Across the Universe, by Beth Revis
Okay, I know I'm late to the party on this, but this week I'm honored to be reviewing ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, by Beth Revis, who I'm pretty sure is some kind of genius. I got to read this powerhouse, NYT Bestseller this last weekend while I was at the airport, waiting five hours for my flight out of San Francisco. I didn't eat. Or get up to go to the bathroom. Let me tell you, by the time they called my boarding group, the thought of getting into an enclosed metal "airship" was almost more than frightening than the prospect of another few hours in the black vinyl seats of the waiting area, thanks to the talented Beth Revis. Before we get to the review, though let's take a moment to admire her gorgeous cover, because really, it's so, so perfect.
If you haven’t read the story yet, here’s what Goodreads has to say about it:
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.
I must preface this by saying that I don’t usually read science fiction, unless you count the endless Star Wars books my son has me read to him. It’s just a genre that hasn’t caught me.
This is science fiction/suspense/dystopian/thriller/romance, all packed into the claustrophobic metal hull of The Godspeed. And Beth has proven to me that it’s not about the genre, but the characters, whom I absolutely loved. Amy and Elder are the kind of well-drawn characters you root for and get angry for when obstacles are thrown in their way. Which believe me, they are. They’re the kind of characters you feel empathy for and can relate to, even when they’re on a spaceship, hundreds of years in the future.
And then there’s the writing.
Beth paints a crystal clear picture of the sanitized, cold world they inhabit, and she does it with clean, efficient prose that’s subtle and sure. Reading Beth’s book is like sitting down to listen to the best storyteller you know and diving headlong into the world she's created. She knows when to give a little and when to hold back, and that’s a ridiculously difficult balance to maintain. But she does it beautifully, because I cannot wait to see where the story takes us next!
Check out where the other Bookanistas are taking us this week: