Title: Across the Universe (book 1 of trilogy)
Author: Beth Revis
Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult Dystopian, Thriller, Fiction
Pages: 416 (paperback)
Add To-Read: Goodreads
WOW!! That is what I have to say after finishing this book…WOW! While I was vigorously searching for new books to read I happened stumbled upon this Across the Universe on Goodreads, it was recommended to me based on all the previous Dystopian books I have read. I also watched a bunch of YouTube that got me really excited to read this book!
Across The Universe begins, it takes place present day. NASA has built an colossal spaceship named “Godspeed”. “Godspeed” is built to house cryogenically frozen “Essentials” (marines, scientists, government officials, biologists, etc.), and send them to the “New Earth” they’ve discovered, where they will be unfrozen and used to help colonize the new planet into one like our Earth (think Wall-E). The trip to the new Earth is predicted to take exactly 300 years.
Amy, one of the main characters is a seventeen year old girl whose mother and father have been labeled as “Essentials” and chosen to go to the “New Earth”. Amy’s parents request that Amy come along as well. When the book begins we are with Amy as her parents get cryogenically frozen in glass boxes “It would have looked like a coffin, but coffins have pillows and look a lot more comfortable. This looked more like a shoebox”. Amy describes the process as it is being done to her mom. First she has to get completely naked, lay in the glass box and then she gets pierced with two IVs that fill her veins with cold blue goo that “flows like honey, not like water”. Then her eyes are held open while drops are put in to keep her from going blind. Next they shove several tubes down her throat that connect to electrical devices. And last they fill the glass box with water flecked with sky-blue sparkles, and she is frozen. Amy’s dad follows in this process and then Amy. Creepy right?!
Once the whole family is frozen, we meet the second main character of the story, Elder, and when we meet him “Godspeed” has already been traveling for 250 years. Elder is a 17 year old boy who is to be the next leader of the ship once Eldest (the current leader) gets too old and steps down. On the ship everything is really weird! They have the “Elder System” which I guess is like having a president to control all the inhabitants of the ship. There is always an Eldest and 2 Elders; the Eldest rules while the Elder below him teaches the Elder below HIM. On the ship there are two generations at all times – one generation of people in their 40’s and one in their 20’s. They also have something called “season” which is a specific time for all of the younger generation to mate to create the next generation. Everyone on the ship is “mono-ethnic” which means everyone looks exactly the same with brown eyes, brown hair, and olive skin. Every person living on the ship has something called a “wi-com” embedded in their ear when they are babies, this is basically like a cell phone..inside your body…weird!!
When we are introduced to Elder, Amy is “unplugged” and left out to die, luckily she is found in time by Elder. About half of the book follows Amy and Elders journey to discover who tried to kill Amy and who is trying to “unplug” all the cryogenically frozen people from Earth…and why? What I was worried about was that it would take us 3 books to figure out who it is but luckily we find out in this book. Also something I love about this book is, on the cover it says “What does it take to survive aboard a spaceship fueled by lies” which..amazingly describes the book to a T! Not only is there the mystery of who is trying to kill the “frozens” and why but there are also SOOOO many other secrets and lies around every freaking corner!!
And let’s talk about Eldest real quick, shall we? WHAT AN ASSHOLE!!! I seriously cringed when I read more and more about him. Eldest basically thinks he is God and he has the whole ship mind-controlled by a drug called “Phydus” EXCEPT for the people on the ship that are in the Ward aka “the crazies”. The “crazies” are not affected by Phydus because they take “inhibitor pills” that counteract it so that their creativity and genius that were pre-determined by Eldest (long story/secret) won’t be eliminated. Seriously all these people are like zombie freaks in space…kinda cool huh? Yeah so Eldest meets Amy after she is woken up and hates her right off the bat! Eldest believes that because she is different and doesn’t behave like a zombie, she will cause the ship’s routine way of life to crumble. He even threatens to open up the hatch in the basement and push her out into the stars to die!! I told you he was an asshole!!
There are a lot of other great characters that you get to know in this book. The world building is incredible, I actually found myself feeling trapped inside a giant spaceship more than half the time I was reading!
Reading this book was like watching a “on the edge of your seat” type thriller. Every single chapter I kept saying to myself “OH MY GOSH…WHAT?!”. Just when you think you know what’s going on…BAM you get thrown a HUGE curve ball that hits you in the face and messes with everything you thought made sense!! There is so much to discuss in this review but if I do I will spoil it all and I really don’t want to ruin Across the Universe for those of you who haven’t read the book, so if you have read it and want to discuss all the crazy shit that went on in this book, I am SO down! Across the Universe is an amazing that moves so quickly and is very suspenseful! I read it in 2 days, which for me is a HUGE deal considering how bad my ADD is when it comes to reading! So yes, please read! Beth Revis is an incredible writer and this is an amazing story! Oooh and check out the cool blueprint of the ship below and on the books official website there is an even more amazing model of the ship that is interactive so you can see each level and the rooms inside!
I give this book:
Just for “funsies” look at these pics from Wall-E vs. and Across the Universe…if you’ve read the book (and seen Wall-E) you might recognize the similarities too (minus the overweight ship inhabitants )