I recently read the book Across the Universe by Beth Revis. This book was originally published in 2012. It has been on my need to buy list since I was in high school, but I kept putting it off. On my last Book Outlet excursion I saw it and decided that it was finally time that I gave this book a go. Now I will share with you what I thought of this book!
Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, and Romance
Cover Rating: 4.5/5
I gave this a 4.5/5 because I really loved the cover of this book! There are actually two covers and I will address both real quick. So the first is a cover that almost looks icy and has a futuristic font on it. I though the simplicity of this cover tied together really well, but the newer cover is my favorite. the newer cover has to people facing opposite directions and galaxy below them. I thought that this cover told more of a story. From what I take from it the male figure is Elder looking at Amy when she is frozen still and they are both floating in the galaxy on the way to their new planet (no spoilers it was all in the description).
**notice: From now on I won’t be posting an actual rating of the books I read. Personally it is very hard for me to give a straight rating because so many factors go into why I like or don’t like books. Another reason is if I was an author I would get a little sad if someone gave me a bad rating. So from now on I will just point out what I like and what I don’t like. Though I have decided I will post a rating of what I think of covers. If any authors see these ratings, it has nothing to do with you. It actually takes a lot to wow me on a cover.
Book 1 in the New York Times bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Galactica and Passengers WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SURVIVE ABOARD A SPACESHIP FUELED BY LIES? Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends–and planet–behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship. Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber. Someone tried to murder her. Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed’s 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, Eldest’s rebellious teenage heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead.Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship’s cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.
Spoiler Free Review:
When I first read the description of the book I immediately had one thought. The movie Passenger with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. Is it just me or did one steal from the other? Was it loosely based on this book? I took a quick google dive and it is not based off the book! what the frick. If I was Beth Revis I would want some answers. I mean I think the only major differences are that in the movie only the one girl is forcibly woken up during the whole time and there were no other people awake besides the girl and guy on the ship. Please give me your insight on what you think down below!
Okay, on to my actual review…rant is over. I thought that the plot line of this book was very interesting. I always find the exploration of a new planet and freezing people to stay asleep until they get to a new planet very interesting. I mean think of the possibility of one day NASA finding out that their is an inhabitable planet that is 300+ years away and you can option up to be a part of helping establish it, but you would have to leave everyone you know and get frozen for that long. It is so crazy to think about. personally I don’t think I could do it just because I can’t live without my books and internet.
One thing that I really thought was essential to helping grip the readers right away was the amazing introduction that the author gave. She helps us understand the struggle that the characters go through to just be frozen and leave everything they know on Earth. Even the main character dad says he’ll go first and he will not judge her if she decides to stay on Earth. The process sounded horrible. First they put this cold blue liquid into you to help you stay alive while frozen, when I read it it reminded me of my friends description of when they donated plasma. When you donate plasma they have to put the blood back in once they take the plasma out and they said it was super cold and almost slightly painful. The Second part was they put these drop in your eyes to seal them shut and keep the liquid from destroying your eyes. After that they stuffed tubes down their throat and they made them feel like they wanted to throw up, but they had to swallow. Lastly they put the blue liquid in and froze them. Man that sounds intense and like the worst thing ever! No thank you.
I felt that the author included so many aspects that made this book wonderful. She had mystery, suspense, romance, sci-fi. Everything that I love in books was jam packed into this single book. I loved it!
Full Summary with Comments:
So here is what happened. It starts off with Amy and her parents at the lab getting ready to be frozen. Her mom goes first because they have to get naked and she wants Amy to go next so she doesn’t have to see her dad. The freezing process starts off when they put this cold blue liquid into you to help you stay alive while frozen. The Second part was they put these drop in your eyes to seal them shut and keep the liquid from destroying your eyes. After that they stuffed tubes down their throat and they made them feel like they wanted to throw up, but they had to swallow. Lastly they put the blue liquid in and froze them. That sounds like the worst process ever. I font know if I could have done it after seeing how horrible it was on my parents. Girl has some true dedication.
The worst part of this whole book, when trying to see from the characters eyes, is when Amy is “frozen” yet she can still be thinking her mind. It is almost as if you would be trapped in your own mind until you are unfrozen. That is like a worst nightmare for many people, I could never imagine that happening.
While Amy is trapped in her mind, you discover the other main character. Something very interesting about this character is that he does not have a true name. He is part of a collective group of leaders named Elder/Eldest. It is where around 16 years before a new generation is born an Elder is born to one day become Eldest and be the leader of their people. I thought that this was a very interesting thing that the author included because I have never seen anything like this in a book like this one before. We learn that this system was established when there was a plague on the ship so that they could have a leader to help them rebuild.
Elder is tired of not knowing everything. He runs into Orion that hints that he should look at the blueprints. He does and finds a mysterious floor. Orion tells him where the unlocked door is. He goes there and discovers hundreds of frozen passengers that he has no idea existed.
Then Amy is woken up and almost drowns to death in the liquid. Luckily Elder discovers her before she drowns and calls for the doctor who saves her. She wakes up hoping to reunite with her parents after the 300 years that they have been frozen and separated. Though she finds out that they actually have 49 years and 266 days left before they land on the new planet. Man would I be pissed if someone woke me up and caused me to barely experience the new world. She left her whole world just to go to the new planet and whoever woke her up slipped the carpet from underneath her. She also discovers that she looks different from everyone on the ship. They all have dark skin and hair to her pale skin and red hair.
Amy tries to adjust to life on the ship. Everyone stares at her since she looks so much different than everyone else on the ship. Luckily she finds some comfort in Elder because he is friendly and around the same age. Just when she is getting a little comfortable another person is released from being frozen, but this time drowns in the liquid. This means that someone is actually trying to murder the frozen people on the ship.
To help keep Amy from feeling so alone Elder and his friend Harley take Amy to open her personal trunk that all the passengers had. She first opens her parents and finds some thing such as her teddy bear in her moms and notebooks and pencils in her dads. She then goes to open hers and is surprised to find what lurks inside. Nothing. She has no belongings in her trunk because her dad didn’t pack any because he truly thought that she would choose to stay. That is a true sacrifice for a parent to give up their child. Though little to his knowledge she did come along, but now may be older than him when they arrive. When they are almost done Amy here’s what she knows to be the sound of some being disconnected. They run over and it has just happened so they are able to save them. Though little to their knowledge it was just a distraction and find someone else already melted and dead. Harley says he will watch over the bodies and in return Elder showed him how to look at the stars through the chute that they dispose the dead bodies.
Elder begins to suspect Eldest since he can tell he is not telling him the whole truth about everything. Around this time the season starts for everyone on board. The season is somewhat like when an animal is in heat and they all have the need to mate. So literally everyone in the younger generation is having sex everywhere on board. This was the one part of the book that I found very odd. For example at one point Amy even says she has to step over one couple while they’re having sex. Amy and Harley try to get away from it all since they are not effected and Harley runs back to get his paints. The brief period while he is gone a creepy passenger tries to forcibly make Amy have sex with him. Luckily Harley gets back in the nick of time to save her. I definitely would not want to be alone with all these creepers going around.
Elder discovers that Eldest has actually been controlling when people have children, so that they will make these people have their season so all the generations are the same age. He does this by releasing pheromones into the water during the season and birth control the rest of the time. Like dang that is intense! Elder is very angry because this just seems wrong to make the people like this. Well everyone except the people deemed as “crazy” and Elder because they are given a pill to negate what is in the water.
Elder tells the whole ship that they are actually now going to arrive in 75 years because the engines are behind. So, no one on the ship will ever get to the new planet, but their children will. Elder confronts Eldest and discovers that they were actually supposed to arrive 150 years ago. The engine has been slowing down over the years so they aren;t scheduled to arrive for 250 more years. Then he tells him that the plague wasn’t actually a plague, but mass suicide from people finding out that the engines were slowing down. Elder goes down to where the frozen passengers are to talk to Harley, but Harley has a freak out. Elder takes a nap and when he wakes up, before he can help it, Harley releases himself into space. He had said he couldn’t handle life without his girlfriend, who had committed suicide, and now that he knew he would no longer see land he couldn’t do it any longer.
Elder runs to Amy to tell her about what has happened to Harley. This is when Amy and Elder finally figure out who has been killing everyone and what the connection was. The connection between everyone except Amy is that they were connected to the military. The true killer is … ORION! Like WHATTTTT! I did not even think of him as a threat, he was more just floating around the whole time. They run back to the area with the frozen passengers to find that they are marked with red for the ones that are to be killed. They save the most recent passenger released and confront Orion. It turns out that he is actually the Elder that supposedly died, the one that was for the generation in their 40s. Though it turns out that he actually just removed his WiCom. You also learn that all Elders have the same DNA. Eldest is killed and Orion is removed from the situation also.
Since Elder is the only one left he will automatically become the new leader. He decides that he should only tell the passengers part of the truth. I mean that’s probably the best decision since the last time the full truth was told everyone committed suicide.
At the end something is really bugging Elder. He decides to get it off his chest and tell Amy. This was something that I was not expecting after reading the whole thing. Elder reveals that he unplugged Amy!!! I mean what a way to end a book. Talk about cliff hanger. It just makes me that much more excited to read the next one!
Last Thoughts (no spoilers)?
Honestly? I thought that the author did such a good job with this book! There was never a point where I needed to take a break cause I wasn’t invested enough. I love book that have event after event. If you don’t it is really hard to keep a reader intrigued enough to keep reading the whole book. Another thing I loved is that there were many things in the book that I didn’t seeing coming then BAM the author blew me away!
If you haven’t read this book, what are you even doing? Go pick it up! I promise it will not disappoint. If you like space, mystery, a tad romance, and sassy red heads then this is for you!
WiCom: I would compare this to a cellphone that is implanted into your head. It lets everyone communicate with each other.
Season: This is their season of mating so that everyone in each generation is the same exact age.
Hope you liked this. Let me know what you think in the comments!!
From your local bibliophile, see you next time 🙂