Across the Universe – Beth Revis

I think this is Beth Revis’ debut novel, I’m pretty sure she hasn’t written anything else. And it’s really good. I was put off at first by the cover (two random people made out of stars kissing upside down) but then I heard a great review about it and thought “Hey, why not, let’s try it”, and it was better than I expected. But let’s start with the cons first and get them out of the way.

Oh wait! A summary!

Summary

Amy and her family are frozen in a tank for… well I can’t remember how long, but let’s just say a pretty damn long time. But Amy’s woken up to early. Like, 50 years too early, to a ship which is corrupt and has dark secrets. She has to work out who’s doing this before any more people get murdered, including herself.

Cons

Characters are so important to me. I don’t care how good your plot is, or your writing style or whatever. If I don’t like the characters, then I will not like the book. This is one of the problems I had with Angel – Cliff McNish & Wicked Lovely – Melissa Marr. The characters were so annoying that I really disliked the books. Now, the characters in Across the Universe weren’t annoying, they were just so… bland.  I felt like Amy and Elder really had no personality that defined them in any way. They felt just like little cardboard cut outs without any dimension to them, which was annoying as they narrate the book. All I knew about Amy was that she had a boyfriend and cared about her parents. I never really learnt about her as a person, apart from that she liked running. She actually reminded me of Clary from the Mortal Instruments (by Cassandra Clare) in a way, but that might just be because of the hair colour thing.

And Elder was just a boy that wanted to know who his parents were and liked Amy. I felt more connected to Harley (who still wasn’t very developed as a character) who seemed to have slightly more personality than the other two. Eldest was probably the most interesting character, just because his view on the world and democracy and so on was so different to Elder’s and Amy’s.

I also did not like the way Elder didn’t really care for Amy, he just lusted after her. He didn’t love her (lack of) personality, or her interests or her humour. He was only interested in her “sunset hair” and her girly parts for the disgusting season ritual. This made it hard for me to like him.

Also, the connection between the people who died really wasn’t that interesting. I was hoping for a much more interesting twist, but whatever.

Pros

The plot was great, and I love the idea of Godspeed and the whole reasoning behind it. I also love Beth Revis’ ideas on the democracy on the ship, the causes of discord and so on. I love the world she created and how complex and brilliant it was, because it’s actually realistic in a way. And I love how it was named Godspeed, because it was meant for luck and so on, even though none of the crew members believe in God or religion.

And I did love the final, big twist at the end. About the Plague and the ship and centauri-earth. Now I’m really interested to read the next book BUT IT’S NOT AVAILABLE ON THE KINDLE! I’ll just wait, I guess. I’ve got plenty of more books to choose from.

Quotes:

  • “Dreams are like that: they go in and out of memories and scenes, but they are never real. They’re never real, and I hate them because they aren’t.”
  • “If my life on Earth must end, let it end with a promise. Let it end with hope.
    I wrap my pinkie around his. He squeezes my finger, and this world doesn’t feel so cold anymore.
    “Will you stay with me?” I whisper.
    “Always.””
  • I am as silent as death.
    Do this: Go to your bedroom. Your nice, safe, warm bedroom that is not a glass coffin behind a morgue door. Lie down on your bed not made of ice. Stick your fingers in your ears. Do you hear that? The pulse of life from your heart, the slow in-and-out from your lungs? Even when you are silent, even when you block out all noise, your body is still a cacophony of life. Mine is not. It is the silence that drives me mad. The silence that drives the nightmares to me.
    Because what if I am dead?”
  • “And I look at Harley, and the billions of stars are in his eyes, and he’s drinking them up, pouring them into his soul.”

Overall

So, 3 1/2 shuriken stars, I think. A really really good read.  I’d say it’s better than Delirium but not better than Divergent. It’s somewhere floating around in the middle.

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