Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Hardback
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Young Adult
Publication Date: 1.11.11
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

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.
My mind is reeling after finishing this book! There are so many complex themes I could talk about, that I hardly know where to start.

...so I'll start from the beginning.

Beth Revis began her tale with Amy, who watches her mother as she is frozen in preparation for being sent off to space; a scene so well-described, I almost didn't want to read any more. I found myself cringing and shuddering at the description...but at the same time, I had to know what happened next. And what happens next, is one heck of a tale.  

The setting on the ship, Godspeed, is so mind-blowing, that it is almost unbelievable. But Beth manages to describe it in a way that makes it feel tangible. The descriptions are wonderful, and allow you to imagine the entire ship in your mind. Everything about the book--from people, to the emotions they feel--seems real, allowing the story to come alive and take hold of your mind.
"More than the sound of my own beating heart, I miss the sound of a ticking clock.
Time passes, it must pass..."
-Beth Revis, Across the Universe
The characters are complex, and show the reader many believable personalities, each character true to their circumstances. The contrast between hearing the story from Amy, and then from Elder, allowed the story to be told through the eyes of two very different beholders, each with different thoughts and beliefs. I am so grateful for their relationship, which was more of a friendship that slowly grows. It was a relief to not have two characters who were thrown together, and instantly matched. The way it was written is believable, and--I found--preferable, given their situation.

Some of what I did not like, however, was that although the characters were so real, I did not see a lot of character development until the very end of the book. I would have liked to see a more gradual change, but it seemed to happen all at once. The ending happened very fast as well, and it seemed like everything that was building up to that final moment, was gone too quickly.

Across the Universe covers huge themes, like the different ways people take on leadership, and the way humans respond to change. I think Beth did a fantastic job in creating a society--complete with its own language variations--that had evolved and progressed, over the hundreds of years it had been around. All-in-all I think the book was a unique, fresh, take on science fiction, and I had a great time reading it!

Read this if
...you want to experience the confines of life across the universe, and you don't mind solving a little mystery along the way.

Content Warnings
*This section may contain some spoilers about content!* 
Highlight between the brackets to reveal the text.
{This book does refer to sex quite a lot, although the descriptions are mainly used to describe sounds and movement of other people besides the main characters. It talks about the effects of incest on the population (not descriptive at all), and also contains a scene that deals with rape.}

Not convinced yet? These may help:
Read the first chapter of Across the Universe online
Watch the book trailer:

Edit: You can also enter Beth Revis' giveaway on her blog. She's giving away some really cool prize packs. It ends 1.25.11


  1. Woah! Just followed you here! And I love your blog!... This book fascinates me... I love the book cover, it caught my attention the moment I visited your blog!... I'll try and look a copy on this! ^^

  2. Thanks! I'm glad you like my blog. And I hope you like the book, too!

  3. What did you think of the ending? I think he may be tempted and they will be back with a book 2.

  4. Thanks, Juju! And oh my gosh, the ending!! *spoiler warning, for anyone who may read this comment* I think it was the perfect twist, because it made him real somehow, giving his character depth. And, well...I think he'll totally be tempted! :)

  5. Penelope: I totally agree! It made him more of a real person and I'm anxious to learn what he's hiding and where the people will take their new knowledge. Brilliant review :)


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