Thursday, 31 March 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Series: Across the Universe, Book One
Publisher: Puffin
Format: Paperback
Published: 3rd March 2011
Number of Pages: 416
Book: Bought
Genre: Science-Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Action, Romance, Murder Mystery, Thriller, YA
Recommended Age: YA: 12+

Amy has left the life she loves for a world 300 years away.
Trapped in space and frozen it time, Amy is bound for a new planet.  But fifty years before she’s due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder.  Now Amy’s lost on board and nothing makes sense – she’s never felt so alone.
Yet someone is waiting for her.
He wants to protect her –
and more if she’ll let him.
But who can she trust amidst the secrets and lies?
A killer is out there – and Amy has nowhere to hide...

I’ve seen rave reports for this book all over the place.  My expectations were so high I was sure that it couldn’t possibly live up to them.  Well.  I was wrong.
It exceeded them by a long shot. 
Starting with the first few chapters, that had me so hooked I didn’t notice how late it was getting as I read.
The novel begins with Amy (our female protagonist) undergoing freezing, the process that will allow her to be alive when the ship reaches her new home, three-hundred years away.  These chapters scared the life out of me, and I could imagine the ice filling my veins.  But what was worse was that her mind was awake while she was trapped in that ice: she had nightmares, memories, dreams all mixed up.  It would have driven me insane.  And then there’s the unfreezing as well, another few chapters that felt scarily, horribly real.  (I had nightmares about it; ice everywhere: in my veins, my lungs, my heart.  No book has done that to me for as long as I remember.  Which is why this one stayed with me.)
Someone tried to murder Amy, and she doesn’t know why.  She was just baggage, non-essential.  There was no point to it.  But they still tried.  And she has nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.  She doesn’t even know who she can trust.  But Elder is determined to be that person, the one she can rely on.  He wants to keep her safe.  Only, there’s a killer aboard the ship; but can they stop him before he strikes again...
Amy was a brilliant character, vibrant, strong and so brave.  She made an impossible decision, one I know I wouldn’t have been able to make.  My heart went out to her: she felt like a freak on the ship, and had no way to escape it.  I loved her determination and goodness, and completely understood – and felt – her confusion and anger at being on a strange ship where absolutely nothing makes sense. 
I loved Elder too, the way he was determined to find the truth; his independence.  I felt for him: his childhood was absolutely horrible.  His life was completely believable, and so was the pressure on him as the next Eldest (leader) of the ship.
Now Harley was so incredible!  He was just so mad, funny, and, well, I loved him!  Plus, gotta love the whole is he-isn’t he insane.  Kept me on my toes.  And his nickname for Amy: Little Fish, had me laughing.
Everything was one-hundred-per-cent believable; the ship (it was perfectly and convincingly described), the flaws the main characters had: it made them so real and interesting: three-dimensional.  The relationships between the characters was amazing, especially the one between Elder and Amy.
But most of all, I loved not knowing who I could trust.  Never a dull moment: so many lies, secrets, and mysteries to unfold.  I was constantly on my toes: there were so many twists and turns: I sped through the book and had finished it far too soon.  The short chapters were perfect, and each left me something to think about.  And I really liked how the POV jumped between Elder and Amy, so I could see the events from both an insider and outsider’s views. 
The murder-mystery side of the story was absolutely amazing as well: I can honestly say that I had no idea who the killer was.  Well, I kind of did, but I didn’t guess the exact character...  Well, that will make no sense to those of you that haven’t read this, but if you have, maybe you can relate.  But the mystery was brilliant, and I loved it all.  (I’ve very into all the crime-drama, like CSI, Bones, NCIS, Law & Order, etc.)
Then there’s the concept, which is something I’ve never come across before.  Humans controlled by drugs, like animals.  And how everything from earth (Sol-Earth to the people of the ship) was twisted around and used to control them.  It was weird, but really interesting the way they used some key points in history.
It was so beautifully written: haunting and quite frankly genius.  And it really made me think “what if”.  Should we let science control us?  And if we do, how far do we go?
 Have you ever read a book that leaves you longing for more, desperate for more?  Well, I have to say Across the Universe left me like that.  I can’t believe I have to wait until Spring 2012 for more, to know what happens aboard the Godspeed.  Already counting down the days!

Oh, and I loved ‘frex’, a swearword aboard the ship.  It made me laugh.  As did their use of “brilly”.  I’m going to guess it means brilliant.  Gotta love it!

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

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Aylee said...

Oh, yay! Don't you love it when a book exceeds your expectations?! So happy you loved this one. Hope I can get to it soon.

Shaylene said...

I've heard so much about this book and so far have yet to see a negative review. I'm definitely checking this one out! Amazing review!

Cliona said...

I have to read this! Your review was brilliant : D

You left a comment on my blog and I don't full get what you meant! Sorry! You said 'And it should be up very soon. I've actually done it, I just need to post it!' What was that? : ) Thanks!

Sara said...

Great review! I've only readthe first chapters of this book (the freezing) and it really freaked me out! I can't imagine ever doing something like that!

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Aylee: Oh yes! And you should so read it soon: it's brilliant!
Shaylene: You should too: it can't have a negative review 'cause there's next-to-nothing negative! Thank you!
Cliona: You so should! It was amazing! And thank you! Oops, sorry! the review for Never Bite a Boy on the First Date had already been written by moi, but I just hadn't posted it yet! Does that make more sense? (:
YA Vampire Books: Oh, the freezing from Across the Universe creeped me out and terrified me. But the book was soo good!

Thanks for your comments! (: