Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Across the Universe review

I've mentioned several times on this blog that science fiction just isn't my thing. I love a good fantasy, but when we start talking space, planets, alien beings, you'll lose me. So, when the book club I run at work chose Across the Universe as their pick this month, I was pretty much dreading the read, but ended up pretty surprised as how much I enjoyed reading it. 

Just as a quick synopsis...Amy and her parents are frozen, riding out a 300 year journey on the ship Godspeed, headed for a new planet and new life. When someone unfreezes Amy 50 years too early, she's obviously confused, heart broken that she will have to live aboard this ship for 50 years without her parents, and is treated as the outcast that she is.

Ender is next in line to rule the ship. He was born into a line of leaders and though he isn't quite sure he can live up to the tyrannical rule of Eldest, the current leader, he knows he doesn't have a choice. And then he meets Amy, who forces him to question every lesson he has ever been taught about Earth, the people from Earth, and the past of Godspeed.

Combine all that with the fact that someone is unplugging more and more people and ultimately killing them, makes for quite the exciting adventure. Told alternately between Amy's and Ender's perspectives, we get a pretty in-depth look at the emotions of both. The story was definitely intriguing and much more action-packed than I had expected.

I was fairly disappointed in both the level of character development (definitely lacking) and the overall lack of depth to the story as a whole, however, I was definitely entertained and read the entire book wanting to know what was going to happen aboard the ship. No absolute shocking moments though and I could tell the author was attempting a few of them. 

A whole lot of detail went into describing the ship, the science aspects, the society that had been created on Godspeed, and other setting/imagery type descriptions, yet the characters fell totally flat for me. Well, except Harley. I loved Harley and he ended up being the only character I actually became invested in. 

Now, this is set up to be a trilogy and I'll probably be reading the next one simply because I need to know what happens next. I'm hoping that in the second book we'll get some additional background on Amy and Ender. I'm begging for it!

Across the Universe
Beth Revis
416 pages
Young Adult
January 2011
Library copy


Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

We felt pretty much the same way. More editing and less publicity would have helped. The premise was interesting, and since it's her first attempt, we're willing to anticipate better things in the next one(s)!

Melissa said...

I haven't read this book yet, but it's on my bookshelf to read and review. I'd honestly been unsure about reading it though, too. I mean I've read some SF...but none of the space ships and aliens type.