Happy Saturday everyone! Welcome to another book review here at Dewey Girl. This week it’s the turn of Across the Universe by Beth Revis, first published in 2011. If you’re into Space-Agey YA with the typical dystopian feel, a bit of romantic angst all mixed in with murder mystery on board a spaceship then this is the book for you!
Amy is frozen. Bound for a world 300 years away along with her parents and hundreds of others. They are on their way to a new Earth and she wont awake until they arrive.
Except somehow she is awoken far too early and it is evident that her unfreezing was meant to kill her.
Now not only does she have to tackle the vast differences that set her apart from the rest of the community aboard the ship, she has murders to deal with. With everyone else seemingly against her, Amy has just Elder to help her solve the mystery of who unfroze her and why.
Why You Should Read It:
The book is a real page turner; from the moment Amy is rudely awoken from her cryogenic slumber there are questions that need answering. The action begins almost straight away, and not being a fan of the slow build, I was appreciative of the way that Revis reveals her world as she goes, introducing plot in line with world building.
Amy’s a somewhat relateable main character too in that the world she awakes to is just as alien to her as it is to the reader and because of that, Revis is able to use her as a device to explain all of the futuristic space things that pop up throughout the novel. The first person perspective that swaps from Amy to Elder between chapters is useful here in that we are able to see life aboard Godspeed from Amy’s perspective and learn further things about that life through the chapters written from Elder’s perspective.
Amy is pretty much a voice for the reader, I think. Of course she’s from the future (a not to distant one, I wonder?) but she’s not all that different from you or me, and I found myself screaming agreements in my head whenever she expressed a thought about life or humanity.
The plot isn’t particularly complex and I had pretty much figured out a good portion of the ending before I was halfway through the novel, but it’s not like I had every detail squared away and that’s what encouraged me to read on. I knew what was coming but I wasn’t quite sure why or how it all tied together.
The characters are likable too although as is often the case in first person narrative, they feel a little underdeveloped. Elder possesses an adorable naivety that crumbles away as the story progresses and Harley is a wonderfully vibrant character with an interesting back story. Eldest and Doc are fantastic examples of exactly what life on Godspeed has become and some of Eldest’s ideas on how to run a society in space are so contrary to common 21st century beliefs are so absurd as to be laughable if they weren’t so disappointing.
Overall, I found Across the Universe a really enjoyable read with engaging, if a little obvious plot, fun characters in Eldest and Harley and some pretty cool world building. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, when I can get to it, because to be honest, I’m pretty invested in the lives of Godspeed’s inhabitants.
Have you read Across the Universe? If you have let me know what you thought in the comments below!