Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Across The Universe

Title: Across The Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Series: Across The Universe #1
Publisher: Penguin
Published: January 11th 2011

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 realises 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 by Beth Revis may soon become one of my favourite books. It begins with Amy and her parents preparing for their animation. The scene has a very disturbing and eerie mood, and this continues for the rest of the book. The novel then takes us to meet Elder, the next up in line to lead Godspeed. After this, we constantly switch point of views between the two, getting little snippets about the characters and this new world they're in. I absolutely loved the multiple point of views as we are able to get a lot more information from both sides and it later on creates a lot of suspense. The author comes to a small climax in the plot and ends the chapter, switching to the other character's point of view and making us wait to see what would happen next! This happens throughout and will keep you on the edge of your seat!

The novel is a tad slow for me in the beginning, to be honest. The first half of the book is spent mostly introducing the characters and the new world. While it was all very fascinating, I just wanted to get into action and main plot. Said action finally appeared and boy was it worth it. The murder/mystery component of this novel was fantastic. On more than one occasion, I literally got the chills because the creep factor was so high.
“Whoever was down here when you were must have known you were here, must have known you would hear what was happening. Other than you three, did anyone else come?” Teaser (terrifying scene right here)
There were so many things I enjoyed about this book, the setting being one of them. It was so elaborate and believable. Who knew that you could have such a large and realistic world in just one ship? I thought Elder was a great character. He's sweet, thoughtful and wants to be the best he can be for his people by doing the right thing - nothing like Eldest, the current leader of Godspeed, who he defies. Amy's character is…unique. She comes from Earth and doesn't fit into this unnatural and manufactured world. The people aboard Godspeed lack emotion and personal thought, so her actions seem wild and out of control in comparison. She has strong opinions and doesn't understand how these people are living the way they are. It's quite sad when we see her struggle to make everyone open their eyes and to listen to her. Elder is willing to do whatever he can to keep Amy from harm. He falls hard and is fascinated with her, bringing her flowers and watching as she sleeps after only knowing her for a day, or not even that. He loves and appreciates her differences, unlike everyone else who thinks she's some sort of alien. It's all very sweet.
"Holding Amy against me, I realize the simple truth is that power isn’t control at all—power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others so that they may have the strength to stand on their own." - Teaser (sweet huh?)
One thing I have to criticise is the actual main plotline - the murderer onboard Godspeed. I felt that it was very obvious who was behind everything so that was a little disappointing. It might've been just me so don't let this deter you!

I'll conclude my lengthy review by saying that Across the Universe really is a must read. Characters that keep changing and unfolding in a world that you don't know what to expect from makes for an exciting read. You'll fly through the book and after reading the end, you'll be anxiously waiting for the next installment, A Million Suns!

Just as something interesting, this is the blueprint of Godspeed. Big huh? If you click on the picture, I've linked it to the website for this book and there's a whole interactive thing you can do with the ship. Pretty cool stuff... ;)

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