|Is this the prettiest cover EVER, or what?|
I DARE you to argue with me on this.
Author: Beth Revis (author website)
Release Date: January 11th 2011 by Razorbill
Age Group: Young Adult
Wow. I've just turned the final page of Across the Universe, and I'm not quite sure how to gather my thoughts. I'm breathless from holding my breath.
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book. I'd read reviews, and I'd recently read Maria V. Snyder's brilliant Inside Out, but I think that, on some level, I was expecting some kind of loosely plotted, sappy romance; it's not. In fact, it's not even close. This isn't love at first sight, and it's not even a romance, though it has an element that should satisfy genre fans.
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.
Let's start at the beginning: From the moment I experienced Amy's terrifying cryogenic freezing I was wrapped. The end of the first chapter of this book chilled me to the core ('I AM ice'), and for the first part of the book (until she woke), I was restlessly flicking ahead looking for more of her dreams and nightmares as she is locked in ice and terror.
Both Amy and Elder spend a lot of time being led and manipulated, rather than directing their own paths, but I don't think this shows weak characterization on their parts. They're part of a web of lies and secrets so much bigger than themselves, what we're seeing seems authentic. What makes them strong is their internal resilience. Even though they can't control their destinies, they CAN fight.
Parts of the book are creepy and disturbing, but in a way that adds to the story. The Season? Eck. But every part of the book seemed so perfectly plotted, so carefully orchestrated, yet never contrived. There are some very carnal and 'adult' themes (including the female lead being physically attacked in a very unpleasant way).
Across The Universe is just so prettily written. Full of petic, flowing, lyrical prose that dances across page after page, but somehow doesn't seem flowery. Across the Universe is wonderful on so many levels, and I've not been so pleasantly surprised by a novel in a long time. It's an intelligent, mesmerizing read that I honestly believe deserves the attention it's garnered of late.
Over 3 months after reading this book it's still haunting me. I keep getting caught up staring out the airlock to the countless stars; feeling the claustrophobia; running from danger during the season; dreading Elder's menace. Surely that's the mark of a good book, no? I really can't wait to fall back into this book, and I'm holding my breath for A Million Suns.
Books in This Series:
- Across The Universe
- A Million Suns
- Shades Of Earth (expected 2013)