Katie Stout's Reviews > Shades of Earth

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
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Jan 20, 13

bookshelves: sci-fi, penguin
Read from January 16 to 20, 2013

This has been a really great series for me. I've enjoyed watching Amy and Elder's journey since the beginning, and I think the first chapter in Across the Universe is one of the most well-written first chapters in YA. I've been looking forward to Shades of Earth since I finished A Million Suns in November of 2011, and I'm here to say that this book provides great closure for a great series.

First, I think it's important to note that this book is a lot different than the first two in that it doesn't take place solely on a space ship. We're given a new world, a new setting, and this provides a lot of new options. But while I think Centauri Earth could have felt bigger, could have been this grand setting, Revis didn't necessarily take advantage of that potential. Don't get me wrong: she provided us with a lush world, but it almost felt like Amy, Elder, and the others were still confined to a small space - they really only go to three places: where the shuttle lands, their camp, and a third location I won't mention because of spoilers. They really weren't going to many more places than they did on Godspeed.

For me, that gave this book (and the entire series) an almost play sort of vibe, like where there are only a few sets that actors work with. There's a sense of confinement, and while I was expecting Centauri Earth to be a breakaway from that type of setting, it was definitely not the case. I found it a little odd. Not bad, just odd.

We're introduced to a lot of new characters in this book, namely Amy's parents. There were moments that Revis almost lost me with how she portrayed Amy's father. I think it's really easy to vilify the military - nobody likes the idea of war or weapons. And I think Revis toed the line with cliche; she didn't jump over it, as many authors do, but she got really close. But the tender moments between Amy and her father kept him real, instead of a cardboard cutout of a heartless army guy.

But I WOULD like to rant just a tiny bit about this topic, where I don't think Revis was particularly fair (though she's certainly not the only author/person to have done this). I shall call this section "In Defense of Amy's Dad."

*ahem*

The entirety of Shades of Earth is set in a survival situation. These people are thrown into a circumstance that they know nothing about. They're being attacked by enemies they don't know. They're on a planet that's literally alien to them. And there is zero unity among the group.

Someone HAD to take control of the situation. If not, chaos would have ensued. And no one stepped up to fill this role except for Amy's dad. Amidst the chaos, he brought order. And while Elder and Amy and a lot of other people might not have liked HOW he led, at least he DID lead.

I was particularly annoyed with Elder in this regard, a CHILD who thought he could lead better. And yet, while he constantly complains, he never really does any actual leading. He sulks and sasses to Amy's dad, but he doesn't do much in the way of actually providing different solutions to problems. Forgive me but you, sir, are not in a place to criticize someone else's leadership when you're not willing or capable to take that person's place. If you don't like how something's being done, then you come up with something better; and don't automatically vilify someone who disagrees with you.

/endrant

All that being said, I didn't dislike the book. Not at all! I think the mystery is the most complex in this book than the first three, and the writing is really nice. The romance between Amy and Elder is very sweet, and I loved that Amy finally came to her senses and realized what a good guy Elder is. And I liked watching Amy mature and make responsible choices; she came a long way throughout the series, and I think her character arc was really strong.

I also found the ending satisfying. It didn't turn out exactly the way I would have liked it to, but I think it was still good. (view spoiler)

Long story short: I think fans of the series will be happy with this conclusion. I look forward to reading more by Beth Revis, and I'm happy that she wrote a straightforward science fiction novel for teens. There are spaceships, aliens, and new planets. All three of those things are ones I'd like to see more of in YA!

...but A Million Suns is still my favorite.
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Reading Progress

01/16/2013 page 123
33.0% "I'm really liking how Revis deals with the issue of race and how the ship people and the Earth people distrust each other on appearance alone. Very poignant and telling, that."
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by Damali (new)

Damali Yeah, that cover bites!


message 2: by Damali (new)

Damali you should switch to the German cover! Love that one.


Katie Stout Damali wrote: "you should switch to the German cover! Love that one."

You know, I've noticed that German covers tend to be awesome. Why is that? haha


message 4: by Damali (new)

Damali I'm not saying anything bad about my great country in wartime... ;)


message 5: by Mia (new)

Mia omggg your gif. i was like wtf when I saw the cover too.


Katie (Books and Katie) I think the cover is definitely going to change. If you look at the other editions of the first two, they each have covers that are similar to this one.


Katie Stout Katie wrote: "I think the cover is definitely going to change. If you look at the other editions of the first two, they each have covers that are similar to this one."

Yeah, they totally overhauled the covers for the series. And I really wish they hadn't, as the originals were gorgeous.


message 8: by Katie (Books and Katie) (last edited Dec 08, 2012 05:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Katie (Books and Katie) I liked the original, too!

I'm sure they'll change it. Is this a new company making them, Penguin? Is that why?


Katie Stout Katie wrote: "I liked the original, too!

I'm sure they'll change it. Is this a new company making them, Penguin? Is that why?"


No, same publisher. I think they just wanted to create buzz around the new release. Also, maybe make the covers more boy-friendly?


Jennalyn ♥ ₍ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡᴏᴏᴅs ₎ The UK cover is so much better in my opinion. Love your reaction; that gif was hilarious!


Katie (Books and Katie) KM wrote: "Katie wrote: "I liked the original, too!

I'm sure they'll change it. Is this a new company making them, Penguin? Is that why?"

No, same publisher. I think they just wanted to create buzz around t..."


Well, I guess I can respect that. I just wish, for the sake of everyone who either had already bought the first two books in the old covers and everyone who loved the old covers, they would make the third book with both. Because now, since I am weird about covers matching, I have to return my first two book and buy the ones with covers that match the third.

It would just.. be fan friendly, yano? Making the third book with two cover options instead of just one.


Katie Stout Katie wrote: "KM wrote: "Katie wrote: "I liked the original, too!

I'm sure they'll change it. Is this a new company making them, Penguin? Is that why?"

No, same publisher. I think they just wanted to create bu..."


Yeah, Penguin does that a lot. Like with Andrea Cremer's books and Marie Lu's and a whole bunch of others.


Katie (Books and Katie) KM wrote: "Katie wrote: "KM wrote: "Katie wrote: "I liked the original, too!

I'm sure they'll change it. Is this a new company making them, Penguin? Is that why?"

No, same publisher. I think they just wante..."



Oh well then, I guess.

Thanks for responding :)


Nathania Ma I totally agree with you on the part where Elder whines when he is no longer in charge owing to his own incapacity to lead. However, considering his age and upbringing, it is reasonable I fact, I would be surprised otherwise. The romance between Elder and Amy is so sweet already that I find the unnecessary love triangle disappointing. I am hoping she will not repeat the problems in her future works.


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