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Really Ravishing Review (Across the Universe))

literati_rain66 Saturday, March 5, 2011 , ,
Across the UniverseReview of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis. 

Quickie: Sort of like Lost In Space, but creepy, and with a better love story.

Full: Amy and her parents are being cryogenically frozen. This, in itself, is creepy. They're going to be stored aboard the Godspeed as it makes its way from Earth to a new planet, Centauri Earth. Amy's parents are essential to cultivating the new civilization on Centauri Earth, but Amy... well, Amy is "Nonessential Cargo". Ouch. Cargo?

Fifty years before the Godspeed is set to land, Amy wakes up, still in her cryo-casket (my own wording) and drowning in cryo fluid. This was not how things were supposed to happen! Amy is rescued, luckily, by Elder, the up-and-coming leader of the Godspeed.

Elder is fascinated by Amy, for she's nothing like anything he's ever seen. Really. Every person aboard the ship looks the same, so Amy's red hair and fair skin are akin to magic in Elder's eyes.

But why was she woken up early? Who tried to wake her up? Why didn't they stay and make sure she woke up fully, instead of leaving her to drown? And if they left her on purpose... well that's attempted murder now, isn't it?

As Amy, Elder, and Elder's friend Harley try to discover who is behind Amy's near-drowning, more bodies are pulled out of cryo and left to die. Obviously, the person responsible is still trying to kill off the frozen people, but in spite of the round-the-clock guard that the three have set up, the bodies continue to be unfrozen.

Discovering the identity of the murderer isn't the only problem though- Amy's having a hard time adjusting to her new cage called Godspeed, and she's crushed and horrified that she may never see her parents again... and if she does, she'll be older than them! Elder's got problems too, as he tries to learn all he needs to know to lead the ship, he comes across knowledge and secrets that are truly unsettling, even horrific.

I just want to say outright- I loved this book. It was more than sci-fi (which I love), it was a thriller and a mystery and an adorable love story. It really makes you think. I was alternately fascinated and appalled at the ideas of the Godspeed inhabitants, along with their creations and innovations. I can't even imagine life on board a giant space ship. Spending your entire life in a floating hunk of metal? Knowing your children will have the exact same life that you do? How very... bland and depressing.

The pacing of Across the Universe worked beautifully for me. I never got bored. There are so many secrets to unlock, so many thoughts to explore, there's something new at every turn.

If you don't like sci-fi, you should definitely read it. It's more than sci-fi, it's SciRoMur. That would be Sci-Fi/Romance/Murder Mystery, for those of you who didn't catch that. :-p

4 out of 5 stars.


Jennifer (An Abundance of Books) said...

"Alternately fascinated and appalled" is a great way to put it. I actually started to feel a bit clausterphobic when thinking about life with no windows. Even if you couldn't leave the ship, at least you wouldn't be totally cut off from the universe.

literati_rain66 said...

Oh, I'm totally with you on the claustrophobia. I -love- windows. I need the knowledge that there are things bigger than where I am, who I am. And who doesn't love to just gaze at the stars sometimes? Never seeing them, or anything else... it just feels like such a small life. And it makes me sad.

LindsayWrites said...

new gfc follower! love the blog and i'm looking forward to readin more! =] loved ATU so much!

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