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Shades of Earth: An Across the Universe Novel Paperback – November 14, 2013
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The sf trilogy begun with Across the Universe (2011) and A Million Suns (2012) comes to a fittingly explosive conclusion in this satisfying series ender. From the first page, Revis fulfills the promise of the first volume: 1,456 passengers of the spaceship Godspeed finally land on Centauri-Earth, the military personnel are unfrozen from suspended animation, and everyone gets an up-close look at their brave new world. And it’s not good. Right away, Revis’ trademark claustrophobic suspense gives way to creature-feature thrills as pterodactyl-like monsters assault the pioneers. Amid the growing body count, the terror of the ship-born people, and the threat of unseen aliens, young lovers Amy and Elder have only each other to cling to—but that’s before the introduction of Amy’s new blue-eyed bodyguard. Plot holes pop up occasionally, and explanations are sometimes glossed over, but that doesn’t take away from Revis’ gifts as a propulsive storyteller with a knack for jarring surprises and raising the stakes. Pair with Dom Testa’s Galahad series for a one-two punch of impressive modern YA sci-fi. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Revis’ trilogy has rightfully lit up best-seller lists, and a major promotional campaign, including two Comic-Cons, should keep attention amped. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
PRAISE FOR SHADES OF EARTH:
"A fabulous job of integrating science fiction and YA romance."—USAToday.com
"Great science fiction...recommend[ed] for both teenagers and adults." —Wired.com
"Comes to a fittingly explosive conclusion in this satisfying series ender. . . . A propulsive storyteller with a knack for jarring surprises and raising the stakes." —Booklist
"Throughout the series, Revis has brought real and immediate emotions to sci-fi scenarios . . . and here she invests that skill in making readers feel, along with her protagonists, the awe and wonder facing humanity as the characters step out onto an alien planet for the first time." —Horn Book Reviews
"Wraps up questions with elegant surprises and fresh moral dilemmas . . . Revis is a truly original voice." —BCCB
"Brings it home on a planet far from home." –Kirkus Reviews
PRAISE FOR THE ACROSS THE UNIVERSE TRILOGY:
"Entirely original, deeply compelling, and totally unputdownable--I've found a new favorite!" —Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth
"A murder mystery, a budding romance, and a dystopian world gracefully integrated into a sci-fi novel that blows away all expectation." —Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Lovely
"A horrifying and deliciously claustrophobic masterpiece that's part sci-fi, part dystopian, and entirely brilliant." —Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally
"A fast-paced, action-packed follow-up . . . that explores not only the nature of authority and loyalty but fear of the unknown and fulfilling one's personal destiny." —LA Times
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‘Shades of Earth’ was so much better than the previous novels in the trilogy. I wasn't really overcome by any need to move forward with this series after low ratings on ‘Across the Universe’ and ‘A Million Suns,’ but after a lengthy hiatus I decided to wrap up this collection… and I'm really glad I did.
Our protagonist, Amy, stopped being so flighty and immature, and has grown into a young woman I really respect and loved to read about. Her strength really shines in this conclusion, as does her ingenuity, and no longer needs to rely on Elder for her safety.
Elder (Amy’s love interest) did not seem so young either, and has really started growing into a leader. I think the added dynamic of planet fall and the addition of the cryogenic passengers now awake have given both of these two a chance to challenge themselves in so much adversity.
There are moments where the couple are fighting against parents or “rulers” that annoyed me. Yes, their actions are justified, but to have so many unreasonable adults around, in the situation of colonising an alien planet, it did not seem so realistic. The type of people to make a new home in somewhere completely new and alien takes ingenuity and adaptability – and I did not see a lot of that (even if they were under orders from their bosses). This was the biggest issue I had with the plot – it represented more of a power play than any realism of surviving in a hostile alien environment.
Amy’s parents fell into this category as well; even though it was juxtaposed with moments of empathy and parental care, I was frustrated at their behaviour. Respectively, ‘Shades of Earth’ really captured that love-hate thing we go through as teens.
I had guessed all about our new cast member introduced in this novel, Chris, within the first scene. He was a great character and added a fresh dynamic to Amy and Elders relationship. But still a clever story arc, and one that I thinks adds a lot of interest to the novel.
Loved the descriptions of the new planet, though, I would have liked to find out more about the ecology there. I was expecting more flora and fauna – it is an evolved planet that can support life, just a few scary lifeforms seems deficient… I love a good fight for survival, and as much as ‘Shades of Earth’ is that, the aboriginal life on Centauri-Earth could have been amped up more.
The development of technology over time is brilliant in this story, and I loved how it was intertwined within the plot - how elements of Earth, Godspeed, and the planet are all included in Amy and Elders plight.
This is the right way to end a series.
I don’t think I would have bothered to pick up anything written by Beth Revis based on my experience of the first two novels, but ‘Shades of Earth’ has totally redeemed her writing in my eyes and turned me into a fan. Even though it took me two years to finally finish the trilogy.
Wow this was a very fast paced, eventful conclusion to a trilogy, at least I think it's the last one who knows? But I enjoyed this, it kept me on edge and I love Amy and Elder so much, but damn Amy has it rough in this book! Her mom and dad die along with a bunch of her friends, and then the end it seems that elder is dead (even though I know he wasn't cause there is no way Beth would of killed off elder). Also @&:! Chris!! I have no sympathy for him at all! And like Amy said all this could have been avoided if he just asked them and communicated but noooo he had to go and start a whole lot of unnecessary killings and drama. But anyways all and all I thought it was a solid third book and can't wait to read more of Beth's work!
I was hoping for a story about the the "frozens" & the people from the Godspeed as they struggled with each other & learned to get along as they colonized a new world, found resources, developed a society, etc... & of course, continued the Romeo & Juliet-esque relationship of Amy & Elder in light of how Amy's parents might see the relationship. That doesn't happen- in fact, the two groups barely interact.
At some point in reading, I found myself wondering exactly how many DARE courses Revis had to sit through as a child- yes, I get it: Drugs are bad, Phydus is bad. Very bad. Because more than anything else in her books, this seems to be the main theme. Drugs will suck away your soul & turn you, quite literally, into a monster. She relied on Phydus as a crutch to move the plot forward when there were so many other interesting stories she could have been developing.
Rather than take the opportunity to develop an entirely new world, Revis slips back into her old "drugs are bad & must be stopped" routine, which is the main crux of this book- just like the last two, which is especially disappointing since I felt that Elder had dealt with the Phydus issue pretty well in the 2nd book.
Yes, there's lots of action & it definitely keeps you reading, but I think that there were a lot of events along the way that really were unnecessary to move the story along that I found simply, overkill.
Most recent customer reviews
The people of the colony sized spaceship Godspeed have a decision to make.Read more
Throughout reading the first couple books, I enjoyed the journey and the world created, but I found myself figuring out every...Read more