Thursday, June 16, 2011

{Review} Across the Universe by Beth Revis

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.
Title : Across the Universe {Across the Universe, book 1} 
Author : Beth Revis
Publication : 11th January 2011
Publisher : Razorbill
398 pages

Across the Universe is the first book of a trilogy.

My review

Across the Universe is the first published book of Beth Revis, and it's also the first book of a trilogy. I have mixed feelings about this novel and this review was a bit hard to write. I didn't really know where to start and how I was going to form my thoughts.

Across the Universe is a hybrid novel, halfway between a sci-fi novel and a dystopia. In the first half of the book the sci-fi side is very present while in the second half Beth Revis focuses on the dystopia. The beginning is a bit slow-paced. In fact, we discover the history, the ship, the characters and the new world. But after this necessary building, action accelerates and the pace gets quicker. I couldn't put it down during the last 100 pages.

What disturbed me the most is that I couldn't help comparing it with Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder. I really loved that one and even if I usually don’t like to compare books here I really couldn't help it, the confined atmospheres are quite similar. It's also a bit too predictable, especially in relation to the murderer. Usually I never ever guess a thing; I'm so naive that I'm always surprised. But here I'd known the culprit nearly since the beginning. However, there are some surprises and I really was not expecting certain events.

The first chapter is really exciting, even if it's a bit disturbing to imagine "what if", the details about the cryogenic freeze kept me hooked. The dystopian aspect is really well-done, life on the spaceship is fascinating. I totally loved the way Beth Revis describes this new world and the relations between Eldest and the others. The atmosphere is sometimes a bit creepy as it may be expected in this kind of books. The second part is full of twists and revelations.

Chapters are alternated between Amy and Elder. It's really nice to have the two points of view because it enables us to have a broader vision of the situation. Elder gives us a lot of details about the life on board and the history of the ship whereas Amy provides the perspective of a nowadays girl. The characters are interesting but I wasn't really able to relate to them at 100%. Moreover there is no love story, okay there is a premise of love story, but it's really not the main point. Indeed, the main point is the murders' investigation and it's more a sci-fi thriller than a love story.

To sum up, it's a promising debut, I rather liked this book, but not as much as I thought I would. Something disturbed me but I don't exactly know what. I really loved the atmosphere that is very well-done. The ending is quite satisfying and even if there's a sequel, Across the Universe doesn't end on a huge cliffhanger. The second part of the book really made me want to continue the story and I think I will buy the sequel, A million suns, next year.

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  1. I'm not planning on reading this book after all because it has received a lot of negative reviews and I'd not like to end up disappointed ..
    Thanks for the review my dear ;)

  2. Thank you Elodie for your comment :D You're welcome honey ;)

    If you read one book it should definitively be Inside Out, I found it really better than this one. And they are very similar :)


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