Across The Universe by Beth Revis

 Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to awaken on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, Amy’s cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed’s passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.
Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

I don’t usually judge books by their cover, but I must admit that I dismissed this one the first time I saw it on the library shelf. Not consciously, and not because it isn’t beautiful (totally is),but looking back I realize my thought process went something like this: Ooh, shiny cover… romantic silhouettes… Across The Universe… The Beatles musical… next. If I had stopped to think for a minute I probably would have realized that this book was probably in no way similar to Across the Universe the movie but, like I said, it wasn’t conscious and there happened to be a bunch of other books I wanted to read at the time. However, shortly afterwards I read a few promising reviews and this book went on my “to be read” list where it has waited patiently until now to be the very first review on this blog!

I liked this book. Not in love with it, but really liked it. The idea of being cryogenically frozen has never been even remotely appealing to me, and after reading this my opinions on that subject are only further cemented. There are a bunch of other dystopian type books floating around right now, but this is the only one I’ve read that happens to be set on a spaceship, so it struck me as kind of Battlestar Galactica meets Stepford Wives.

The Characters

Amy: Poor Amy. There is just no way around the fact that things suck for her. Because she’s been thrust into such unfamiliar surroundings in a crisis situation I sometimes had trouble grasping her character, but she’s very easy to relate to in her moments of frustration at how the ship is being run, and in her moments of fear. When Amy is frozen her terror and discomfort are palpable, and later her feelings of being trapped on the ship also really stuck with me. I sympathized with her, but I would have liked to get to know her a bit better.

Elder: I think I enjoyed reading from Elder’s perspective more as the book went on. Amy is more black and white, while Elder’s thoughts and opinions are in flux for the course of the book. He is adapting and changing as events unfold. Things on Elder’s side are a bit of a moral grey area at times and I found that interesting.

The characters are quite well written, but what really stuck with me were the claustrophobic descriptions of life aboard Godspeed. The “villain” in this book didn’t freak me out nearly as much as the thought of their being no fresh air, no stars, and metal walls constantly surrounding you. Scary stuff.

I didn’t realize that this was the first book in a series but I’m definitely looking forward to reading the second one whenever it comes out.

Across The Universe on Goodreads & Amazon

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