Across the Universe Book Review

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Amy has given up everything she has ever known, Earth, friends, Jason, in order to help colonize another planet. The one catch, it will take 300 years to get there. Wait, 301. So Amy and her mother and father are cryogenically frozen. But something goes terribly wrong and Amy is woken too early, 50 years too early. By the time they reach Centauri, Amy will be an old woman or possibly dead. She may never see her parents again.

Also on board are over two thousand workers who live on the ship as it hurtles through space toward their destination. After a terrible plague decimates the population, the people of the ship set up a system of control using leaders. Elder is training to be the next leader of Godspeed. He never questioned the way things were on the ship until Amy wakes up. Only Amy realizes that people should now walk around like zombies, Eldest runs the ship like a dictator, someone has changed Earth's history in the computers, and someone is trying to kill those who are frozen just like they tried to kill her.

Unlike some people, I make a very big distinction between science fiction and fantasy. Sci-fi is not fantasy for it doesn't contain magic and oh how I love some good old-fashioned sci-fi. Beth Revis does a stupendous job of bringing this world to life, the world of the Godspeed. Can you imagine living on a ship your entire life where you never felt a breeze, where the inside air is the same as the air outside, of never seeing the sun or moon or stars, of knowing about mountains only through pictures? Revis paints such a vivid picture of life aboard this ship and the reader can wholly relate to Amy who nearly goes mad with the idea of being trapped aboard a ship that does not contain any of those things that she loves.

My only criticism was in that I guessed who the "bad guy" was pretty early on. Some other things were obvious as well, but that is to be expected for we are Amy and we understand that people should not be walking around as zombies, so we feel her frustration and anger as she tries to get Elder to understand that things are not "normal". People do not act this way. This is a story of realization and discovery and asks the question, what lengths would you go to in order to make people happy? This is classic sci-fi with all the necessary elements with a rolling plot and impeccable timing and I look forward to hearing the author speak in Raleigh this week.

On a side note, the cover of this book is fascinating as it is double sided. I'll be honest, I may not have picked up this book if the kissing girl and guy had been showing. Take that book, I would not have picked it up. I don't like romance stories. But the cover with the ship schematics on it...that grabbed my attention.