Ferdy's Reviews > Shades of Earth

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
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Jan 21, 13

Read on January 21, 2013

Spoilers

I usually dislike the last book in a series for various reasons (rubbish closure, anti climactic, the characters decisions/actions/choices) but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Sure, the main characters were annoying, the science was nonsensical and the romance was cheesy and predictable, but none of that bothered me all that much because I was so entertained throughout.
The basics of the story are that after centuries of travel, Amy, Elder and his people finally arrive on Centauri-Earth but things on their new home aren't what they seem. There's a lot of stuff going on: the earthborn/military are unfrozen and take command of Elder and the rest of the shipborn, they are mysterious deaths, and other sentient life forms and giant dinosaur-like creatures attacking everyone. The first two-thirds was well paced, there was a nice amount of mystery, intrigue, action and conflict (shipborn vs earthborn, Elder vs Amy's dad, Elder vs Chris, humans vs mysterious life forms). The last third was a bit mental, everything happened at once — death, huge revelations, twists and major character changes. It still made for exciting reading but it all felt rather rushed — new characters were introduced, serious situations were resolved far too quickly and easily and there was barely any focus given to the characters to reflect and change accordingly. I would have preferred if the last third had been spread out more.
I hated Elder for most of the book — he was pissy, bitter and resentful. He was so needy when it came to Amy. I was irritated by how he reacted to Amy when she wanted to unfreeze her parents upon landing. Sure, everything was chaotic when they landed and they needed to see to anyone that was hurt but I didn't feel like Elder's attitude towards Amy was down to his worry for his people, he only acted like a douche because he was angry that Amy was more interested in her parents rather than him. He wanted her to think about him first. I've always thought he was selfish ever since he unfroze Amy in the first book just because he wanted to know her. It was only in the latter half of the book when Elder finally stopped being so petulant, childish and whiny. I liked that he finally realised that he shouldn't be in charge of everything and should instead look after his people and act as a spokesperson/representative for them, rather than trying to be the boss. I didn't hate him quite as much at the end since he managed to show maturity rather than idiocy.
I had the same problem with Amy, for the majority of the book she was a pain — she was childish, selfish and irritating. Like Elder though, she became more tolerable towards the end when she started acting like less of a brat. One thing I really liked about Amy was that she wasn't a virgin before meeting Elder - she had a boyfriend and had a life before him and it made a nice change from the usual loser, loner heroines that only live their lives once they meet the hero.
I found Amy's parents (especially her dad) and the rest of the earthborns very frustrating. I refuse to believe that people as old and experienced as Amy's parents could handle things so poorly. Instead of working with the shipborn and accepting them, they bulldozed their way into leadership and expected everyone to fall at their feet — it was dumb. I also hated how racist and narrow minded the earthborn were in regard to the shipborn. You would think scientists, doctors and top ranking soldiers would be open minded and have some sense but they didn't. They should have treated the shipborn as equals and not looked down at them, after all they were more than 10 times more shipborn humans than earthborn… Why would Amy's dad not work harder to get them on his side? Why would he treat them so poorly? What did he gain in treating them like second class citizens? He should have been more diplomatic and wise not condescending, disdainful and controlling. I hated how he brushed off other peoples opinions and concerns. How did he ever manage to be a respected and high ranking soldier with his attitude? Even though I disliked Amy's parents, I was disappointed that they died… Why must all heroines have no other important people in her life apart from the hero?
I found the use of the word frex, frexing, loony and brilly annoying. I know it was meant to show that the ship's people over time had developed their own slang but I found it irritating and would have just preferred proper words.
Overall, this was an entertaining and quick read, though they were quite a few aspects that were far from perfect.
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