Friday, 9 August 2013

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1) by Beth Revis (2011)

Description from Goodreads:

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 

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.


This is what I'm expecting when I want to read outer-space/science-fiction young adult book. Across the Universe excelled in every criterion that I have for a YA: there was a problem in need of fixing, realistic characters, captivating plot, twists I didn't see coming, well-established world, a romance that wasn't insta-love, engrossing language, and an original idea! What's not to love?

I loved loved the setting. All the events take place in the spaceship, Godspeed. Now the name already is fascinating, but that's not the only thing. There are several different levels where farming, experiments, and nursing are done. The moving from a level to another is one via grav-tubes which are tubes that allow you to move vertically with a great speed. As the events happen in the future, I was really impressed by the technology Revis included in the book. There also were wi-coms (wireless-communication devices), floppies (a portable, paper-thin computers) and many others! Revis did a great job describing them, as I wasn't confused at any point.

Both Amy and Elder narrated the book, and that's probably the reason why I liked them both so much. At first Elder appears a bit immature, but as you get to listen his thoughts, he soon became one of my favourite characters. While Elder is very smart, loyal and curious, Amy is the witty and brave one. They have their faults too which only made me like them better - they aren't perfect and that's why they become more realistic. 

And how about the romance? Ugh, it was so frustrating and that's why so awesome! It's clear right from the beginning that Elder is infatuated with Amy the moment he sees her. Amy on the other hand, understandably, is a bit reluctant - she has just been asleep for hundreds of years and now that she has awoken, she is all alone. She is very leery at first, but gradually as she gets to know Elder, also starts to trust him. This is the reason why I loved the romance - it is so realistic and compelling, but also a bit heart-breaking yet tingling. It was very well-established as it wasn't rushed.

I just devoured every page I read. It's really rare for me nowadays not to see what is coming up with the events of the book, but with Across the Universe, most of the time I didn't know what to expect! The plot moved with fast-pace but wasn't poorly executed. There were some twists that made me gape at the pages and ask "Really, Revis? REALLY?". The trilogy currently is among my favourite ones, so I really hope other people will pick up the books as well! A smashing read.

"“He sounds like a regular Hitler to me", Amy mutters.  I wonder what she means by that. Eldest has always taught me that Hitler was a wise, cultured leader for his people. Maybe that's what she means: Eldest is a strong leader, like Hitler was."

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