Steven Kent's Reviews > Across the Universe

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
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's review
Jul 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: light-reading, science-fiction, young-adult-kids

Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, starts out on a brilliant tear. Amy, a teenager with a genetics scientist-mother and military tactician-father. is sucked into three centuries of cryogenic storage when her parents are selected to travel from Earth to a planet orbiting Tau Ceti. Amy, of course, is of no value to the mission, but her parents are essential to its success.

The book opens with Amy and family going into deep freeze; and I must say, the scene is amazing. Emotionally poignant, scientifically expansive... great scene, certainly the best I have seen on the subject. The book then shoots ahead two hundred or so and we are treated to a new society evolving on a ship upon which time can be measured in generations. This society is divided into groups--Feeders (mindless farmer types), Shipers (drone-like folks who keep the ship going), and Keepers (the guys in charge). There are some outsiders, too--Eldest-the iron-willed man who runs the ship, a rather bland doctor who sees to every passenger's needs, Elder-the angst-filled teen who will replace Eldest on day, and a handful of mental patients.

One more person should be added to this mix--Amy. She's supposed to sleep for 301 years, awakening on "Tau Earth;" but by an unfortunate accident, she is awakened fifty years too early. That turns out to be a good thing as someone starts thawing and murdering the 100 cryogenic passengers.

Here we are treated to a nifty concept, a murder mystery--Who is killing the "essential" frozens? The mystery is well handled. Amy's reaction to reawakened too early is good. Remember, because she was awoken 50 years too early, she will be in her sixties when her parents finally thaw.

Sadly, things fall apart in this book toward the end. The big confrontation at the end was anti-climatic and felt rushed. The last ten percent of the book was a letdown, but the rest of the book almost makes up for it.

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