Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #1
Type: Young Adult Science Fiction
Amy has left Earth and her life behind, cryogenically frozen and bound for a new home 300 years in the future. But Amy is violently awakened 50 years before schedule and she finds herself trapped aboard the Godspeed. The ship is controlled by the Eldest and his successor Elder. When it becomes clear that Amy's awakening was an attempted murder, she must turn to Elder to discover the many secrets hidden in their world.
This is the first in a new trilogy and, despite all the great things I'd heard, a book I approached with trepidation. I'm not really a big fan of science fiction so I was concerned I wouldn't like the spaceship setting but I was happily surprised to be wrong and finished the book in a day. The plot is cleverly written and with lots of twists and turns (although I figured a big one out pretty early on) and kept me glued to the page. The narration is split between Amy and Elder which means we get the benefit of both perspectives.
There is a heavy dystopian angle to the storyline which I loved. Everyone on Godspeed is monoethnic, everyone has a purpose, everyone is satisfied by their life - but by having Amy act almost as our "normal" person on the Godspeed the reader gets to see just how strange the society there has become. Elder's impressions also help show this, especially when he starts talking about historical events which are very different to how we know them to have been.
Amy is a great lead character managing to be strong and independent while still remaining vulnerable, especially about her past and her parents. Elder compliments her really well, picking up her questioning nature but also helping her to explore the strange new world she has found herself in. Eldest is a creepy leader and I pretty much disliked him from the start, especially as it is clear he is hiding a lot of secrets. My favourite character though has to be Harley who lives in the Ward with the other psychologically different individuals. His passion for art and relatively normal perspective on Godspeed adds another dimension to the story.
I was a little surprised that there wasn't a huge amount of romance between Amy and Elder. The appropriate sparks flew, but the characters got so caught up in the events around them that it wasn't developed. This works in the books favour though as it means more focus is given to the creepy fascinating secrets being revealed.
The ending is brilliant, managing to be surprising (despite me having figured out a major twist) and action packed. It also ties up the storyline in such a way that you are ready for the characters to continue but feel that most of the issues have been resolved.
All in all this was an awesome read and I can't wait to read A Million Suns.