28 February 2011

Review: Across the Universe - Beth Revis

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
published January 2011
dystopian SciFi YA 
#1 in a series of three, bought my own copy

Seventeen year old Amy was happy on earth but still decided to accompany her parents on a mission to a planet far away. Frozen and lying in cryo chambers they were supposed to travel to their new home. When someone wakes Amy up early out of her frozen sleep she has to adapt to life on the spaceship Godspeed. She is confronted with a society which is very different from what she is used to. A society that hates differences and that is sceptic about Amy.
One of the few friendly persons is a boy named Elder who will someday rule over Godspeed. Elder tries to make Amy's life easier and he wants her to be happy on the spaceship. However they soon stumble over dark secrets and have to deal with a person who tries to kill people by opening their cryo chambers.
Can Amy accept her new life on Godspeed? And will they manage to reveal what's behind all the secrets?

"Across the Universe" was not a book I read in one sitting but one that I read in smaller pieces and was always excited to go back to. The dystopian world and the SciFi elements were fascinating to read about and made me excited for more. I don't think that you have to be a big fan of Science Fiction to enjoy the book because it's not overloaded with scientific details. I enjoyed that the book gives the reader the chance to slowly get used to the society on Godspeed. I didn't felt like developments were rushed and I could get a good sense about why people acted the way they did.

I normally prefer reading books that are centred around a love story but I'm happy that the romance between the main characters Amy and Elder is just a possibility to explore in the next book of the series. The book plays only over a few days and a whirlwind romance wouldn't have fit to the story or characters. Both Amy and Elder are fascinating characters and I enjoyed that I got the chance to read the story from both their perspectives. That way it was easy to understand why they experienced life on Godspeed in different ways. Both have strong voices, are likable characters and I'm excited to learn more about them.
I don't want to give away too much of the story however want to say that the world on Godspeed is not black and white. I could understand why people like Eldest (the ship's leader) acted the way he did. It was very interesting to read about a society where one person has the power to influence and control everyone else and it makes me appreciate the freedom I have in my life.
The books ends with a big suprise (at least for me) and I liked that both the start and the end of the book left quiet an impression on me. The murder mystery and the investigation of it is interesting but it's not the main plot. It was not so hard to solve the mystery but that didn't bother me. 
"Across the universe" made me interested in the people on Godspeed and especially Amy & Elder. I'm excited to read how their story will continue in "A million suns" (coming spring 2012). And of course I hope for a bit more of romance but it's not a must.

I like the cover and think that it fits to the book.

final appraisal
A fascinating story that entertained me a lot and got me thinking about some serious themes. I enjoyed reading about life on Godspeed a lot and liked the changing perspectives between Elder and Amy.
I'm excited to see how the story will go on and would recommend "Across the Universe" to all readers interested in dystopian worlds and to those who want to give them a first try (like I did).


  1. I have this one sitting on my shelf, and it's on my list to read in April. Thanks so much for the honest review - good to hear that you liked it despite it not being to your usual tastes.

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  2. I do love dystopian books, so yes perhaps perhaps :D I am just always so wary with YA books

  3. I saw on Twitter how much you loved this book and after reading your Review I can't wait to start it now!
    I have it on my Kindle, just waiting for me to be be started....

    Wonderful Review!!

  4. Again, so relieved that you liked it!

    I've seen a lot of reviews where people thought that the book started slowly, did you get this impression?

  5. Jennifer, not at all. The beginning with the freezing was fascinating and horrible at the same time and the pace was never too slow for my taste.




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