Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Digital Audiobook narrated by Lauren Ambrose
Published by Razorbill on January 11, 2011
Series: Across the Universe #1
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 399 pages or 10 hours. 11 minutes
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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.
Last review of 2018!
Initially, I had planned to put this one off until next year, but honestly y’all? I was so wrapped up in the story that I didn’t want to put it down. Beth Revis has done an AMAZING job building this science fiction world. The science and the possibilities are fantastic. From the very beginning of the novel, I’ve been hooked.
There are a lot of perfect details here. Across the Stars starts with Amy saying goodbye to her parents, and then being cryogenically frozen. The detail in the opening scene… it’ll make you cringe. It’s not gory or anything like that, but just imaging what that would be like… it’s terrifying and fascinating. After that opening scene, there are two perspectives – Amy, and Elder. When Amy is woken via attempted murder, it’s a few hundred years later and we are introduced to Godspeed.
There’s a lot of questions aboard Godspeed, and that is what kept me glued to the book. The ship is run on lies, and I spent a lot of time unsure who is telling the truth… and whether the lies were by intention or ignorance. Who is killing the Frozens? How long has Godspeed really been in space? How did it become mono-ethnic? And OMG did they really just say that Hitler was a strong leader? The politics and culture aboard this ship are interesting, and terrifying, and absolutely well-crafted.
I’m not as sure about the characters. I feel like there still needs to be a lot of development. I understand why Elder isn’t very interesting… he’s been fed propaganda and was raised under an oppressive thumb, so he would need to develop. I expected more of Amy, however, who’s had literal centuries to develop. And of Harley, who seemed complex and interesting at first ended up feeling really flat. We are told he has all these complex feelings, but I don’t feel like we ever really experience them.
Elder’s last couple chapters, though? I need to know what’s going to happen next. Also, that character has such a potential for tyranny. I want to know if he’s good, or he succumbs to it.
Hopefully the sequel in 2019! In the meanwhile, this reminds me in many ways of the movie Passengers, which I really, really enjoyed.