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Across the Universe

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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.

399 pages, Hardcover

First published January 11, 2011

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About the author

Beth Revis

49 books6,391 followers
Beth Revis writes books. She also eats too much chocolate, wishes she could travel more, and prefers puppies to people. Beth lives in rural NC with her boys: one husband, one son, two very large puppies.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,513 reviews
96 reviews505 followers
December 4, 2013

When I found ACROSS THE UNIVERSE at the library, I spent several minutes trying to decipher what the cover was. I finally decided that the cover featured space fish kissing before I realized that it was actually a girl and a boy trying to kiss, Spider-Man style.

Before you laugh, look:

Lip-Locked Fish



Told you.
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.2k followers
December 22, 2011
I've heard it mentioned before that DNF(Did Not Finish)reviews were useless and self-indulgent. Why would someone want to read a review by someone who didn't even finish the book?

My answer to that?

have a fucking cookie

There's always going to be a small fraction of reviewers who don't connect with a book and can't finish it, but to dismiss all DNF reviews, I think, is problematic. Especially for an author.

Because it's not necessarily the reader's fault for not being able to connect to the book. Often there are rookie mistakes made in writing, plot or characterization that inhibits readers from investing in the story. Being able to hook a reader within the first couple of pages is an essential skill of any artisan storyteller and if you're having a lot of DNF reviews or simply bad reviews then they probably contain a goldmine in advice to help improve your range of skills.

I credit Revis with imagination and thoughtful plot. The language changes and mono-ethnic parts of this book showed the kind of forethought and deep, intensive investigation I generally like in an author.

My issues were that the writing is very vague and sloppy. One of the first events in the book, Elder attempting to save the ship, is vague in the writing which makes it difficult for readers to visualize the scene or get a handle on what's happening.

The characterization is equally nonplussed, taking quite a while to really root down. There is little incentive to connect with the characters or anything that makes them feel particularly vivid or well-constructed. It's basically one cardboard cutout after another, filled with overused archtypes.

By page seventy-five I knew who the antagonist is, which is bad storytelling. I even flipped to the end to double check and was able to easily verify that I was right because I had trouble believing that Revis had made it so obvious. Do not hang giant, obtrusive warning signs over your secret antagonist. Please.

Overall I couldn't bring myself to invest in the story and characters. This review may be useless or self-indulgent to some but I think reviewing even the first 125 pages of a book to give feedback is a higher compliment than if I'd ignored it entirely.

Also, and this is the important part, bite me.

my blog
Profile Image for Cory.
Author 1 book398 followers
June 9, 2011
I didn't enjoy Across the Universe as much as I thought I would. Like most YA, after the first 100 pages, you know you're reading a novel written for teens. That isn't a bad thing, but readers looking for a deep, complex novel, aren't going to find it here.

ETA: YA is not synonymous with shallow. Some writers think it is, but it isn't. They think that because they're writing for teens, they get a pass to write a book filled with plot holes. I don't think that's the case with Beth Revis, but I just wanted to clear up my statement.

Across the Universe doesn't know what it wants to be. On one hand, it's a typical YA romance that revolves around infatuation at first sight. On the other hand, it's got an interesting premise, even though it isn't very plausible when compared to other Science Fiction novels that tackle Generation Ships.

It isn't necessarily a bad book. Not at all. I'd call it Science Fiction 101 for those who haven't read Ender's Game. But it isn't a good book. Not by any means.

I was really disappointed with the last 150 pages. Instead of a mature ending, we're treated to a classic Agatha Christie, everyone is the suspect mystery. We have adequate build-up and suspense--in fact, we have very good build up and suspense--and our pay-off is equally decent. But, I could see the villain from a mile away. Across the Universe is predictable, but highly suspenseful, kind of like a bad whodunit.

As much as I liked Across the Universe, I have a few major problems with it.

1. The Romance

I have no idea why Elder liked Amy. Oh, I know he thought she was attractive. Why, I have no idea. Because she's different? No. Studies have been done to show that the introduction of a variable into a constant society doesn't produce these effects. For the record, Pocahontas didn't fall in-love with John Smith. That was a lie. Disney lied to you. If you didn't know that, I wonder about your intelligence.

Logically, Elder should have been somewhat freaked out by the appearance of Amy. Not disgusted, just freaked out. Instead, he accepts her and falls in love with her for no reason except for the fact that she is different. Apparently, the rest of the women on the ship--the ones that looked like him--were all beneath him. I won't go into detail about how wrong I think that is.

As for Amy, I can understand why she likes Elder. It makes sense. He's the only person who's nice to her, he's attractive, and she's lonely.

They don't sizzle on the page. They have no chemistry. Honestly, I wish the romance had been left out of this book. It's been hyped up so much, and it's such a failure.

2. Amy

Amy is annoying. At times, she reminded me of Bella Swan. There is a murderer aboard the ship and Eldest wants to kill you. What do you do?

A. Logically pull yourself together and try to keep a clear head. You love both of your parents, but you remember that they're essential to the survival of the colony. You're worried, but you want to explore the ship and make discoveries. After all, you're in space! No-one forced you to come.

B. Panic. Worry about your Daddy and constantly think about pulling him out of cryosleep, but don't think one whit about your mom. Think constantly about running--your singular hobby--and your old boyfriend Jason, who you can't live without. You also constantly talk back to Eldest, who could toss you out of the ship at any time.

Which of these sounds more logical? Well, if you're a female YA protagonist, you picked B.

Amy angst about being in cryosleep for the first 90 pages of Across the Universe. Then she continues to angst and whine about her Daddy, Jason, and how unfair her life is. Yes, she is seventeen and she still calls her dad, daddy. I see a problem with this. But she doesn't spend more than five seconds thinking about her mom.

Amy made Across the Universe really annoying. This could have been a four star book without her. But her constant whining annoyed me. I understand that she's in a difficult situation, but she's in space! Thousands would die to be in her position. It reminds me of those stupid girls that complain about going to foreign countries for the summer. You're going to France you idiot, why are you whining?

3. Did I Mention the Romance?

Elder is a decent character. Kind of dumb, but decent. He's a regular teenage boy when he isn't lusting over Amy. He reminded me of Jacob Black. And yes, I'm a Blackwater fan. I hate Twilight, but I can't for the life of me relinquish my liking of Blackwater and Jacob/Rosalie. Knowing this, you should understand why I immediately started shipping Victrie and Elder together. Sparks weren't flying off the page, but they had way more chemistry than Amy and Elder. Unfortunately, Victrie is only mentioned in a couple of chapters. She's still my favorite character, which leads me to my next point.

4. Harley

Harley, oh Harley. How interesting you are. You're probably my second favorite character.

5. The Slang

I swear, if I hear one more frex or chuntz, I'm shooting something.

6. The Pacing

By the time Elder and Amy finally meet, we're one third through the book. At that point, I couldn't care less about their romance.

7. The Ending

Read it. You'll see what I mean.

8. The Rape Scene

Have we really gone back to the time of The Clansman? I know that link points to another book. But honestly, I respect Aaron McGruder way more than I respect Thomas Dixon.

In all, this isn't a bad book. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read it all in one setting. I liked it. I really did. But with guilty pleasures you have to acknowledge that they have faults. 2.5 stars for effort.

4 reviews6 followers
May 20, 2011
There were a lot of problems with this book. Some were parts that just fell flat when they should have created some intrigue, and some were full on fail. I think I can divide my issues with the book into four categories: Flat Characters, Obvious Plot Twists, Science!Fail, and Bad Storytelling. I'll keep the spoilers behind cuts, and try to give a fair account and some suggestions for improvement. Let's start with...

Flat Characters:
Amy is a girl. She's got red hair. She likes running. She loves her parents. That's all I know about her. Really? Didn't I just read a 400 page book about her? So why do I feel like I just went speed dating, and talked to "Single #24" for 30 seconds before a bell rang? Her "OMGWTF Where am I?!" response to waking early after having been cryogenically frozen for transport on a spaceship seemed generic. It was initially realistic, but fell flat when no nuances or reactions that showed more of her character were present. If I were Ms. Revis' editor, I would suggest that she gives Amy more of a backround identity. Was she a rebel in school? Did she clash with teachers or classmates about what was right? A few good flashbacks to this would provide her with much more of jumping off place to rebel against the fascist regime of the ship, which currently doesn't seem like a moral stance but rather a "Things at home weren't like this!"/"Eldest doesn't like me!" whine-fest, especially in light of the fact that she followed her parents on this voyage rather than being independent and staying. Also, she's 17, and still calls her dad "Daddy". Ew.

If I had only one word to describe Elder, it would be "dumb". He's slow to catch on to almost all plot twists, and when a thought does fly into his head, it's not strong enough to make it to logical and obvious conclusions. He's devoted to Amy. I don't know why. The idea of him in the leadership position he was intended for seems ill-suited as he follows Amy around, but I don't get the feeling it was a deliberate decision. Luckily, if I had two words, the second would be "Curious". Elder genuinely likes to explore and know things. If this were developed further, I could see myself liking the guy.

Eldest is just a symbol for the control/freedom dichotomy and questions of having emotions and sadness versus having contentment but no feelings which the book touches on, but seems afraid to comment on. He's more of a set piece than a character, and I wish he and these themes were developed, which could have been done in interesting ways, especially with a ward of insane people on the ship.

Obvious Plot Twists

I literally predicted all plot twists before they happened. Revis seems to have gone for quantity over quality here, packing half a dozen into the end of the book, none of which are surprising, save one which only succeeds in surprising us because she basically cheated with the format of the book. Some of the twists I only predicted a couple chapters early, but many were early, early on in the book, effectively killing the murder mystery plot. I literally knew who the murderer was the first time we met the character, and was able to also predict other plot twists about him from the get go. Revis needs to use a lighter touch with her hints and foreshadowing. Several times I actually thought we had solved a mystery, only to have the characters puzzle over it a couple chapters later, and me say "What, you didn't get that, really?"

My entire experience reading the book went like this: Hey, they sure talk about how the other Elder is dead a lot, I bet Elder keeps mentioning that he doesn't know who his parents are maybe Harley's sure intent on looking out that airlock after telling us about his girlfriend killing herself, Old people keep going up to the fourth floor of the hospital and never being seen again



Maybe I should have expanded this to call it World Building Fail, because this is where I want to discuss things like the Season, which just didn't make any sense. You're "controlling inbreeding" by having people go hormonally crazy and screw whoever? Makes no sense. Reading the reviews, a lot of people were disgusted by the season, and felt it pointless and out of place. I found it pointless and out of place, but was also amazed that a giant orgy could be so boring.

The cryogenic freezing is one of the best pieces of writing in the book, but it is not written for science, it's written for scare factor, and it shows. Why do you have to be naked? They pump all your blood out and replace it with blue stuff, but they never put your blood back in when they unfreeze you? Nonsense!

And then there's the small thing that makes me angrier about this book than anything else. Beth Revis does not understand how fingerprints work. You shouldn't write a murder mystery if you won't take 5 minutes to research how fingerprints work. The fact that he plot hangs on this is ridiculous.

Bad Storytelling

Some of this isn't Beth Revis' fault. The moment she said "I'm thinking I'd like to write this in the first person, alternating between Elder and Amy. First one gets a chapter, then the other," an editor should have told her not to do it. First person writing is a hard beast to tackle, in the hands of a less than expert writer it can make characters flat because they have no perspective on themselves, and broadcast their thoughts obviously rather than subtly. It's clear this book suffers because of that, and could have been better in the third person.

Switching between characters every chapter feels contrived since Amy is in cryogenic sleep for 50 pages. There's only so many times you can say "I'm awake and feel everything!" and Revis knows it, since several of those chapters are a page or less and provide no background or characterization for Amy, other than (gag) missing her boyfriend. The entire alternation idea should have been scrapped early on.

The first person almost rape scene also falls under this category. It was unnecessary and poorly written. Who, in the middle of being attacked by several men who forcibly rip your clothes off, describes the situation as including "harder bites that were they to come from my boyfriend Jason, I would have liked." (Revis, p. 222) Really?

Also falling in this category is near the end of the book when they've still got a murderer to catch endangering her parents, but Amy gets inexplicably sidetrack researching genealogy. It turns out it gives them some helpful hints, yes, but Amy doesn't even suspect that, she goes into it for just the joy of genealogy. It's inconsistant with her character's motivations, and clearly just what the author needs her to be doing. And when you can see the author's fingerprints all over the characters' actions, that's the hallmark of bad writing.

In short, it was one of those books that makes me a little crazy.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews294k followers
April 10, 2011
As science-fiction, or as a dystopian space mystery this book was pretty much awesome. I loved the idea behind it: frozen people being transported on a spaceship to a new planet, destined to arrive in 300 years from take-off... but, uh-oh, not everything goes to plan. Someone is reviving the frozen people in their containers with the intention of letting them drown.

I really liked this whole aspect of it, and I've never been a space story fan. I never cared for Star Wars, Star Trek... or anything like that. My problem was how the book was sold to the audience. It should have been shown like this:

But instead it was marketed as a romance story, which it just wasn't. A few lustful imaginings of a teenage boy is hardly a romance novel, the publishers obviously thought that was all young adult readers want. But, let's face it, very few guys are going to be interested in reading this book just by looking at the cover (yeah, I know, guys are silly and what's not to love about pink sparkles?). This is much more sci-fi or mystery than it is romance. In fact, there is hardly any romantic suggestion at all - and most of what there is happens to be one-sided. Does Amy even like Elder that way? She seemed to do an awful lot of pining for her ex-boyfriend, Jason, rather that showing much interest in Elder.

Not that I mind that much, the story wasn't lacking without the sweet-nothings and teen love (perhaps a refreshing change actually), plus I loved the sci-fi. Will definitely read the next book.

Profile Image for Jillian -always aspiring-.
1,821 reviews198 followers
January 13, 2011
I had much trouble forming my thoughts about this book to write a review. Across the Universe is a hard book to describe. Yes, it has that lovely cover that beckons everyone to read it. Yes, it has an interesting premise. Yes, it has all these elements to make it a brilliant read, something fresh and exciting. But, for me, it just didn't give me everything I had wanted.

Dystopias and I have a love-hate relationship. I love The Hunger Games and Unwind -- but others books, like Matched and Wither, are more 'iffy' to me than anything. If I were to compare Across the Universe to certain dystopian novels, I would say it could have been the child of The Host and Inside Out with a bit of Star Trek thrown in for good measure. (I'm definitely a Star Wars fan rather than a Star Trek fan, though, so you can imagine why this book and I clashed a bit.) Almost the entire story takes place on the ship christened Godspeed as it travels to a new planet, labeled as Centauri-Earth, which humans hope to colonize. The estimated time of travel is 250 years, and sixteen-year-old Amy is one of the few to be frozen alive and loaded as cargo, set to be reawakened when the ship makes landing.

Due to outside forces, however, Amy is reawakened early. . .and she finds herself on the ship, a country unto itself ruled by a man named Eldest who has a successor named Elder. The story flip-flops perspectives between Amy and Elder so that you get the whole story. . .and it's not a bad story to read. It is, however, a game of truth and lies, deception and trust, conspiracies and secrets. You never know what's true or not in the story, and I found that to be a bit of a flaw. I dislike books where you never know who to trust. It takes away something from the story if I have to question everyone's credibility.

As characters, Amy and Elder sometimes seemed more like pawns going through the motions than anything else. Amy was a much more vibrant character than Elder, who went back and forth too much for my tastes. I didn't like how he always went back to 'Well, Eldest said. . .' when all the while I was thinking, "You can't trust a damn thing Eldest says!" The only other character I liked was Harley, the is-he-crazy-or-is-he-not artist, whom I actually believed was a better match for Amy than Elder. But, of course, that pipe dream is dead. . .so that cued grumbling on my part.

I will give Revis kudos for this: she made the science believable to me. In a year where there are so many dystopias to read, she actually grounded her book in some realism as far as science and its power go. But she leaves this question too: should we let science rule us, or should we use science sparingly and see what we can do for ourselves? It's a question we all will one day have to face for ourselves.

Across the Universe, for all its lofty ambitions, just didn't wow me as I had expected. Instead, I was left with a read where I liked some parts and disliked others. All in all, it was an underwhelming read to me. Will I read the sequel that's likely forthcoming? That, my friends, is still left up in the air.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
858 reviews3,761 followers
April 5, 2017
Video full series review (spoiler free)- https://youtu.be/V3TuI9iCvoU

Update 2/11/17 - After reading the second book and having more time to sit on it, I'm lowering my rating of this one from 3 stars to 2.5 stars. The sequel was fine, but this first book was a rough start and was a mostly negative experience for me.

Original 2/6/17 -I wrote some harsh things about this book on Twitter and in earlier reading updates about how it was offensive, so I want to address that. This book is a dystopia, which I didn't realize going in. In some respects, it is intentionally offensive. A terrible society is set up that you are supposed to hate and want to be overthrown.

I never know what people consider to be spoilers so I'm hiding some of the following points. Open if you want to know more.

Race -

Mental Illness -

Possessive relationship & male gaze -

Sexual assault - I felt it was also worth mentioning that there is a scene of attempted rape in the book for anyone who needs a heads up. I can see how it serves to make a point about the society, but I hated reading it.

In short, the society in this book is pretty offensive, but I can see now that it is intentionally that way in order to make its point. I think that if I had known this book was a dystopia rather than a space adventure, I probably would have realized earlier that of course the society would be awful and I wouldn't have reacted so negatively at first. Though, some of the things were just plain offensive without excuse. Basically what I'm saying is: it's bad, but not as bad as I initially thought.

As for my enjoyment of the story, I thought a couple of the plot twists were super obvious, and I really didn't enjoy reading about this society (though as I've said, you aren't supposed to enjoy it). The characters both seemed very childish in the way they spoke, although I listened to the audiobook and that very well could have been due to the way the narrators read it (book 2 has different voice actors and has a totally different feel). By the end I did decide to pick up the next book, mainly just because I'm trying to read some of Beth Revis's work and this series is the most easily available one to me on OverDrive.
Profile Image for Jessica.
261 reviews3,561 followers
August 1, 2015
Really enjoyed this! I loved all of the twists and surprises! The characters were just okay though... This could have been a 5 star book, I think, if I'd loved them more! I think Harley was my favorite :'( I'm excited to read on and see where this story goes!
Profile Image for Krystle.
893 reviews337 followers
September 18, 2012
This book has one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen but…
I hated this book. HATED it.

Why? Because all the characters sucked. Elder is just a horny boy who only thinks with his brain down there whenever he sees Amy, and Amy is just a dumb, pathetic protagonist who can do nothing for herself. The whole time she is either moping or screaming, nothing in between and when she’s moping all she can think about is all the times she missed out with her oh so wonderful boyfriend she left behind (I forgot his name already) and how she misses Daddy.

Ugh, Daddy. Just her saying that gives me the creeps. It’s like some gross Electra complex. She’s 16! Who says Daddy? I swear.

Then she’s off complaining about how she’s stuck here but she’s the one who chose to go through with the procedure, no one forced her. Also, Eldest? He’s such a pathetic villain. He’s so one-dimensional I was not scared of him at all. Not once. Ever.

I love space, the space program, and everything else so I've watched a lot of documentaries and have taken classes in astronomy and astrobiology so...

I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of science fail in this book but the one thing I remember is how the ship’s engines were failing so they were slowing down. Umm, what? Dude, once you reach escape velocity speed at liftoff you don’t slow down. You keep going faster or maintain that speed without the aid of a booster. This is just some dumb science fail. I have no idea how she created her monoracial society or how she managed to control the entire population just entirely through dumping meds in the water. Does not seem plausible at all.

Also when what’s his face commits suicide and throws himself out into the vacuum of space. He has enough time to turn around and smile and then turn back around again. NO. This does not happen. He will not remain conscious long enough to do so. Sure there have been tests done saying that a human can survive maybe up to a minute in space - losing consciousness in about 15 seconds - but there has never been a recorded case of a human put ENTIRELY in the vacuum of space. There has been NEAR vacuum but not ABSOLUTE vacuum. They also have never accounted for a person being unprotected (I mean, no protective spacesuit whatsoever), and do not account for the extreme low temperatures, radiation, and lack of oxygen (although your water will evaporate/boil off in no time at all). So no. Not working here. You probably may be able to formulate an OH SHIT thought but being able to make the conscious decision of turning around and giving a parting farewell? No. Just no.

And that plot? Forget about it. Everything is so transparent you can figure out what’s going to happen in the beginning quarter of the book. It makes everything move so slowly and it doesn’t help that the characters are all idiots that I want to throw out into space.

I want better science fiction books. Not this.
Profile Image for Lyndsey.
126 reviews3,149 followers
July 4, 2011
Space is awesome! I say that like I've been there. For all you know, I have. I could be a certified astronaut in the U.S. Space Program who took time off from being in space to write fiction about being in space and that's why I've been on Goodreads so much. I could be.... You don't know.

Okay, so I'm not. I haven't nor probably never will go to outer space, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it's the coolest and most awesomest thing in the universe. Which as a matter of fact it actually is the "coolest" natural thing in all the 'verse; that is presuming you can call it a thing. Really space is the absence of things. As the absolute absence of anything, is it really a thing? Should it even have a name? Maybe we should just call it ________. That might be a more accurate description.

Where was I? Oh yeah, space is cool. It can be approximately as low as negative 454.765 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to be specific. Which, unfortunately, is about as cold as the characters and the "romance" in this book. This book doesn't make space cool; it makes it ridiculous.

Let me break it down, now.

-Huge society lives in and operates spaceship, with cryogenically frozen peeps in tow, destined to start a colony on a new planet.
-Everyone awake on the ship is dark-olive skinned with brown hair and brown eyes.
-The society doesn't have any sort of religion or superstitious beliefs.
-Their appearance seems to be of Asian decent, but they speak and act distinctly American.
-They are supposedly all descendants from the original earth-based crew of many different ethnicities.

Even with the backstory we get later on in the book, I just don't see a set of circumstances unfolding logically that would follow these lines, leading to that sort of society, especially since no useful background information is given as to how or why it might have happened. After 300 years, they only have a couple new words (brilly and frex)?! Everything else is the same? And after 300 years, no religions or superstitions were passed down or even created? And how did they all become mono-ethnic? They weren't originally.

They have the technology to use cryogenics and build a humongous space ship, larger than the entire island of Iwo Jima, capable of flying across the galaxy, but they still use pencils and paper? They don't even have tablet computers.

And mostly, why WHY would you need an entire society to keep an eye on the ship. Wouldn't it make more sense to have shifts of people woken from cryogenics to keep an eye on the star charts, instead of an entire society that needs to be fed, watered, and continuously breeding just to keep the ship running? Wouldn't the engines have been more efficient if they didn't have to support an entire city and farmland and a ginourmous artificial sun?

But even though they have this huge society, they still tons of people in cryogenics.

And now, some of the cryogenically frozen are being murdered. So, all this technology an all these essential people and they don't have ANY better security? No cameras? No A.I.? And all you have to do is unplug those in cryo to kill them?!

Oh, and also, they only breed every once in a great while and when it happens, they do IT everywhere.

Space kids playing CSI. That's all this was. Aaaaand the plot line made about as much sense as David Caruso's lines.

*husky voice* "I think it's about to get real cold in....." *puts on sunglasses with dramatic pause* "SPACE"


[image error]

Some books I like to take my time with. I revel in the beautiful language or study the composition of the sentences. Some I reread passages just for the heck of it. Then, some books I inhale because I can think of nothing else. I can't stop reading as fast I can, because I just can't get enough.

This was none of the above. Across The Universe was easy to put down and not feel compelled to pick back up. I didn't take my time with it either though because I just wasn't that intrigued by the details or descriptions and didn't feel invested in the mystery. So I got through it quickly, but not because I was consumed by it. Rather the opposite. What is the opposite of consumed? Ummm, vomited? Expelled!! Expelled sounds better. This book expelled me from it. It said "read me and be done with it already."

The person who we are, I think, supposed to see as a bad guy, doesn't seem as bad as the main characters seem to see him. The murderer was so obvious that it makes me laugh.

Also, the cover is VERY misleading. It looks like a romance, does it not? Yeah, there is pretty much ZERO romance in this book, which I actually might have appreciated if I hadn't already been expecting romance. But I almost didn't notice the lack of lovey-dovey, because I was so distracted with questions and vehement disagreement with the ridiculous world-building.

What happened to the books that surprise and astound me with the answers to the questions they raise? I want a book that SHOCKS me with a capital Lightning Bolt.

Am I so jaded of a reader that nothing shocks me anymore? Or is it the books that are jaded from an over-sold and over-saturated YA market?
Profile Image for Ninoska Goris.
261 reviews159 followers
February 26, 2018
Español - English

“Nunca me di cuenta de lo importante que era el cielo hasta que me quedé sin él."

El Fortuna es una nave espacial que es un pequeño mundo. Generaciones y generaciones viven y mueren en ella para llegar al nuevo planeta Tierra Centauri. Lo que no saben sus habitantes es que llevan a 100 personas crionizadas para ayudarlos a colonizar el nuevo planeta.

Eldest, el líder de la nave la gobierna con tanto celo y secretismo que no ayuda a Elder, futuro líder, a entender como desempeñará su papel como líder.

Amy, una joven de 17 años que estaba crionizada con sus padres, despierta en un momento que no debería y debe enfrentarse a vivir en un entorno desconocido.

No es un libro completamente de romance juvenil, lo que es una suerte. Aunque sí existe la premisa para eso.

El libro está escrito desde los puntos de vista de Amy y de Elder, lo cual aunque me gusta este es una excepción porque en las primeras páginas Amy está congelada y no tiene nada importante que decir, salvo recordar a su exnovio Jason.

No pude conectar con ningunos de los personajes, que son muy planos y se sabe poco de ellos.
Es un libro escrito para YA, así que es una lectura ligera. Me fascinan los libros de distopias y aunque esperaba más de este, disfruté la lectura. Que si leeré el siguiente libro de la serie? Pues, por supuesto!


The Fortune is a spaceship that is a small world. Generations and generations live and die in it to reach the new planet Earth Centauri. What its inhabitants do not know is that they have 100 people crionized (frozen) to help them colonize the new planet.

Eldest, the leader of the ship governs it with such zeal and secrecy that it does not help Elder, future leader, to understand how he will play his role as leader.

Amy, a 17-year-old girl who was frozed with her parents, wakes up in a moment that she should not and must face living in an unknown environment.

It is not a book entirely of youthful romance, which is good. Although there is a premise for that.

The book is written from the points of view of Amy and Elder, which although I like this is an exception because in the first pages Amy is frozen and has nothing important to say, except to remember her ex-boyfriend Jason.

I could not connect with any of the characters, which are very flat and little is known about them.

It's a book written for YA, so it's a light reading. I am fascinated by the books of dystopias and although I expected more from this one, I enjoyed reading. What if I read the next book in the series? Well, of course!
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,478 reviews19.3k followers
October 21, 2015
First of all: YAY I FINALLY FINISHED A BOOK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN LIKE OVER A WEEK WOOOO. Now on to the actual(ish) review! I AM SO MAD AT MYSELF FOR WAITING SO LONG TO READ THIS. I've had it on my shelf for years and finally decided to pick it up on a whim and WOW. I loved it SO MUCH. I want the next ones already bc I am dying to know how it ends!!
Profile Image for Juliana Zapata.
280 reviews4,197 followers
June 2, 2015
Estoy impresionada con esta historia, me parece sumamente original, las emociones y el peligro son protagonistas. El libro se pone mejor a cada página, descubrimos las mil mentiras con las que funciona "Fortuna" y nos enamoramos de los protagonistas.

Me ha encantado, espero leer pronto el segundo libro.

Reseña Completa: http://bastvilard.blogspot.com/2015/0...
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
January 10, 2012

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I have read a few YA dystopian society books and I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. It would have gotten 4 stars, but I found the ending to be a bit predictable. There were also a few things I didn't like. There will probably be spoilers in this review, but I'll indicate where I'm about to reveal something.

Across the Universe is a really cool story about a girl named Amy who is frozen in time for 250 years aboard the space ship Godspeed. However, she is violently awaken 50 years before the ship reaches it's destination. She struggles to adapt with the strange life on the space ship, while she attempts to solve the mystery and unravel the lies surrounding it.

One thing I really liked about the book was the changes in POV from Amy to Elder. Often times when I'm reading YA novels, I'm constantly wondering, "What the hell is he *really* thinking?" I also really liked Amy. She was a strong female character. That is a breath of fresh air considering so many female characters to are not strong and are damsels in distress. That irks me.

I really enjoyed the premise behind the plot. Frozen people aboard a huge ship in space, traveling to a new planet to colonize. There were no supernatural creatures, just a mystery that Amy and Elder are determined to solve. I really enjoy sci-fi, so naturally I thought this book was perfect for me.

Now on to the flaws:
*This part of the review will probably have spoilers*

Let's take a look a the characters in-depth, shall we?

As I said before I really did like her. However, every time she referred to her father as "Daddy" drove me up a wall. Do 17 year-olds really do that? I tried to choke it up at first to the fact that she missed her parents. But then she kept calling him "Daddy" to the other characters and each time I felt mildly embarrassed for her. It was just odd. And what about her mother? She didn't give a rats ass about her. She was mostly concerned for "Daddy" not "mom." But the biggest problem I have with her was her willingness to just go against what Eldest said. Yes, I know you want to protect your family. I get it. But this dude just told you he will eject you into space if you become a disturbance, and you have the balls, excuse me, "chutz" to back talk him to his face? Really? Do you want to die? Can we at least be sneaky? Do you have no sense of self-preservation?

Where do I begin? He was a little wimp most of the book. One minute he is a toddler whining to Eldest about not be taught everything and the next he is a dog with his tail between his legs. He can't decide if he wants to still trust Eldest or not even though he constantly verbally abused Elder. The whole time I was just waiting to Eldest to bitch slap him. I kinda understand why he unplugged Amy. He was pretty much obsessed with her. A stalker. Dude was staring at her naked, fantasizing about "what they could do together." How creepy does he sound?! What wasn't clear was when he actually unplugged her. He seemed really shocked when he saw her drowning in her ice box. In fact, he was in the garden when the alarm sounded. So by the end of the book, I'm wondering, "When did he actually do it and why did he just leave her out and leave?" That doesn't make sense to me.

I really liked him. He was my favorite character. I was sad he was killed off. I also think he would have developed a stronger relationship with Amy. He just seemed better for her.

He kinda reminded me of a mad scientist in a way. I think he was just as responsible for the crap that was happening on that ship as much as Eldest. I hope he gets some just desserts in the next book.

He believed Hitler was a great leader. I was glad when he died. 'Nuf said.

A true crazy amongst them. But I found it terribly obvious who he was from the beginning. When Revis told us about his scar in the beginning, I knew exactly what that meant. And that made me angry, because it made Elder look like a total idiot that he didn't know.

The people, the plot, the ship: Wow, the people in this book through me for a loop. When the Season hit they just ran around naked having sex wherever they pleased. This made me extremely uncomfortable. I guess this was the intent. Mission complete Revis. The ship and the science was totally believable. I could follow it and see it a possibility. The biggest con in this book would have to be it being a bit predictable. But, it did keep me very interested in the story once Amy awakens. I read it in one sitting from that point on. So it's defiantly not boring by any means.

So all in all, it's a decent read and I look forward the other sequels.

More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Lotte.
546 reviews1,108 followers
July 26, 2015
A highly underrated book in my opinion. A great mix of science-fiction, dystopia and murder mystery that keeps you guessing until the very last page. Also a great trilogy as a whole! Definitely recommend this.
Profile Image for oliviasbooks.
774 reviews514 followers
January 31, 2011
4.5 stars. The spaceship Goodspeed is on its 300 years long journey to an inhabitable planet, Centauri-Earth. On board are about hundred specialists and their families (bio-engineers, tacticians, sociologists) stored as frozen human cargo in the deep and forgotten bowels of the huge vessel as well as two and a half thousand common inhabitants, who either research plants, weather and livestock for the future socialization or farm and produce goods for the small community. Since an obscure past event referred to as "The Plague" severed all connections to Sol-Earth and decimated the breathing population, the on-board democracy has been replaced by a the firm rule of a string of single and almighty rulers, who control access to the Earth's (tampered with) and the ship's (partly hazy) history, the use of cameras, the knowledge about what sleeps in the storage chambers, and who exchanged random reproduction for a system of one mating season per generation. The present ruler, Eldest, appears to be reluctant to share his vast knowledge with his still teen-aged successor, Elder, but emphasizes that the greatest dangers to a surviving society are differences between the members and lack of leadership. Slighted and unsatisfied Elder snoops around and discovers the already melting Amy, who is not only non-essential to the ship's mission (aka disposable if in the way), but also red-headed, pale and a powerful threat to Eldest's omnipotence. Elder's world view is shaken up: What else has been hidden from him and who is attempting to murder those who represent the pathway to a successful settlement?

When I compare "Across the Universe" to Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder, which also takes place in a small, confined and heavily controlled world/eco-system, I have to say I prefer "Inside Out". But, nonetheless, I loved "Across the Universe", too, and look forward to reading the sequel next year, because ...

- It kept me glued to the pages to that extent that I was ripping my eyes open again and again last night while my husband already snored through his third dream or so
- I am a sucker for multi-point-of-view-stories, especially those switching between a boy and a girl
- I really love on-board-of-spaceship-novels that do not primarily deal with war (I also recommend Startide Rising and I greedily wait for Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue to be delivered to my postbox)
- I enjoyed that Beth Revis did not deliver a soppy romance in a thin and superficial space-travel wrapping, but a thrilling space mystery with fantastic world building and a pleasant sprinkling of boy-girl-attraction.
- The characters - even the side-crew - were well-defined, hard-angled and interesting
- Think-worthy questions about leadership, free will and the perfect socialization are touched on the way without offering simple answers.

I recommend this piece of dystopian young adult fiction and say "Beth, bring on the sequel! You've earned all that praise."
Profile Image for Sandy.
291 reviews187 followers
February 7, 2011
I really, REALLY wanted to love Across the Universe. I've been eagerly anticipating this book for months. And then...I started reading. And it put me to sleep three nights in a row.

I hate that feeling when a book you've looked forward to for so long turns out to be...meh.

Part of my problem? I read Maria V. Snyder's Inside Out last week, and I couldn't help but make comparisons with Inside Out so fresh in my mind. Inside Out is so unique and compelling that Across the Universe felt flat, weary, and (frankly, in some parts) disturbing in comparison.

(As an aside, I highly recommend Inside Out for sci-fi lite, dystopian fans. It's a little tedious in the beginning with all of the technical descriptions--props to Across the Universe for including the ship diagram--but Inside Out hits its stride and turns into a riveting tale of life contained inside a metal cube of secrets.)

I admit--I had lofty expectations for Across the Universe, which affected my enjoyment. The novel has such a promising premise--I love the idea of blurring the genres into a this sci-fi mystery romance in a dystopian world--and I guess I was just expecting too much. The characters weren't unlikeable, but I didn't find myself really cheering for them, either. The best character in the novel went the way of Cogon from Inside Out, and I'm disappointed this character won't be back for the sequel.

The worst part of Across the Universe is the overuse of "The Season" hammer. I get it--the Season is disturbing and creepy and unnatural--but I felt like Revis kept hitting me over the head with it again and again. I think a few mentions would have been okay since it is important to the plot, but I feel like I spent the entire middle of the book scrunching my nose and saying, "Eeeew, gross." I wanted to scrub my mind with some disinfectant afterward.

Across the Universe was not a terrible read, but it just never felt completely engaging and compelling--I never had that crazy obsessed feeling you get when you're reading the most amazing book and just CANNOT. PUT. IT. DOWN.

Across the Universe poses some intriguing questions regarding survival, leadership, free will, individual thought, and differences in society, and I hope these ideas will be explored in even greater depth in the sequel, as some of the answers at the end felt too simplistic. It was too black and white without enough exploration of the characters' motivations. The mystery is a little obvious and you'll figure it out way before Elder and Amy, but it did add another dimension to the novel. However, for me, Across the Universe did not live up to the hype.
Profile Image for Kiki.
193 reviews8,460 followers
January 24, 2016
I unexpectedly LOVED this one, up until the last eight pages, which were bullshit.

(Also the whole nuclear thing annoyed me because that's just not how spacecraft engines work, but I was enjoying the story so much that the science fails washed over me.)

Review to come. Damn those eight pages.
Profile Image for Literary Ames.
828 reviews396 followers
September 27, 2011
Lessons learned :
Never trust history.
Never trust doctors.
Never trust scientists.
Never trust technology.
Never trust blanket medication.

Overall my experience with this book was like meeting and falling in love, being excited and happy, then slowly finding out that he's not perfect. He drinks out of the milk carton, he ignores you in favour of sports events and when you finally get his clothes off he's as smooth as a Ken doll but insists he can still have children. Then finding out he's right he can make babies, just not the same enjoyable way everyone else does, which is confusing and unsatisfying.

If you're going to write science fiction, could you at least research the science? Please, please get your facts right, if you don't then you must sell this as fantasy not SF.

I assumed, not even 50% in, that I was reading unscientific science fiction i.e. fantasy. As far as I was concerned the author had made little attempt to research certain aspects of her story so why was I wasting my time reading it? I was THIS close to giving up. It was almost as disastrous as my experience with the scientifically unsound I am Number Four. Little did I know that if I had given up, I would've missed out on the explanations which magically fixed many of the obstacles that I'd previously believed were unquestionably insurmountable because science told me so, and therefore the cure-all bandage Revis slaps on the problems didn't sit right with me. They were hard to accept in the face of catastrophically fatal situations. There is a lesson in this: if it reads like unintelligent drivel some readers may give up on your work before you make the big reveal that attempts to explain the drivel.

Amy's character is well-drawn and her memories and emotions are brilliantly portrayed. I had some difficulty with Elder's character but his personality was a result of Eldest's manipulation and his awakening is caused by Amy's inquisitiveness and tenaciousness. I was glad he was finally able to see the truth of things.

Harley and his girlfriend were an excellent examples of people not being able to cope under the pressure of living on the claustrophobic ship surrounded by fakery (there is no substitute for the real thing) because despite his mood swings and obsession problem they were both perfectly sane, despite being labelled crazy.

It was completely understandable the almost absurd lengths Eldest went to to impose and maintain the many methods of manipulation in order for everyone to survive. Survival was imperative. Quality of life means nothing in the face of that. Or does it? And that's what this questions.

This society may not believe in any religion as we know it but they do have religion: hope. Hope is their "opium of the masses" (a Marxist philosophy on the merits of religion) which is a method of control. By giving the people hope that their sacrifices will ensure that their children will be the ones to one day see real sky above their heads and feel earth beneath their feet, keeps them going, keeps them working, living, breathing. Without hope what is there?

There are moments, scenes, words of wisdom -that are pure genius and others where I felt baffled, confused and angry when I think I'm reading utter crap. Ideas have been stolen from movies like Serenity (Phydus is Pax) and the less popular Demolition Man (being conscious in cryo) which makes me wonder how much of this book is original. There is no romance despite the cover (Elder is interested in Amy but not vice versa), and we know who the killer is before the search even begins. Bevis gets the human element right but the science and mystery completely wrong. It's a real mixed bag and it's difficult for me to determine my position on this book, positive or negative. A five star beginning graduating to a one star ending?

Timeline of my reading experience (i.e. like status updates)

~ Hooked by page 10 and in love by page 11. I am in love. And I am not a cheap date. But why don't they knock 'em out before starting the freezing process? Much less painful and traumatising. This is not something I'd want to go through.

~ I'd want my extra year on Earth back too, honey, but life ain't fair. Best you learn that now. You chose this, I wouldn't have. Deal with it.

~ Reminded of the movie Demolition Man (and a little of The Matrix) here. They're both conscious during their cryo state. How does she not go crazy?

~ Jarred by the second POV, Amy is more than enough for me. I like her. I like her a lot. I want her to live. So why does she never get her blood back during reanimation? She's literally blue-blooded now. She IS a freak!

~ Frexing? Brilly? Chutz? Are there only three new words in 250 years? That's unrealistic. Language in the 1760s was different to today. The author probably should've left these out instead of calling attention to it.

~ Why do they repeatedly say the generational Elder between Elder Jnr and Eldest is dead? He's obviously not. And he's probably the killer.

~ I've noticed a small thing and it's got me thinking about the science in this science fiction. The plague killed off many, decreasing the on-board free-range population to the 700s -this is where I couldn't help but question the MVP (minimum viable population). Taking into consideration the 100 frozen battery humans, I do a quick Google search and the result is not good. Extinction, a foregone conclusion. In theory you need more than 3,000 individuals for a species to survive. So why read the rest? Because I'm in lurve and this will be amazing. Nothing will spoil this. Nothing!

~ I like fresh air. *opens window*

~ That old man. He's going to heaven sooner than he thinks, isn't he? I just know it. Well, that solves the pensions crisis.

~ Um, if incest is an issue with such a small population, why is everyone indiscriminately bonking? Be ready for the possibility of birth defects in the next generation. Also, why are those in their twenties the only ones to go through their Season? Shouldn't everyone older as well as the supposed crazies plus Amy, Elder, Eldest, Doc etc. be bonking their brains out?

~ Halfway in and we've turned away from a possible romance as advertised on the cover and we're ignoring Elder's boner around Amy's red hair. No, now we're solving a murder. Whaaaaat? Elder is all talk. I thought he was going to use that boner to show Eldest who's boss. Er, that didn't come out right. I meant, he was going defy Eldest by making love to that (girl with the) beautiful red hair and then usurp/depose Eldest. Oh, and quietly but quickly solve the whodunnit. Elder is a disappointing hero.

~ I liked my priorities. Why aren't my priorities Amy's priorities. Look, love, you've been frozen for centuries, without boys, there's a cute muscley one in front of you, you have hormones, go get 'im!

~ She refuses to listen. We must find clues to who likes to unplug frozen people. Yawn. We, the reader, all ready know who it is, why bother? There is no mystery to solve for us but we have to watch and wait for the characters slowly put things together. Tedious.

~ Let's get rid of the Hitler-worshipping Nazi instead, shall we? Anything but crime-solving. Anything! A threesome with Harley? It promises to be colourful and sticky. Well, more sticky. No? *whines*

~ CSI:Godspeed is on the job!

~ Those fingerprints tell me the Eldest/Elders are

~ Soon there'll be no frozens left to help colonise Centauri. This ship is doomed.

~ Dragggggging. Not much happening.

*flips to the back*

Oh, a map. I didn't know there was one.

*reads the last 40 pages*

That's it?! That's how it ends?! But...but that was too easy. No mystery to it, and I was right all along. No surprises, no realisation that they're on a failed mission.

Amy should've stayed on Earth, run the New York marathon and married Jason. That was obviously her heart's desire. Her father knew that, it's a shame she didn't. Mind you, it wasn't fair of him to give her the choice at the last minute. She made a decision under pressure and panic had her following her parents.

*back to reading, well, skimming...*

~ Attempted rape. I thought Elder said there was no crime now. Hormones are no excuse.

'And I know without being told that she killed herself. And I totally understand why.' Me too. I don't envy their lives.

~ Incest and MVP problem solved but not in a way I completely accept although I'm feeling very wary of medicine and scientists right now.

~ I was right, they are doomed!
”People will survive anything for their children.”

p336 ~ The seasons, the generations and other methods of manipulation all make more sense now.

“We’re just pawns. A means to an end. Toys you manufacture to keep playing your game.”

The 3 main causes of discord:
1) Difference
2) Lack of leadership

~ SERENITY! – A big whopping dose of the movie, Serenity. Pax = Phydus. No reavers but the other effect of the Pax in varying doses is exactly the same as Phydus.

~ Recycling. They recycle EVERYTHING. People are treated like things. *gulp*
‘[...] I realize the simple truth is that power isn’t control at all-power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to stand on their own.' p344.

I've read the end so...THE END.

*******I apologise for the extra long review but it was the only way to illustrate my frustrations.*******
Profile Image for Princess Bookie.
960 reviews97 followers
February 2, 2011
My Thoughts: Wow, Wow, Wow! I tend to stay away from Sci-fi based novels but this one blew me away. As soon as I saw the summary I knew I wanted to read it, than the cover alone is worth buying it over.

We are introduced to Amy right away and her thoughts and feelings. She is getting ready to be frozen and even the very beginning of the book is very intense. The first few pages made my stomach hurt because I felt so sorry for her because the decision she had to make was huge. Than a few pages later we meet Elder. He is the future leader of the ship; the Godspeed. He is being trained to take over the ship and lead his generation to their new home.

Amy ends up getting woken up early and Elder does everything he can to try to make her more comfortable. He is very intrigued by this new girl. She is so different from everyone on the ship, her personality, her hair color, her looks, just everything. He finds her fascinating. Of course the leader of the ship right now, Elder does not like her at all. He finds her to be a nuisance and wants her gone.

Their are so many secrets, lies, mysteries on the ship that there is never a dull moment and we are constantly learning new things. Amy's parents are still frozen and she fears they will be woken up just like she was, which she knows now was not an accident because a few others have been unfrozen left to die. And than there is The Season. It's basically where everyone starts mating to reproduce to keep the ships population going on. I hated it from the get go! Love needs to be natural, not predestined. I understand they need to keep humans on the ship but I wanted people to fall in love!

I also loved all the characters in Across The Universe. There were a lot of side characters to keep the story going. I liked getting to know them all.

No spoilers in this review because I don't want to spoil it for anyone so just read the book to find out what happens! What happens to Amy? Does she ever make it off the ship? Does Elder become leader? When does the ship land?

Overall: I really loved this one. I'm usually not a big fan of sci-fi type books. I tend to stick with paranormal or contemp romance YA but this one had just striked my fancy. It was a wonderful book! Its a pretty thick book but I finished it within a day. Once I started, I didn't want to stop. I just had to know what was going to happen!!! It was also told in separate points of view so we got to experience things both with Amy and Elder!Loved that!

Cover: The cover is beautiful. Its striking with just the right amount of colors. Very unique and pretty.

What I'd Give It: 5/5 Cupcakes

Taken from Princess Bookie
Profile Image for Ariana.
938 reviews1,302 followers
March 20, 2015
"A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder."


# First - the cover is absolutely gorgeous (at least I love it) and this is what made me want to read this book.. And so the myth saying that a book with a great cover is always horrible is busted (just) for the moment ;))

# Second, the cover and the beginning of the quote from above are just a bit wrong - this is not really a love story (not so far), we have some romance in it but it is a small part of this book compared to everything else.

# Third - about the book... It's really hard to talk about it not wanting to spoil it for you.
It's strange but what I liked the most was the description.. not the description of the ship itself, but the descriptions of the dreams Amy had, of her feelings, of Elder's feelings for the strange girl with white skin and red hair. The description of this new society so strange and different, with those people that are more like aliens than humans. It's a great book, written in a wonderful way, and I just love every page of it.

We have this girl Amy, who loves Earth, and life on Earth, and more than that she loves her parents (mostly her dad) and wants to go with them when they decide to enroll for this adventure of finding a new planet to live on. We find out some things about her life on Earth, about her deceptions, and we find out more about what she misses from home, about her dreams and fears, about the way she sees the world. She tries to give us the definition of "normal".. but what normal really is?

Than we have Elder who doesn't find his place in a tiny world made of iron (the only world he knows) and who dreams about a new world infinite and not perfect and not symmetrical, and not hand-made. He is the next to rule over the people on this ship, but finding about the secrets this ship is keeping is not an easy task to do, and knowing is sometimes not better that not knowing at all.
I don't like when the main characters have such big responsibilities on their shoulders because they have to 'split' between love and duty and the development of those 2 sides of their personality is never enough to make that character stand out. Elder was a teenager and it was enough to see a girl he loved (a girl that was kind of forbidden) to forget about the fact that he was supposed to train to be a leader - his only purpose in life.

There story reminded me about 'The Hunger Games' just because Elder is the one that cares the most. At the end I can't tell if Amy liked him or not that much because her feeling are not that easy to figure out. Elder on the other way made us understand from the first moment he sees her that he is amazed by her beauty and he would want to keep her forever by his side, to love her all his life. For him is like love at first sight (or what love at first sight might mean in a such strange world that Godspeed is). We see him protecting her and her dreams, struggling between his duties and his feelings, and the more we know him the less we expect him to surprise us in any way, but he does..

Another important character is Eldest. You may see him as the "bad guy" in this story (everyone thinks that he is the Evil in person), the one that keeps so many secrets, the one that makes so many horrible things... and he might be.... but I don't really see him that way, I think that given the situation he made the best he could on those critical moments (and I don't agree with him , is not that, I just understand why he did all those things). Maybe there would have been other ways to keep the ship running (some more ethical ways), but desperate moments need desperate measures and the most he could do was keeping his people alive. I don't agree with the situation on the ship (God help us all to be in such an environment) but I can see how he didn't know better, how they were on their own, with no one to help them or give them an advice, with no one to tell if they are right or wrong, a tiny world in such a huge universe, all on their own. He was wrong about so many things but he didn't do all those things because he had a dark soul.. that's the most I can tell about him.
.... And we will see in the next installment if he was right or not, if there are better ways to run this ship, to be a better leader over those desperate people, if the truth is better than the lies, if the hope is not the one that keeps us moving.. and now I think that I just said too much.

About the killer - well I knew who the killer was from almost the beginning. I was a bit annoyed to see how no one noticed anything wrong about the killers attitude and all, and I was a bit more surprised about the revelation itself, about all that we found at the end of the book. I was like "OMG!.... no way" about so many things and my only regret is that the ending was so, so, soooo rushed.
This was the best part of the book from my point of view, when all the pieces of the puzzle fitted together for the first time, and there were things that I knew about, but some that I didn't see coming... And now I need to read this book again at least partially (to figure out why didn't I see it all coming)... But everything was so damn rushed and I couldn't keep up with all of it because even in one paragraph there was a lot to tell.. I don't know, it just gave me the impression that the author really needed to finish the book but wanted to tell us the full story in those few pages and it's a shame because in a way this is the part I liked the most.

And the last scene from the book is so strange, like the quiet before the storm, it scares me more than all those creepy scenes from the book. I'm not saying more, but I guess that in next book we will find out more.

Also, there are still questions that need to be answered - for example I want to know what did Eldest tell Harley near the end. This might be something unimportant for most of you, but that was why he made the decision he made and I would've liked to know him better, because he was one of my favorite character. And there are things that remained in the air (like some scene that leaves some marks on Amy's skin.. I don't want to spoil it for you and I won't insist about it, but still the scene was not resolved at all.)

Favorite quotes:

"I am as silent as death.
Do this: Go to your bedroom. Your nice, safe, warm bedroom that is not a glass coffin behind a morgue door. Lie down on your bed not made of ice. Stick your fingers in your ears. Do you hear that? The pulse of life from your heart, the slow in-and-out from your lungs? Even when you are silent, even when you block out all noise, your body is still a cacophony of life. Mine is not. It is the silence that drives me mad. The silence that drives the nightmares to me.
Because what if I am dead?"
~ Amy

"I never thought about how important the sky was until I didn't have one." ~ Amy

"I want to take her into my arms and hold her tight. But at the same time, I know that is the exact opposite of what she wants. She wants to be free, and all I want is to hold her tight against me." ~ Elder

"When I look at the fields, all I can see is how fake they are, how poor an imitation they are of the pictures of Sol-Earth fields. [...]
And that's why I'll never be as good an Eldest as he is.
Because I like a little chaos."
~ Elder

Now, some notes:

1. There are some scenes that are not described in detail, but they are definitely more than what YA should be about. I didn't enjoyed some of them but I guess there were important for us to see how twisted that 'world' was.

2. Also, I don't know what's the thing with the curse words in this book. If you feel like swearing just do it all the way.. if not, just keep it for yourself. Don't try to hide the sun behind your finger. My first words in English were "yes" ,"no" ,"fuck".. I think I can deal with reading that word just fine (thank you very much for your concern) and it's more annoying to read a " frexing " derivative of it.

3. I just don't know why people keep comparing this book with "The Host" because they are nothing alike (and I love them both).. except for the fact that the action takes place in the future, and the main interest in the story is the humanity, Earth, the beauty of life, love, etc.. Well, except for these 2 things, there is nothing that could possibly link these 2 books together.

This review can be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com

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Profile Image for Nomes.
384 reviews376 followers
December 12, 2010
I'm just going to come right out and say it: This book was BRILLIANT and I absolutely LOVED every moment of it. I devoured it all through the night and have been thinking about it ever since (3 weeks ago).

Where to begin with my (rave-on) review?

It's epic, dystopian, has an impossible romance, mystery, creativity and lots of heart and soul.

The prose: Gorgeous and evocative. For a sci-fi it was so not complicated to follow - it flowed seamlessly.

The whole concept: Mate, it's so well explored. The world building felt flawless. It's in depth but so accessible. I can only imagine the immense thought and creativity involved in producing such a book. Exceptional stuff. It was so easy to imagine myself on board the Godspeed - a beautifully painted world. I loved being a part of it.

The characters: Loved them. Particularly Amy - I really felt for her, nothing was easy for her - (Revis does not suffer from the whole being kind to your characters syndrome :). There's some genuine moments where I was so moved with compassion and emotion. Also, the villains - ahh, complex with shades of good and bad, making the moral ambiguity so conflicting to read. Really well drawn.

The plotting: WOW. There's a lot to admire. As in, HOLY COW, it's just brilliantly plotted.

Twists and turns and mysteries and conspiracies. The stakes are continually raised and then something happens that you don't see coming and they are raised again. I thought I had things figured out but then Revis would throw a new spanner in the works and I'd be all whirling about again. Which is why I read it all through the night... unputdownable kinda stuff. Plus, she juggled all the world building, flashbacks, outer space, mystery, history and multi-POV.

Recommended: Absolutely one of my favourite reads this year. I am completely in awe of it. This is a book to suck in non-readers, males, fans of any genre. It's one my dad would enjoy as well as my teen niece. Even more - I recommend SNATCHING it up as a high school text. The themes in this book would be brilliantly explored in class discussion. A first class book from a talented new author. Just wow.

*note: there are some mature themes regarding, ahh, human mating :)

Here's my casting call :)


Karen Gillan as Amy (just imagine her a tad younger. PERFECT :)
Profile Image for Denisse.
492 reviews290 followers
October 16, 2015
With a fluent pace and fresh sci-fi/mystery elements, Across the Universe offers a light read mixed with some glimpses of serious topics. The entire dynamic of the spaceship and how it is controlled was very well developed, and while it does takes some time to start the actual plot, the first pages are very interesting and well written. Beth Revis has some of the best sci-fi ideas I have read about, and even when I’d want her to do an adult book, her young adult light development is always refreshing and smart without being over plotted or over explained.

My YA-2015-SEASON continues...this is #4

“I never thought about how important the sky was until I didn't have one.”

Me encanta Beth Revis. Siempre se me hace súper relajado y divertido leerla. Hay algo en sus libros e historias cortas que simplemente me fascina. Trae ideas muy frescas y las desarrolla bien a mi parecer.

Esta trilogía en particular arranca con mucha fuerza. A pesar de que nuestros protagonistas Elder y Amy son jóvenes, la trama no esta cargada de romance, hay una o dos escenas por ahí pero nada all-over-your-face. Y esto hace que el misterio y lo sci-fi de la historia tome un protagónico que se disfruta mucho.

Lo mejor de Revis es que no explica lo inexplicable. Sabe que hay cosas que no puede explicar con ciencia así que las deja como solo ideas sueltas sci-fi que ayudan a su trama. Mientras que otras si tienen explicación y las expone de forma rápida y concisa.

Si lo estuviera leyendo por primera vez ahora en pleno 2015, habría visto venir ciertos giros, pero la mayoría están bien escondidos en la trama. Aunque, como es en realidad relectura de mi parte, pude apreciar ciertas pistas que iba dejando la autora que obviamente no vi la primera vez que lo leí. Y aunque sabia lo que iba a pasar, disfrute mucho la lectura.

Aclarando que todo esta a un nivel YA, por lo tanto aunque se toquen temas como la tiranía, el control biológico o incluso algo sobre sexualidad bastante fuerte, no se siente demasiado oscuro o denso. Mucho de eso gracias a la escritura de Revis, bastante ligera. Y eso es un gran acierto, el saber tocar temas delicados de forma juvenil. No cualquiera lo puede hacer.

Los personajes, sobretodo los 2 principales, me encantan. Tienen ese ímpetu rebelde típico de un adolescente pero con los atisbos de pensamientos maduros que de repente tiene uno a esa edad. Me encanta. Sus diferencias y las conversaciones que encabezan me encantan.

Al final, Across the Universe queda como una lectura fácil, pero en la cual puedes encontrar intensidad y madurez dentro de ciertas subtramas si te das tiempo a leer detenidamente. Recomendado si te gusta la ciencia ficción dentro del genero juvenil y estas en busca de algo amigable pero interesante.
Profile Image for Yulitza Moncada.
38 reviews93 followers
March 2, 2016
Siempre quise leer este libro y no sé por qué no lo había hecho, DIOS MIO ME ENCANTO!!

El libro me ha sorprendido totalmente, la historia me envolvió como tienen idea, es muy original y los personajes aunque no son muchos y no te saturas de tantos te llegas a meter tanto en la historia que cuando vas a ver, solo te faltan 20 páginas para terminar el libro ya que no te aburres ni te cansas, ni se te va a ser una historia pesada para nada, estoy magnificada con el mundo que construyo la autora dentro de esa nave, me encanto demasiado, la forma en cómo se desarrolla la trama, los giros de la historia son tan fabulosos que dios, vas a quedar flipando.

En mi opinión los personajes son el punto fuerte de este libro vemos a Amy pese a que sabe que está sola en un mundo desconocido de una nave, no duda en sobreponerse a pesar del dolor y el sufrimiento que esta viviendo por no estar con sus padres, Elder me encanto, es tan tierno, simpático, y la evolución del personaje a través del libro me impacto, paso de ser un adolescente débil a ser un líder valiente, en el libro vas entiendo y descubriendo todos esos secretos y mentiras que esconde la nave, cosas que te van a dejar impactada y otras que VAYA TE VAS QUEDAR SIN PALABRAS, me pareció muy bien que la relación entre Amy y Elder no fue de esas de TE CONOCÍ Y YA TE AMO, para nada fue así, fue creciendo al ritmo del libro, Eldest ni se diga LO ODIO, LO DETESTE, NO PUEDES ENGAÑAR A LAS PERSONAS TODA UNA VIDA, y los demás personajes secundarios simplemente fueron necesarios en la trama del libro, ninguno quedo sobrando para nada.

En conclusión si aun no se han dado la oportunidad de leer este libro, TIENEN QUE HACERLO, se van a encontrar con una historia y una trama totalmente original, que te aseguro vas a quedar fascinado.
Profile Image for Sherrie.
38 reviews119 followers
August 31, 2016
Keeper Level Shipper Level Feeder Level

The whole idea of an enormous spaceship is just AMAZING.
Well-constructed world. Brilliantly crafted mystery and suspense.
Severe case of insta-love.

This is nothing I've expected. I'm somewhat surprised.
I did enjoy the book and it's worth reading.
If you LOVE sci-fi, you should definitely pick up this book.

Amy's parents have been chosen to be a part of the secretive space mission to a whole new planet, Centauri-Earth. Amy and her parents have been frozen and placed in a spaceship to be awaken in 300 years
However she is reanimated and wakes up earlier than planned in a cold-metallic room with 50 more years to go.
She finds herself in a enclosed world where there's only cold metal walls.
No sky. No stars. No sun. Not even rain.
Everything has changed.
People are mono-ethnic, strictly-controlled by an Eldest(the leader of the spaceship, Godspeed) and ROBOTIC.

Elder (future Eldest) is training to become the next leader of Godspeed and is fascinated by Amy, this new and special girl, the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. Red hair. Pale white skin. But, everyone on the ship is dark-olive skinned with brown hair and brown eyes. While Eldest thinks keeping her is a total danger as the first cause of discord is difference.

If my life on Earth must end, let it end with a promise.
Let it end with hope.

Profile Image for tappkalina.
650 reviews399 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
December 23, 2022
DNF at 45%

Wow, I hate this so much. I thought I can suffer through, but after their first kiss I can't anymore. Eww.

Where do I start? I actually thought I will love this because I'm in a sci-fi mood lately and I love cryosleep. And I was mildly interested in the mystery plot,


The characters have no personality. It is about a boy, who is trained to be the leader, but somehow ends up being a horny rebel after seeing this girl for the first time. Because this girl is so different than everyone else on the ship. She has white skin.
Everyone has darker skin and hair because "the first cause of discord is difference", so they have to look the same and be the same in every area possible.
Then comes this white girl who is considered a "freak" (their word) because she disrupts the order and they are afraid of her and try to attack and even kill her for it. She brings up Hitler. It just felt icky to me, but I haven't seen anyone complain about this, so maybe I'm overreacting.
Another review also mentioned some drugs that make them emotionless, but don't quote me on that because either the information passed me or I haven't gotten to that part yet.

The people don't get education, but how do they want to build a new civilization on a new planet without professionals? The hundred cryosleeping people and the few working in the labs won't be enough for that.

And the romance? The what? It's another case of you are a boy and I am a girl so we should be together even though we spoke two words so far and have zero chemistry and nothing in common. One moment the girl thinks about the boyfriend she left behind on Earth, the other she kisses the mc. The boy thinks [about another character's art box]: "I have no idea why she needs them. I just know that I'd face another Plague to get them for her if I had to." but they have known each other for a day at that point.

Give me a gun.
392 reviews331 followers
November 2, 2010
Favourite quote:- “It is like a piece of my soul had been lost, empty, and it is now filled with the light of a million stars.”

Wow! What an amazing debut. Across the Universe is a book that you will get lost in and completely forget about the rest of the world. Utterly captivating.

It is unique with it’s mix of part space travel, part thriller and part romance. If you are worried that it sounds too sci-fi with all that space travel talk, it is not at all. It will definitely appeal to fans of paranormal, fantasy and even contemporary fiction.

Revis is a clever writer with her engrossing and well thought out plot. There were so many layers to it. In the last 100 pages Revis really pulled out the surprises, leaving my mouth hanging open. And I can tell you now if somebody came up to me and asked if I would liked to get frozen and travel in space, even it included the gorgeous Elder (who I will get to in a minute), I would tell them NO and then run and hide. It would be scary to be stuck on that ship with all it is secrets.

I know some of you are wondering about the ending, if it is a cliffhanger. Well let just say part of the story wraps up nicely and well the other part leaves you wanting more. Satisfying for now.

Now on to the characters. This story is told from both Amy’s and Elder’s point of views and their worlds couldn’t be more different. Amy is probably my standout character. She is the kind of gal that asks questions and is determined to get to the truth and no matter what never gave up. Elder is a sweetheart and gorgeous who also shows a lot of strength when his whole world was coming crashing down on him.

And the romance is beautiful with lines like this:

“I want to take her into my arms and hold her tight. But at the same time, I know that is the exact opposite of what she wants. She wants to be free and all I want to do is hold her tight against me.”

Overall, I loved it. A must read for 2011!
Profile Image for Kyriaki.
428 reviews185 followers
December 18, 2017
Όταν το ξεκίνησα, η αλήθεια είναι πως δεν περίμενα να μου αρέσει τόσο!!

Η Έιμυ και οι γονείς της άφησαν τη ζωή τους στη Γη για να μετοικίσουν σε έναν νέο πλανήτη. Ταξιδεύουν με το διαστημόπλοιο “Καλό Κατευόδιο” σε κατάσταση κρυογονικής ψύξης. Το ταξίδι είναι προγραμματισμένο να διαρκέσει 300 χρόνια, αλλά 50 χρόνια πριν την προσγείωση ο κρυογονικός θάλαμος της Έιμυ αποσυνδέεται και εκείνη ξυπνά!
Αποκλεισμένη σε ένα σκάφος γεμάτο παθητικούς ανθρώπους που θεωρούνται φυσιολογικοί και φυσιολογικούς που θεωρούνται τρελοί και έναν δικτατορικό κυβερνήτη, θα προσπαθήσει να βρει ποιος ήθελε να την σκοτώσει ξεπαγώνοντας την! Μοναδική της βοήθεια ο Πρεσβύτερος, ο μελλοντικός ηγέτης του σκάφους.

Πολύ μυστήριο και πολλά μυστικά που περιμένουν να αποκαλυφθούν! Εξαπάτηση, ψέματα και άνθρωποι που δεν μπορείς να εμπιστευτείς!
Διαβάζεται πολύ πολύ εύκολα, έχει πολύ αγωνία και σε αυτό βοηθάει πολύ και η εναλλασσόμενη αφήγηση μεταξύ της Έιμυ και του Πρεσβύτερου.

Δεν περίμενα να μου αρέσει τόσο, αλλά ήταν πολύ καλό!!
Μείον ένα αστεράκι γιατί κάποια πράγματα ήταν λίιιγο προβλέψιμα και για κάποια ελάχιστα κλισέ τα οποία δεν με ενόχλησαν ακριβώς αλλά θα μπορούσαν και να μην υπάρχουν.....

Τέλος θα ήθελα να σημειώσω ότι το εξώφυλλο είναι πολύ παραπλανητικό!!! Δεν είναι κακό απλά δεν νομίζω ότι αντιπροσωπεύει και πολύ το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο!!
July 29, 2015
This is a book that reminds me why you should NEVER trust goodreads ratings. By looking at the rating I really had low expectations about this book and guess what? I loved it!

For starters, this book wasn't like other sci-fi dystopians that are always so similar: Special girl who ends up being the key to everything, and forced romance. Nope this one was more sci-fi than dystopia.

Another thing I liked was the romance. It was just right amount, not too much to make the reading tacky and enough to keep me wondering and turning the pages at top speed.

Worldbuilding was great, which is something that is not always common in YA dystopia. And the twist at the end, was a great addition to an already well constructed plot! It left me wanting more.

I don't think this book is perfect by any means and I won't add it to my favorites, but as far as YA dystopia it deserves more love.
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