Crystal (Kris)'s Reviews > Across the Universe

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
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Jun 02, 11

bookshelves: books-reviewed, sci-fi-fantasy

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Across the Universe crosses the genres of mystery, science fiction, and romance to bring you a thrilling read in outer space. The story starts with Amy watching her parents being cryogenically frozen. The scene is told with such detail, that you can’t help becoming absorbed into the story; you can’t help wondering just how agonizing it must feel to be in Amy’s place. Soon, it becomes apparent that the story is not hers alone, for it switches point of view between Amy and Elder, the future leader of the ship Godspeed. The same ship Amy boarded on a couple centuries ago.

I really enjoyed reading the story from both perspectives. The switching of perspectives works much like switching scenes in a drama. You reach a climax in one, and then you deflate because you have to wait to see the results. Why? Because you’ve moved on to another perspective—and now you’re sucked into this scene. The switching perspectives makes Across the Universe a fun, suspenseful read. Each character knows something that the other doesn’t know. Amy knows about Sol-Earth. Elder knows about the ship. Amy relishes independent thought. Elder has yet to cross Eldest, the ship’s current leader.

It was a little disappointing for me that the killer didn’t strike a zillion times. There may be a killer in Across the Universe, but it’s not a thriller or an action story. It’s a mystery in space, and mysteries involve deduction. For the most part, the story is a slow read with Amy learning more about the futuristic world aboard the spaceship. Which I did enjoy! It was amazing how the ship could support so many people; it was a world of its own.

I loved learning about the future that Revis saw in her story, and I loved watching Elder learn about Amy and how to cope with her (as she’s very different from the Feeders, the main inhabitants of Godspeed). Amy, she doesn’t fit in with the manufactured world of Godspeed. Having known the sun, the wind, and the sky, she knows Godspeed for what it is—a cheap (well, expensive if you count costs to build and maintain it) imitation of Earth. She’s unique and independent, and she doesn’t understand how the Feeders can be content with the menial tasks they’re assigned to complete… how they can be so simple and animalistic. Her questions open Elder’s eyes to what it means to be a human. It means free will, free thoughts, and giving people the opportunity to choose their way of life. It causes him to begin defying Eldest in ways he hasn’t before, to join Amy in her quest to find out the secrets of the ship.

I’m sad that Amy is forced to make the resolution to accept life on the ship without the parents for whom she sacrificed so much to join them on their quest to colonize a new planet. While she does have Elder supporting her, she can never regain the years she’s lost to be with her parents.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading A Million Suns, the sequel to Across the Universe!
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