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Saturday, December 31, 2011
"Across the Universe" by Beth Revis
Age Group: Young Adult
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.
We start the story with Amy and her parents being frozen, so they can be loaded onto the Godspeed and be awoken three hundred years into the future, on a new planet. Her parents are both very important to rebuilding the world on this new planet and Amy goes along, because she doesn't want to be without them. The part while they are being prepped and frozen is equally terrifying and fascinating. It seems like a wholly unpleasant experience, the being frozen, but it's also an amazing thing that people would volunteer to do this for the good of their people.
We end up in the future and someone has unfrozen Amy early. She wakes up pretty terrified and completely unsure of what is happening. She finds out that her parents are still frozen and that she is still aboard the Godspeed. She meets Elder, who is one of the inhabitants of the Godspeed and is about her age. Elder is supposed to be taking over as leader of the Godspeed and is currently in training. Amy is pretty unsure of him and everything at first, but being trapped on a spaceship full of strangers and without your parents will make anyone a little wary.
It turns out that there are a lot of secrets hidden on the Godspeed. Some of them Elder doesn't want to be a part of or go along with and others he might just be responsible for. Regardless, these secrets are going to change the Godspeed and it's inhabitants. There is so much mystery behind everything that goes on aboard the ship and I really liked how we are never sure what's real and what is an illusion. Once we start to learn some of the ships secrets, the fate of the people on board becomes even more of a mystery. This is the first in a series, so we learn some of what is going on, but only just enough to keep us pining for the next installment.
This is actually the first YA sci-fi book I have ever read. I'm fascinated by the idea of people living in space. I could never be comfortable in a completely enclosed space for my entire life, but I loved reading the story of these characters and their lives onboard the ship. Beth Revis is an excellent writer and turned such a small space into a whole world. I really liked Amy as the female lead, she wasn't too accepting of anything and really just wanted to find out the truth. Even after she met Elder and they started getting closer, she wasn't content to just believe whatever she was told. She might be lost and mostly alone, but she was still her own person. I liked Elder, but I still feel like we don't know enough about him. Having spent his whole life aboard a space ship, he is a little awkward and doesn't really know how to be with people, but as the story went along his character started to become more defined. I am really looking forward to getting to know him more in book two.
I'm glad I decided to give this one a shot and I am 100% sold on this series. I'm sure the second book will give us even more of this amazing story and who wouldn't look forward to spending a little more time aboard the Godspeed :0)