Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Pub. Date: January 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Genre: Science Fiction
Age Range: Young Adult
Synopsis/Teaser: 17-year-old Amy Martin has been cryogenically frozen and is to remain in a state of limbo for 300 years. She is a passenger on the spaceship Godspeed, heading toward a new planet fit for human population. 16-year-old Elder is the heir to the position of Eldest, or leader, of the Godspeed. His rebellious and forward-thinking nature vexes his mentor, the current Eldest, who keeps the majority of crew under a constant state of delusion in order to maintain absolute power. Amy’s and Elder’s lives collide when Amy is disconnected from her cryo chamber 50 years too early and almost dies in the misconducted reanimation process. Other frozen passengers are being killed, and Amy and Elder have their suspicions, but it’s impossible to know for sure. It’s a race against time to stop the murderer, and all the while the thick veil of lies surrounding the Godspeed is finally starting to dissolve.
Review: Across the Universe deserves nothing less than an A+.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. This book has been at the top of my To-Be-Read list for a while before it was officially released. Nothing but good reviews were popping up everywhere: in the Bookpage, on The Story Siren, on Icey Books. I was practically drooling when I snatched up my copy at the friendly neighborhood bookstore. I devoured it in a few days, and I absolutely adored it.
The characters are awesome, and the alternating narrator gives us a chance to enjoy both. Amy is perfectly believable, and her emotions come through clearly in her thoughts and actions. Elder is probably more fun to listen to, though. His offhand attitude will be relatable for many teenagers. I loved his frequent use of “frex,” a made-up cuss word– a trademark of sci-fi novels.
Across the Universe has many unexpected over- and undertones. Its layers of murder mystery, traditional science fiction, budding romance, and social commentary make it rich, complex, and absorbing– a gold mine of discussion-worthy material. It contains many wonderful elements that I was not expecting going in and left me pleasantly surprised.
This book also gets bonus points for a gorgeous cover and handy map of the Godspeed.
Beth Revis is a promising new talent in the world of books. I’m grateful that the Penguin Group picked her up, because otherwise we readers would be missing out on a lot. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more books by Beth Revis, and I’ll be buying them hot off the press.
Recommended for: Pretty much everyone.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 possible stars