Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: Across the Universe trilogy: Across the Universe, A Million Suns, and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

When I first heard about these books I wasn't sure if I should give them a try. I hadn't read any science fiction before and I wasn't sure if it was a genre I would like. The premise sounded great though so I thought, what the heck? I ended up loving these books! Here's my summary and review of each book in the trilogy:

In a distant future, Earth is in need of help. Natural resources are depleted and the technology is finally available for humans to travel through space and find other planets that can support life. Seventeen-year-old Amy's parents work for the government and are boarding a spaceship to go to one of those recently discovered planets. They give Amy a choice...stay on Earth with her boyfriend and relatives or come aboard the ship, get cryogenically frozen, and start a new life on a new planet many years in the future? Amy loves her parents and decides to go with them. The next thing she knows she's being woken up...early. Mesmerized by her beauty, a boy named Elder unplugs her machine. Elder had no idea all these people were frozen on his ship. He's grown up there and is being groomed to become the next Eldest, the leader. While Amy starts to adjust to her new reality, one in which she is a shunned outsider, someone starts unplugging and killing off the frozens one-by-one. Amy and Elder race to figure out what's going on and who's responsible. What they discover is shocking and life changing. Their spaceship/home has more secrets and problems than they ever thought possible.

It's been three months since Amy woke up on Godspeed. Her and Elder have uncovered many of the ships' secrets but many more questions still plague them. People have died and chaos has erupted. Elder has assumed control of the ship but it isn't going well. The more he and Amy fall in love, he more control over his people he loses. As more shocking discoveries are made, Amy comes to realize that not only will she never fit in with Elder and his people, but she will be older than her parents when they finally land. If they ever land. That's looking more and more like a possibility every second.

They've landed. A lot of lives were lost and a lot of people decided to stay behind but Elder and Amy and about 1000 members of Godspeed have taken the shuttle and landed on the new Earth. But this planet isn't at all what they thought it would be. Something big and scary is outside the shuttle trying to kill them. The frozens are woken up and assume control. It doesn't go well. Amy and Elder do whatever they can to bridge the gap and keep the peace between Elder's people and those that were frozen but nothing they do seems to help. As they all try to make a new life on this strange and amazing new planet, more threats come at them. They can't go back to Godspeed and those on Godspeed can't help them and they can't get a hold of anyone on the original Earth so what do they do? And more importantly, will they survive?

**The Across the Universe trilogy is science fiction at its best. Revis does an amazing job dealing with themes of hope, belonging, and what it means to be human. I loved the relationship between Amy and Elder and how despite all odds they do whatever they can to try to save the people onboard the ship and the mission itself. Elder's character arc is much more obvious and interesting than Amy's but her hardships onboard the ship as well as the feelings she has to deal with when adjusting to her new life will bring tears to your eyes. The final book had me tearing through the pages to see how it all ended and I couldn't have been more surprised and more pleased with how it all played out. I highly recommend this trilogy to anyone who enjoys philosophical questions, space drama, and thrilling mysteries.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below.