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.
I enjoyed this book, but didn’t fall in love with it. Starting with great premise; the consternation of Amy, with the description of emotions bubbling through her head, to getting cryogenically frozen (akin to drowning) is definitely a page turner. That was my favourite part of the novel. Shortly following, I wasn’t as riveted – maybe because the story became more about politics than space travel and technology (am I revealing my geekiness?)
Beth Revis has a great style, effortlessly tumbling from the page to create an aging spaceship, hurtling through the empty spaces between stars, desperately clinging to some semblance of life inside a metal shell. There are some similarities to ‘Glow’ by Amy Kathleen Ryan, which I reviewed days ago, although ‘Across the Universe’ is much more palatable.
I was distracted by the alternating narration between Amy and Elder, just as I was getting settled in the voice of one character, it would switch with the next chapter. The strained relationship between these two did not shy away from realism, but I wasn’t totally invested in the coupling. It lacked some passion. For some reason Elder held no appeal for me at all.
I appreciated the mechanics of the community on Godspeed – equally foreign as delicately balanced… and Amy’s presence upset the applecart!. Her addition to the closed society was dealt with brilliantly, and I definitely got a sense of her isolation and anxiety with Revis’ narration.
There was an element missing from this story for me. Be it the intensity between Amy and Elder; too many secondary characters and not enough rounding out; or a majority of the text spent dealing with the sovereignty of Godspeed, I was left wanting more.
Although not overly surprised with the reveals for the plot, I can’t say I predicted what eventuated. Revis weaves clues through her storyline expertly.
‘Across the Universe’ is not a book I’d recommend to any die hard sci-fi fans, but if you’re into YA and are looking for something different, an easy read, then you may enjoy this. Overall, not too bad. I will give the second installment in the series ‘A Million Suns’ a go, and maybe it will help fill my need for more intensity and tekkie gadgets.
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