Sunday, 17 March 2013

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Released: January 11th 2011
Pages: 398 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

has left the life she loves
for a world 300 years away.

Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet. But fifty years before she's due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder. Now Amy's lost on board and nothing makes sense - she's never felt so alone.

Yet someone is waiting for her.
He wants to protect her - 
and more if she'll let him

But who can she trust amidst the secrets and lies?
A killer is out there - and Amy has nowhere to hide...

Is it just me, or does anyone get confused between Glow and Across the Universe? Whenever I'd just look at them on the shelf, it was really puzzling - both have similar covers, similar storylines, similar genres, similar POVs, etc. But now that I've had a chance to read both of them, I can see how unique and brilliant they both are in their own right. Whilst the synopsis didn't really stand out and capture much of my attention, it did leave me with a question hanging on my lips - who tried to kill Amy? In my quest to find out the answer, it was incredibly difficult to put down.

In the present-day, a ship was created, later named Godspeed. It's purpose was to transport a flood of people across the universe (see what I did there?) to a whole new planet, which they would inhabit and claim as their own. To start a new life, they hired important people from all across the world - the military, scientists, artists, leaders - and froze them for 300 years, only awakening them once they had landed. Amy's parents were two of the people recruited for the assignment, and although she is nonessential, she got to tag along.

Whilst people have been frozen, sleeping in their chambers, life has thrived on the ship, and an entire mono-ethnic community has developed. One of these citizens is Elder, future leader of the ship, who is learning his duty and the history surrounding Godspeed from the current leader, Eldest. However, Eldest carries some secrets that he is unwilling to share - so when someone decides to open Amy's chamber and leave her for dead, it causes the domino effect to occur. Suddenly, everything is falling apart.

Firstly, credit is deserved where credit is due - the whole concept for this series is amazing. It's easy to write a contemporary novel, as you don't have to create a whole entire universe and rules to go along with it, because they're already set. With dystopian and sci-fi fiction, it basically starts from a blank canvas, and it is amazing when you look back and think about how the author built up a believable story just from their imagination.

However, I wasn't able to gel with the characters. I don't know why, since the reader does actually learn a lot about them - their past, their origin, their feelings...but they were both really dull. Elder may as well have been a robot, and Amy managed to get on my nerves endlessly. She was seventeen, yet she insisted on calling her father 'Daddy', which just reminded me of Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She also reacted really strangely to certain situations - she found out who unplugged her (which was actually a surprising plot twist that I didn't expect) and at the end they are seen HOLDING HANDS. I mean, what?! WHAT?! Gurl, I think you've gone cray-cray - I wouldn't be holding hands with someone WHO NEARLY KILLED ME. (I'm going to end this here before I manage to smash my keyboard to pieces.)

I think the only characters I liked were the minor ones. Take Harley for example - please, please Revis, if you are reading this review then please make a spin-off book surrounding Harley and Kayleigh? I will love you forever and take out every bad thing I have said against Amy! Harley was fantastic, and it was such a shame that the reader didn't really find a lot out about him.

I guess I felt that Revis was rather vague about a few things. I didn't have a clear image of what the ship looked like until I had finished the book and there was a sketch of it (but why in the back? Why not at the front where everyone can see it?). I also could never get my head around what the citizens aboard Godspeed looked like - to be honest, I still can't! It'd be nice if I was able to have something in mind when reading about them.

Despite the vagueness and my distaste for Amy, it was a good book. The plot was thicker than I anticipated, and I actually enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. However, I'm still unsure as to whether I should continue and read A Million Suns - I don't hate the series, quite on the contrary, but I don't feel encouraged to find out more. If you've read Glow and enjoyed it, then I think you need to go out and pick up Across the Universe right this second - because if you liked Glow, you'll love this!
Rating: 3/5

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