Thursday, August 8, 2013

Across the Universe

By Beth Revis

About Across the Universe (from Goodreads):
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.

Covers of books can quickly attract—or deter—readers to an author’s work. Across the Universe has an amazing cover that readers will gravitate toward.  And lucky for readers, Beth Revis backs up the beautiful cover with a brilliant story that will have readers glad they gave the book a chance.

In order to travel and awaken on a new planet 300+ years in the future, Amy Martin is frozen along with her parents, and loaded on the spaceship Godspeed. However, she is prematurely awakened decades before the ship is scheduled to land.  Now she and future ship leader, Elder, must figure out who “unplugged” her, and who keeps unplugging and killing other frozens before more end up dying. Together they will discover the many secrets the ship holds and make tough decisions that will affect their lives and the lives of everyone on board Godspeed.

Since the story is set on board a spaceship, the book made me very appreciative of the world around me. People on board Godspeed never experience the little things such as open blue skies, rain, stars, or a summer breeze.  As Amy realizes what she misses while trapped on the ship, readers can become thankful of the world around them.

Revis’ stream of consciousness style of writing takes a bit to get used to, but helps readers to better connect with Amy and Elder.  Readers fully understand what the duo feels and the reasoning behind most of their actions. You can feel their frustration at being lied to and the weight of their decisions to do the right thing. The style of prose fully complements the story and genre.

Revis does a good job giving readers the whole picture. Eldest tries to do what is best for the ship and its people—even if it means deceiving them.  Readers can see that Eldest’s intent is not evil, but only to maintain order.  But as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The story is a pleasant mix of plot twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats.  With a setting built on lies, finding out what’s real and what’s not is part of the excitement.  Advanced readers might be able to guess who the real killer is, but Revis carefully crafts her story to hide that identity until everything comes to a head.

I am eager to pick up the second book, A Million Suns, to find out how Elder and Amy handle the fallout from this book, and what happens when the people of Godspeed discover the many lies they dealt with.

Readers who enjoy a serious toned story with a good mystery and hint of romance should give Across the Universe a chance.  After all, a cover like that deserves to be given a chance!

Want to know more? Check out the book trailer: