Darlene's Reviews > Across the Universe

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
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Mar 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2012, audiobook, 2012-ya-audiobook-challenge
Read from March 03 to 11, 2012

Amy is a 17 year-old teenager, whose parents are going to be cryogenically frozen so that they can travel in space for 300 years to land on Centauri Earth. Her mother is a geneticist, and her father has a military background, and the government has hand-picked them as well as other essential people who will help colonize and conquer Centauri Earth. Amy and her father watch as her mother undergoes the cryogenic procedure. Her father gives her the chance to back out by going next, telling her that he wants her to be free to make her own choice without their influence: Whether to go with them on their journey through space to be reunited in 300 years, or to remain on Earth with her aunt and uncle. Unbelievably, even after watching her parents drown in cryogenic goo, she still opts to go through with it!

Amy is jolted back to reality when someone turns off her cryogenic chamber and she begins to thaw. Rather than awakening on Centauri Earth, she finds that she is still on the spaceship, Godspeed, and that it is still approximately 49 years before it will land. With her parents still cryogenically frozen, Amy realizes that her parents will outlive her since she will be in her late 60s or possibly even dead before her parents return to the land of the living. As Amy looks for answers as to why someone would want to kill her, she uncovers a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal.

The story is told from alternating points-of-view between Amy and Elder, and I do tend to like these types of books. I feel like it gives the reader an opportunity to get to know the characters on a deeper level.

I really liked the character of Elder, who is Eldest’s successor in governing the people on the ship. He is only 16 years old but was born and trained to fulfill this position of leadership. At the end of the book, I thought he faced his responsibility with maturity and a clear vision of what it means – to him – to be a leader. I found this quote to be particularly poignant:

Elder's thoughts: “Eldest thinks power is control, that the best way to be a leader is to force everyone into obedience. Holding Amy against me, 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 others so that they may have the strength to stand on their own.

This is what I've been looking for since the first day I was told that I was born to lead this ship. Leading Godspeed has nothing to do with being better than everyone else, with commanding and forcing and manipulating. Eldest isn't a leader. He's a tyrant.
A leader doesn't make pawns-he makes people.”

It didn’t knock my socks off, but I still really enjoyed Across the Universe. I thought that it was a solid series opener. The pace of the book was good, and Revis hooked me right at the beginning with her graphic description of the cryogenic procedure which left me squirming! I thought that the antagonists were quite vile, and they became more and more repugnant as Amy uncovered the extent of their deceit. It will be interesting to see where Revis takes us with the next in the series, A Million Suns. I have a feeling that the series is only going to get better!

This is my first narration by Lauren Ambrose and Carlos Santos. I thought that both portrayed the teenage roles convincingly.

MY RATING: 4 stars!! It was really good, and I would recommend it!
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Quotes Darlene Liked

Beth Revis
“Eldest thinks power is control, that the best way to be a leader is to force everyone into obedience. Holding Amy against me, 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 other so that they may have the strength to stand on their own.
This is what I've been looking for since the first day I was told that I was born to lead this ship. Leading Godspeed has nothing to do with being better than everyone else, with commanding and forcing and manipulating. Eldest isn't a leader. He's a tyrant.
A leader doesn't make pawns-he makes people.”
Beth Revis, Across the Universe


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