternating points of view – Seventeen year old Amy, who is from our time was frozen and placed on board the spaceship Godspeed. She expects to awake with her parents many years in the future. And Elder, a sixteen year old boy who was born and raised on the Godspeed and is meant to be leader one day soon.
Amy is awoken early.
No one knows how or why, but she is completely alone and a strange anomaly in this mono-ethnic society. They talk strange, they wear weird clothes and they all look alike. She’s different and they all know it.
Elder is captivated by her from the very beginning and whether it’s because she’s the only person his age, or she’s different, or he’s the one who found her gasping and drowning he’s starting to care for her. But that’s not the whole of the story.
Someone aboard Godspeed is entering the secret chamber and murdering those who were frozen. The key people aboard the ship are political and military personnel who are needed in order to create life for them on the new planet and Amy & Elder won’t let that happen. Two of those people are Amy’s parents. They must find out who is doing this before it’s too late, but Godspeed is filled with hidden secrets that will need to be uncovered along the way.
What did I like… Like I said above, the plot is unique and intriguing. I also really enjoyed this world that Revis created on the ship and the different people aboard it. The differences in speech, the unique way that these people lived were all really well thought out. I also really liked that Amy was a strong female character.
What I didn’t really like… the fact that it took so long to get the story moving. The first part of this story was so slow and drawn out for me and I really struggled to connect and care about either Amy or Elder. I also couldn’t really get a sense of the ship. I couldn’t imagine what it looked like, and I would have liked a bit more description. I didn’t understand Amy’s non-connection with her mother. From the very beginning I felt like I was missing something… that she really only cared about her father. (her only interacting with him while saying goodbye and then when she awoke she seemed to worry most about him) I am completely on the fence about Elder. I get it… the kid is only 16, but he’s going to be a leader some day, yet he really didn’t ever push Eldest for the things he wanted answers to, and therefore we didn’t get a lot of answers. Also… I feel like I figured out who the big bad guy was a bit too early. Revis showed her cards way too early and so when it was finally revealed I wasn’t even surprised.
I feel like I’m going into book 2 in basically the same place I was when I started book 1 – yeah I have a few answers, but I have a whole lot more questions. Let’s hope I get them in book 2.
All that up above said, I did find the story itself interesting and I’m looking forward to finding out how Elder is going to lead his citizens, what his relationship with Amy will evolve into, and what these people are going to do to correct the bad news that they find out at the end. If you’re looking for something a bit different in the YA world definitely pick up this series – It’s complete now, so no waiting for books!
Across the Universe by Beth Revis