- Series: Across the Universe (Book 1)
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Razorbill (November 29, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1595144676
- ISBN-13: 978-1595144676
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 581 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Across the Universe Paperback – November 29, 2011
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2011: As the spaceship Godspeed travels toward a new earth, the lives of 100 cryogenically frozen settlers hang in the balance after someone endeavors to quietly murder them. The other passengers aboard the ship have never known life outside its walls and are enslaved by the machinations of Eldest, their tyrannical leader, who divides them into three distinct classes. When Amy, a frozen settler from earth, survives being thawed in a murder attempt, she immediately bonds with Elder, Godspeed's lone teen and future leader. Amy’s individuality, her rebellion, and her fierce desire for freedom, inspire Elder to act on his own doubts and defy Eldest--his mentor and keeper--with shocking results. Eldest’s methods of twisting history and altering the lives of this captive community are a frightening echo of tyrants in our own history, and Across the Universe challenges readers to consider the impact of unchecked power, blind trust, and the ability of one dissenting voice to make a difference.-- Seira Wilson
Preview the Spacecraft in Across the Universe
(Click on Images to Enlarge)
In Across the Universe, Godspeed is a vast spaceship, the size of a small county. The lives of its passengers are severely regulated. And people are divided into three categories--Feeders, Shippers, and Keepers--represented by the three levels of the ship.
From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Imagine leaving everything behind in order to be with the people you love, only to be left with nothing. Amy and her parents have been cryogenically frozen to be awakened in 300 years when their spaceship reaches the planet they will colonize. Unfortunately, Amy is unfrozen 50 years too soon. Her parents are too critical to the colony to awaken early, so by the time she sees them again, she will be older than they are. The culture on the spaceship is unfamiliar and everyone Amy meets is either an emotionless drone or lives in the mental ward. But there is little time for her to grieve the loss of her former life, because someone is thawing other colonists and leaving them to die. In order to find the murderer, Amy must join forces with Elder, the teenage future leader of the ship. But all of the inhabitants onboard have been told lies, and there are secrets that even Elder doesn't know. This compelling novel is told in alternating chapters from Amy's and Elder's points of view. Amy is a contemporary character in a fish-out-of-water situation, and her grief and fear are realistically depicted. And as Elder learns the truth behind the ship, he begins to experience a coming-of-age that is convincingly written. The mystery will propel readers along, and the budding romance between Amy and Elder set against the backdrop of a dystopian society will appeal even to readers who don't enjoy science fiction. Revis's thrilling debut novel hints at more great books to come.-Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top customer reviews
I will start off with the positives of this book:
First of all, it does get better and makes more sense at the end of the book. I know I was getting extremely frustrated with what seemed to be a lack of knowledge in the science fields, but Revis proved to at least develop things a little more. Secondly, the main character, Amy, was extremely well developed and stuck to reality astonishingly well. Her whole life was destroyed and her grieving process fits perfectly. If anything I'm surprised she didn't cry more often.
Now the negatives:
Revis was clearly trying to portray the issues of a totalitarian society. I like the idea, but the persecution was weak. She got the basics somewhat correct, but there are many large gaps in her society (which I'm afraid if I delve into might create some spoilers). In general, though, I believe some more research on such a society and first hand accounts would have added a lot more to this book. Next, her genetic explanations as well as evolution of the society needed major work. I have worked in a genetics lab (broad sense), as well as plenty of background in evolution. Maybe it is due to my slightly more extensive background that caused me to be extremely aggravated when techniques were used improperly during this novel. A lot of the story was either improper wording or just down right impossible techniques. I understand this society is futuristic, but some of the explanations are for things we have already been developed or are working on, but she explains them in an improper manner. There were many other technology issues throughout the book besides just the genetics issue, but they are much more miniscule. I love sci-fis, but when you do not put effort into research, then I will have a difficult time enjoying the novel when I'm just criticizing the lack of knowledge the author has in the field. Now, the novel itself had poor character development, as well as one character completely changing personalities at one point with no "coming of age" or drastic event that would have changed them. Lastly, the author also really lacked esthetic enthusiasm. She could have looked so much deeper into the society than she did. These are just the major issues I'd like to point out without ruining any spoilers if you do decide to read the book.
Overall, one character was greatly developed, but everything else was lacking. If you are looking for a very simple read, or a mediocre example of science fiction, look no further than Across the Universe.
There is one thing that upsets me, though. And that is the book cover. The cover for Across the Universe and A Million Suns are the best covers ever. The most beautiful ones. And I am so not happy about the cover change for book three, Shades of Earth. It wasn't fair. And I'm not happy about it at all. I adore these covers. And I really, really want that final cover to be the same, because I want to know what it would look like. There is nothing I adore more than a pretty cover. But, I'll manage. Maybe :)
Across the Universe has a unique story line. It takes place in space. Okay, it might not be so unique, I just have never read a space book before, or heard of one. At least not a Young Adult one. The story in this book is so amazing. It is full of mystery. And exciting things. And deaths. And heart-racing moments. Awful moments. Sweet and happy moments. It's also full of surprises. Lies and betrayals. This book really has it all. And that it all kinds of perfect. To make it even better, the writing is flawless.
This is the story of Amy and Elder. This book is written from both point of views, different person for each chapter. In some books that annoys me, but in this one I loved it so much. The point of views works so well, and I loved them both just as much. Thankfully. It starts with Amy. She's with her parents, about to get frozen and put on a ship leaving for space. It will take 300 years to reach this new planet that they going to. They will all be frozen until then. Amy is unsure, but she do it for her parents.
And oh. The beginning was kind of brutal. There was so much pain. But it was also perfect, and I kind of wanted more. I'm not sure how I felt about Amy's parents. We only saw them for a moment, but they didn't seem to believe in their daughter. But I did like Amy. She seemed amazing. And she's so kind. And she loves her parents so much. The pain of being frozen.. it's awful. I doubt I could ever do it. We get to read about it a lot. And it's so bad, and so amazingly written I couldn't help but love it like crazy.
And then she's frozen. But oh. She's isn't sleeping. Maybe. I'm still unsure what was true about that part. But we see some chapters of her where she's dreaming and thinking and not having her brain frozen while her body is. It seemed so awful and heartbreaking. But it was also so amazing, to be honest. That's when we meet Elder. It's in the future, and he's aboard Godspeed, the space ship. There are over 2,000 people living there. It's huge. There is one leader, Eldest, and Elder, who is leader-in-training.
I loved reading about Elder's life. He's sixteen, and he's mostly alone. He has at least one friend, Harley. He is pretty amazing. We learn a lot about him as well, and it broke my heart so much. But he's so sweet and unique and amazing. Anyway. Elder is perfect. He's kind and sweet and thoughtful. He will be the perfect leader. At least I think so. He cares a lot. I won't say that much about where he lives. Just that it is such amazing to read and learn everything! It sounds so nice and awful and just perfect.
Godspeed seems like an amazing place. But also so sad and depressing. I loved reading everything we learned about it. Like Doc. Kind of hated him. And Orion. Hated him as well, mostly. He was kind. Then there was Luthe. And oh. He was goddamn awful. But I also kind of liked that he was in this book. Anyway. Back to Amy! She gets woken from the sleep too early. 50 years before Godspeed is to land on the new Earth. Someone unplugged her, tried to kill her. She's not happy about it all. Really not.
Because Amy was woken up too early, she's all alone. She can't wake her parents, since they are needed for the new planet. And she can't be re-frozen, because that could kill her. Plus side, she has Elder. And Elder seems to like her a whole lot. And oh. They are just adorable. And I loved them both so much. And I won't say more about the plot. Just that it is all a bit mystery and it's amazing and I never wanted this book to end. Cannot wait to re-read A Million Suns tomorrow :D It will be amazing. So excited.
There is some romance in this book. But there isn't much. I wished for more. There might be a tiny bit more in book two. If I remember right. But I'm unsure. I do think there will be lots more in book three, though, so I'm dying for that :D One thing I disliked in this book. That Amy had a boyfriend back on Earth, Jason :p I didn't like that she thought of him. Everything she did with him. It might be wrong of me to be annoyed about it, but I still am. Still, I'm dealing with it :D I hope. Most likely, I think ;p Anyway. Across the Universe is an amazing book. It is perfect. And you really, really need to read it.
* Fascinating concept after fascinating concept
- they just tumble out, one after the other. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be cryogenically preserved, you will find out exactly what it's like within 20 pages. If you've ever wondered how we'd sustain life in a spaceship for hundreds of years, you'll be an expert by the end.
* Stunningly conceived scenes that take on an almost cinematographic quality - I don't know how Revis manages to convey speed, distance, and motion as aptly as one of Spielberg's camera angles, but a body floating away from a spaceship into outer-space via the written word has never been as big-screen.
* Impeccable structure, including carefully applied Agatha Christie-esque tools - Happily, there are so few places to physically go on this spaceship that the adventure is an intellectual one. Away from the glitzy thrills of fights and chase, the story goes right back to good old fashioned clues and theory. And when these thrills arrive, they arrive in style.
* Characters you could be friends with. Cute and sweet characters that don't make you nauseous (Elder). Angry and rude characters whose behavior you can justify and learn to accept (Amy). Villains you sort of agree with but still dislike (Eldest). Heroes that are semi gutless (Doc). Secondaries whose stories could go on for 300 years and not get boring (Harley).
It's a frexing masterpiece. Unhesitatingly 5 stars.