Publish Date: January 11, 2011
Series: Across the Universe #1
Synopsis: 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.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In Across the Universe, we follow the life of seventeen year-old Amy. Along with her parents, they are about to embark on their very own space odyssey. The government has sanctioned the brand new cargo space ship, the Godspeed, to travel 300 years towards a planet with the same resource sustainability similar to those on Earth. In order for Amy and her family to survive, they will have to be frozen. The plan is to be frozen and fall into a deep slumber so that when they wake up, they will have arrived at the new planet.
But of course, in true dystopian fashion, it doesn’t go according to plan. Amy has been unfrozen 50 years too early. Amy has survived a failed attempt of murder, and does not recognize the culture she has awoken to. She awakens to a utopian society aboard the Godspeed, where everything and everyone is emotionless, visually similar, and unaware of history beyond the ship.
Enter Elder, Godspeed’s only teen and chosen to be future leader. Elder’s life has always and will always revolve around the ship. He has been birthed, raised, and ready to become the leader of the Godspeed. His mentor, Eldest has reluctantly taught him, and with reason.
Together, Amy and Elder will have to put their differences aside and work together to figure out who is thawing the frozen colonists and leaving them out to die. The story is told through alternating point of views between Amy and Elder. I haven’t read that many books who use this method of story telling, but I really enjoyed it. I was emotionally attached to Amy. I felt for her pain and longed for her parents. But on the other side of the equation, I quickly fell in love with Elder. Who wouldn’t? He was raised with a purpose and without love. I couldn’t fault him for his shortcomings, I could only love him.
Revis’ world building skills are out of this world. Yes, pun intended. Despite being trapped on a ship, everything inside is divided into three distinct classes, all with their own purpose. It’s a never ending life cycle, working towards peace through uniformity. There are so many details about the Godspeed, that is revealed, but Revis knows when to pace that information out. I never once felt that it was too much to take in. Each detail was revealed at exactly the right time, piecing together clues of Elder’s life, as well as Amy’s.
The relationship between Amy and Elder is slow, but as it should be between two strangers. Especially two strangers from different periods of life. Amy questions everything on the ship. From the routines, to the division of classes. She was the perfect distraction in an already perfect society. It was great to see Amy through Elder’s eyes. There was an instant attraction, but at times it felt more like a social study over an emotional pull. I suppose it’s both. Their personalities were perfect balances to each other, and for the story.
I had a suspect in my head, and I thought all the signs pointed to this person, but I was wrong. Fantastic though, isn’t it? I love it when an author tricks the reader. It’s rare, and makes for a great plot twist. There were main topics and underlying topics that Revis wrote throughout the story. Some were straightforward and others made me uncomfortable. But regardless of what I felt, Revis challenged my perception of how society reacts. It pushed my boundaries and comfort zone much more than any other story that I’ve read recently.
I cannot wait for A Million Suns and see where Revis takes Amy and Elder. I suggest you read this book if you’re late to the game, like I was. You will be in for a wonderful adventure aboard the Godspeed.