Author: Beth Revis | Overall Rating: 4 stars
Plot synopsis of first book:
Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends – and planet – behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship. Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber.
Someone tried to murder her.
Now, Amy is caught inside a tiny world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed’s 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, Eldest’s rebellious teenage heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead.
Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship’s cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.
The first thing to be said about this series is that it was a journey from start to finish, in both good ways and not-so-great. Overall, I enjoyed this series a lot, but there were a number of things that kept it from being a 5 star read for me.
Warning: As I am reviewing the entire series, there will be some spoilers. I’ll try to keep them as mild as possible, but there will be some bigger ones in there, too. Be warned.
I suppose the first place to start is at the beginning. Across the Universe started out a little slowly, but as it was the first book in a trilogy I was willing to overlook it without deducting any rating points. It gave us information about the ship and its inhabitants, which is important and it’s always nice to have a general background about before delving into the story. Fine. That was to be expected. But then we met Amy.
Amy was one of the most frustrating things about the first two books. Her character annoyed me to no end. At first, I wanted to like her. At first, I was willing to overlook her “boo me, I miss Earth” moments. She had just woken up – and nearly drowned – on a spaceship surrounded by strange people and informed that it was still fifty years until they arrived at their destination and her parents could be unfrozen, too. I was willing to accept a little self-pity. But it never stopped. Yes, she’s going through difficult times, but that doesn’t mean I want to read about it every other chapter. Thankfully, this seemed to ease up a lot in the third book, when she was finally on a planet and with her parents again. And, thankfully, so did her attitude of “I lived on a planet, and you haven’t, so if you want something different than I think you should, it’s just because you don’t know any better.”
Beyond that, the only thing that I could really say bothered me were parts of the plot – at times it felt like Revis just kept forcing new things in there in order to keep things going.
Overall, though, I did really enjoy the trilogy. It was mostly a fun, fast-paced story, with a lot of good character development. As much as Amy annoyed me, she did feel like a realistic teenager, and I liked Elder, Harley, Kit, and the others, too. I enjoyed all of the scientific and technological advancements, which were all well done. Throughout the three books we got a chance to experience sci-fi both on the spaceship and planetary level, which was nice, as I feel like most sci-fi novels tend to lean one way or the other. Revis had a lot of interesting ideas, and I felt that she implemented most of them really well.
With all three books being considered, this series earns a solid four stars from me.
As an aside to anyone who’s read the final book: did anyone else picture the ptero’s as similar the ikran/banshee’s from Avatar, just with feet?