Across The Universe by Beth Revis

7:36 PM

Title: Across The Universe (Across The Universe #1)
Author: Beth Revis
Release Date: January 11, 2011 (hardcover)
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 400
Source: Bought

Overall: 4 Stars

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.  

My Thoughts:
Across The Universe has undoubtedly been one the most hyped and talked about books lately, so I was quite eager to get my hands on a copy as soon as it hit stores to see for myself just how good this novel really was. (And so I could gaze at its gorgeous cover!) Did it live up to the hype in my eyes? Well, not really... at least not quite completely as I had originally hoped. However, I do think for some people that they really will be blown away by the novel because I'm sure it will be an reading experience they've never felt before.

I grew up reading science fiction novels (mostly of the Star Wars variety, mind you), so I was fully ready to let my geeky side out after hearing about this sci-fi dystopian novel. So as soon as I flipped open the pages, I was already fascinated about this new world Beth Revis has created as is usually the case whenever I read sci-fi. She's done a superb job explaining the new technologies when it's needed, but she's also not afraid to say less and let her readers envision some scenes for themselves. It's with her beautiful descriptions that the spaceship Godspeed and her inhabitants come to life before your very eyes.

The alternating chapters between Amy and Elder were an aspect I thoroughly enjoyed. Their backgrounds, their morals, and their train of thoughts are just so completely different from each other... yet it paints a perfect picture and really gives you the best of both worlds. Amy's sudden awakening is terrifying and it's through her eyes we get to discover the wonders of a ship that's just brimming with secrets and lies. And then there's Elder, mesmerized by Amy at first sight for she looks like no one he's ever gazed upon before. (Literally, everyone is of the same ethnicity on the ship). He's not content that the current leader Eldest has lacked in teaching him the skills he'll need for when it's his own turn to lead, but he's never outright questioned what happens on the ship. This changes though when he sees Amy for the first time and it's then that we begin to see the natural charisma of a born leader.

The novel really left me conflicted and I felt so bad for Amy. On the one hand, I really liked seeing her growing feelings for Elder develop but on the other hand, I was torn because while she was awake, her parents were still frozen in the cargo hold below. But she's a strong and courageous person, so after grieving for her new circumstances, she immediately sets out to uncover what's really happening on the ship and to investigate who unplugged her before it's too late for someone else. You have to really admire how she doesn't just wallow in despair.

From fairly early on in the novel, I had already deduced who the possible murder suspect might be and it did turn out I was correct. However, I think Beth Revis still does a great job keeping your guard up, throwing in a few twists and turns here and there just when the storyline begins to slow done so you're left wondering if your suspicions are right. She builds up the right amount of tension while simultaneously allowing you to learn more about the society that has taken form on board. 

I'm going to be purposely vague right now so it doesn't give anything away, but there's a reason why Amy notices so quickly why some of the people do things on the ship that don't seem so natural to her although Elder thinks they have the perfect society. If you've read the classic novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, then I don't think you'll be all too surprised to learn this discovery that Amy and Elder eventually uncover. For sure, it will be a new concept to some of you but because it was something I'd seen before, even if it's a super rare find in YA books, it did sort of lose its originality momentum.

Across The Universe is a great introduction to the science fiction genre for those looking to try something out their comfort zone but I'm sure anyone who likes dystopian novels will fall for this novel too! Intriguing, romantic, mysterious, and even heart-pounding at times, it's a novel that will leave you in awe at just how much thought and world-building Beth Revis has poured into her debut novel. I already can't wait to join Elder, Amy and the Godspeed in the second installment for another journey... well, across the universe!

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  1. Really nice review Liz! I felt similarly on this one, I wasn't overwhelmed by it, but I quite enjoyed reading it. I just didn't connect all that much to Amy or Elder, but I really enjoyed the mystery element of it even though I had a guess pretty early on as well. Still, learning some of things about the role of an Elder/Eldest and different aspects of the ship were very interesting I thought:) I'm definitely looking forward to the next book as well!

  2. Great reivew Liz and thanks for not spoiling too much as I'm reading ACU right now. I've only just started it but first chapter was really great and completely sucked me in.

  3. I have been waiting to read this book for ages and now that I have it, nothing can tear me apart! I like your blog and have started following, care to check out mine?