Thursday, 29 August 2013

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: 3rd March 2011
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description: AMY has left the life she loves for a world 300 years away. Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet. But fifty years before she's due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder. Now Amy's lost on board and nothing makes sense - she's never felt so alone. Yet someone is waiting for her. He wants to protect her - and more if she'll let him

Across the Universe by Beth Revis is some of the finest Science Fiction I have come across in young adult literature. Simply put this book is brilly, as Elder would say. This is one voyage on a spaceship that is not to be missed. The story was fast paced, intense, emotional and action packed with plenty of shocking twits and turns. The pages just flew by.

Told from dual points of view, Across the Universe is a murder mystery set in the wilderness of space.  Across the Universe is about the spaceship Godspeed, which is enroute to a new planet 300 years away from earth. Godspeeds mission is to inhabit and colonise this new plant. Amy and her parents have been frozen aboard the ship, only to be woken when the ship lands, in order to carry out their mission. However unfortunate circumstances lead to Amy being woken up 50 years early as a victim of an attempted murder.  Amy is now alone on a ship that is drastically different from anything else she has known.  To survive Amy tries to find the murderer along with Elders help. The attempt to find the murderer results in the unraveling of hidden secrets, which forever change the future of Godspeed.  In this book up is down and down is up.

This story pulled me in from the first paragraph. When you first learn about Elder’s life aboard the ship, you can feel the unnaturalness of it all. There's a feeling of wrongness. You can just see how creepy the situation is.  The plot focus on a lot of heavy hitting topics such as race, politics, and dictatorship. There’s plenty of discussion about morality, discord and differences between people. This book definitely makes a political impact and is graphical. If that is something that you don’t like to read than I would give this book a miss. Despite the darker themes of the book, there’s a message of change/revolution interwoven throughout the story.  There were so many secrets hidden on the spaceship. As the mysteries and injustices of this ship come to light the more you learn the about the extreme nature of the situation. I was shocked by the lies on this ship and the chaos they caused.  The one issue minor issue I had was that it was very easy to figure out who the murderer was.

Across the Universe has great world building or in this case ship building. The ship was completely self-sustaining.  The history of the ship and evolution of the people including people’s features and language were all well thought out. I loved Revis’s writing, along with all the imagination and detail that went into this story. The book also had fantastic sci-if elements with next gen technology, medical advancements, wireless communications, biometric scanners and cryo chambers. It would be so much fun to ride in a gravity tube.

Elder is a little bit naive. There's a sort of innocence at the beginning that he has to break through to understand what's happening around him and realise his inner strength and potential. Amy is a resilient young woman despite everything that happens. She determined and does not stand for injustice. My heart breaks for her. She's alone on this ship without any reference guide and has to endure so much. Elder was alone as well but in a different way. His responsibilities and duties kept him separate from everyone else. There is an undercurrent of romance but the book does not focus on it.

Across the Universe is a murder mystery with plenty of emotion and secrets. An amazing science fiction adventure. I can’t wait to read the sequel A Million Suns.

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