Saturday, September 19, 2015
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Summary (from Goodreads);
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.
So you've read the summary (I hope.) If you haven't realized already, this is a book set in the future. It is also aimed at teenagers. I was at the library a few days ago when I happened upon this book. What caught my eye? The gorgeous cover, of course. I mean, look at that detail! I would be a liar if I didn't say I judged a book by its cover. And this book definitely caught my eye when I first saw it.
Amy is a teenage girl whose parents are important pieces to a new project: creating a life for humans on a new planet they call Centuari-Earth. Her parents have no choice but to go, mostly because humanity's survival depends on their success. Their only daughter, Amy, however, isn't needed for the mission but she decides to go anyway because of her love for her parents.
The first chapter is kind of weird. It sort of jumps out at you because it dives straight into the plot. To get to this new planet which is 300 years away, Amy and the passengers have to be frozen to keep them from aging. I found the freezing process fascinating because the first chapter really gives details about the process (which is more than painful) and how it works. Amy remarks on how the workers freezing them don't even bat an eye when she strips down naked (part of the process)--this shows how indifferent and cold they are after doing it a couple hundred times.
Things are fine and dandy for Amy until 250 years later into the future when she is suddenly left out to melt. This almost kills her and brings us face-to-face with the love interest, Elder. Elder is a swarthy, fine, inquisitive, cute lad who thinks that Amy's hair is just great. He's never seen a color like that and even calls her "the girl with sunset hair." How poetic.
It takes some time for Amy to recover but when she does...she meets a whole bunch of other people. Like Eldest, the evil-sounding and looking leader of the spaceship. And the doctor whose name I can't even be bothered to remember. And Orion, a Recorder, which is a person who records things. Okay.
At first, Amy resents the people around, blaming them silently for her being awake instead of frozen for at least fifty years. There's also the problem that she'll look older than her parents when they come out. 0_o It isn't until later that she realizes that there is a great picture and that something malignant is working beneath the surface...
Dun dun dun......
Okay, let's move on to the things I didn't like.
I didn't like a lot of things.
First of all, the book was extremely complicated. It would take a flowchart to map out all the things that were going on. You got names for jobs and designations that could be so much more simpler. Also, Elder and Eldest? What? Why? Why would you call your characters that!?
Another pet peeve was the characters. Gosh, I love talking about characters. I love the well-rounded, realistic, down-to-earth characters that people can relate to. Elder and Amy did not do that for me. If anything, they annoyed me. Amy was a flat, one-dimensional character who just explored and didn't do much while Elder just wanted to get into her pants. It sounds rough and I'm sorry, but I was bored to death by the lack of action and good characters in this book.
The plot was also kind of forgettable. Don't get me wrong, the first chapter is amazing. When I opened it, I was like, "Huh, that sounds cool." But eventually, the action all just sort of dies out and it's just, like, 50 pages of Amy walking around and looking at stuff. Oh and flirting with Elder. It really disappointed me because this book had such great potential to be out of this world (get it? hehe) but it really fell flat. I literally read it a day ago and I can only remember half of the events that happened. It was that forgettable.
I do give Revis kudos for the writing. The imagery and details given in Across the Universe was quite terrific. I could totally see Godspeed and the people's habits and daily routines. However, it was just too convoluted that instead of exciting me, it bored me to tears. I'm sorry for such a biting review, Ms. Revis, but this book was just not what it could be.