Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Across the Universe - Beth Revis

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.
(Synosis taken from goodreads.)

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
Format: ARC
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Vimala from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge
My rating: 4/5

Amy and Elder are from two very different walks of life. Amy was cryogenically frozen along with her parents, and placed on a spaceship headed for a new life on a new planet. Elder has only known life on the spaceship, Godspeed, and he is set to be the future leader of the crew and caretakers of the spaceship as they continue on the 300 year long journey to the new planet. Amy wakes up early from her slumber, 50 years too early, and realizes that she has been targeted by someone who wanted to murder her. Now it's a race against time before someone else is murdered. Amy and Elder must work together if they are going to find out who is responsible for nearly killing her. Hopefully they can find out who the attempted murderer is before he or she strikes again.
Across the Universe is aptly named as Amy and Elder are travelling literally across the universe to find an inhabitable planet to settle and colonize. Amy is a sight to behold as she is classified as the odd one out amongst the population on the ship. Things wouldn't be so jarring if she wasn't the only one with pale skin and flaming red hair. It also doesn't help that she questions the routines and the very fabric of life on the spaceship. Everything around her seems so foreign and alien. Elder doesn't quite know what to say or do, but he can't help feeling captivated by Amy. 
Amy is a headstrong character, questioning everything, and is understandably upset when she realizes that she woke up 50 years ahead of schedule. With her awakening though, she needs new accommodations, and while she is exploring her newfound home, she realizes how small and claustrophobic the ship feels. Given her penchant for running, and her vocalized thoughts, she even had me looking around to see if the walls were closing in as the writing was that vivid and descriptive. 
Both Amy's and Elder's voices were quite different, and it was refreshing to read them and the book from two different perspectives. What one character didn't think of, the other did, and it was nice to see them crossing barriers and helping each other out when they could. They questioned everything, and everyone's involvement on the ship to see who would have the capabilities to pull off a murder of that nature. I must say, I had an inkling as to who was going to be found guilty, but I also noticed that for the most part, several characters were pegged as possibilities, and their involvement, or lack of involvement, wasn't cleared up until the end. I'm looking forward to finding out what repercussions certain events have on the ship and where Revis is taking the story next.
I do want to mention that I liked Harley's inclusion in the book, as he added to the story and pulled our attention away from Amy and Elder when needed. He was an interesting, well-developed character and I really wished we had heard more from him than we did.
The world-building was well developed and the detail taken to describe the spaceship was meticulous. I can't believe how fully detailed this world was, and found that I was almost uneasy with some of the situations that arose, because I was so well-versed in not only the history and the inner workings of the ship, but also because I could commiserate somewhat with how Elder and Eldest felt. That, in itself, is scary. 
All in all, an excellent and impressive debut, one that crosses genres with ease. I'm looking forward to the second installment in this trilogy as I want to know what happens next, and I'm not quite sure what Revis has in store for her characters. This will definitely be a re-read!

1 comment:

Suzy Turner said...

What an unusual storyline. I'm loving the sound of it though. I just might have to put this on my Book Depository wish list!
Thanks for the introduction and the great review!