Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

How do I describe Across the Universe and the feelings that I have about it?  I'm going to try and do the best that I can.  I will loosely define it as book 1 in a YA science fiction series.  I have a hard time just limiting to YA readers, the story is for mature readers who are ready to think.

Revis tells this story by alternating chapter viewpoints between Amy and Elder.  Amy is a 16 year old from our time (or in the very near future) who is cryogenically frozen with her parents to travel 300 years in space to reach a distant planet, meant to be a new colony for Earth.  She is understandably reluctant to leave everything she knows on Earth for an unknown future, but does so because she can't bear the thought of leaving her parents.

Elder is the leader-in-training on the same ship that Amy is frozen in.  People live on the ship, breeding animals, growing crops, keeping the ship running, etc.  Every generation has a different leader- the Eldest with someone in training to take his spot when he dies.  This has been the way of things since "The Plague" long ago caused so many deaths and panic.  Elder does what Eldest says, but there a lot of questions that he doesn't get the answers to and he's frustrated and nervous about the role he is going to play in the future without these answers.

Then, Amy is unplugged on a lower level that Elder didn't even know existed until very recently.  She almost dies without Elder's assistance.  When she is brought to, she finds out that they are still 50 years from reaching the new planet and she can't be refrozen to join her parents.  And others are being unplugged with unfortunate results.  Who is unplugging this people and why?  Why is this area of the ship a secret to all people except for a select few?  What's really going on with this ship?

I can't really go into much more detail, partly because it would give things away and partly because I really don't know how to describe what happens.  It's exciting and interesting.  I was almost immediately curious as to what was going on and how society on this ship worked.  (I will tell you's weird.)  It did take me a while to get through the book.  It got a little bit slow in the middle and I wanted answers now!  Plus, I will also admit- I get a little scared by space so I couldn't read it at night.  However, overall, I found the people, the place and the ideas thought provoking.  I really look forward to reading the second book in this trilogy.

You can find Across the Universe in our YA section.  For more information and other reviews, check out: