Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Across the Universe - Beth Revis [Review]

This review may contain spoilers.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Across the Universe #1
Release Date: January 11th 2011
Pages: 398
Rating: ★★1/2



A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


I was not convinced by this novel. The first half of the book I did not like at all, later it turned by a bit, but not enough to make it a satisfying read. I really wanted to like this book, but it just did not do it for me.

The book starts with Amy about to be frozen to travel to another planet. After that we meet Elder, who is residing on the same spaceship, just not frozen. When Amy is unfrozen and nearly dies, Elder starts to realise not everything on the ship is perfect. When other people are unfrozen, he and Amy start investigating and together they unravel the ship's darkest secrets.

The beginning of the book was very confusing. After Amy is frozen, we suddenly jump to Elder, the other POV. It was unclear who he was, where he was, if we jumped in time, if it was even the same spaceship. Until Amy was unfrozen, I was very confused about everything, not good.

I did not like the world building. As I said, the beginning was totally confusing. After that things were explained, but I never got a good view of the whole spaceship and the reasons why they had to leave Earth. Also the sci-fi elements, like the drugs, the DNA-changing etc, I did not understand how they could have been developed on the ship during its voyage, since all the scientist were frozen. More explanation, especially in the beginning, would have been great.

I did actually like the dystopian elements. The secrets about how the ship was run and the Plague were pretty creepy and they were original.

The mystery element in the book, who is the 'unfrozener'/murderer, was very predictable. Throughout the book many hints were given and thus I was not surprised at the reveal at the end. Same goes for Eldest 'biggest secret', I thought that was obvious from the beginning, apparently not. The secrets about the ship itself did surprise me, I constanly thought how the people's behaviour was abnormal, but I had not thought of that.

Part of why I did not like the first half of the book was the concept of the mating season and the near-rape of Amy. It really disgusted me and I thought it could have been more subtle.  

The pacing I guess was pretty good after the first chapters. Although I may not have liked the story so much I did finish the book quickly and I did not get bored. 

The first sentence of the blurb is 'A love out of time'. Uhm, which love? There is about zero percent romance in the book. From the beginning Elder is attracted to Amy, and that is (mostly) because of her appearance and because she is the only girl his age. And Amy does not show any sign of attraction to Elder, only friendship. They kiss once, but this is quickly forgotten. At the end of the book they hold hands and that is the whole loving relationship. They had absolutely no chemistry and the attraction that was there was just based on appearances.

The main characters did nothing for me. They were both pretty naive, they did not see the answers when they were right in front of them.

Amy seemed childish to me. She was seventeen, but she still called her father 'Daddy' and her mother 'Momma'. When people tell her it's not safe outside the hospital, what does she do? She goes to take a run outside, on her own. Most dystopian novels have a strong heroine, but Amy was just a normal girl with no special qualities, she was even annoying, with her constant mentioning her old boyfriend Jason and whining about her 'Daddy'.

Elder kind of irritated me. He thought he was really smart, by outsmarting Eldest, when actually he did not know anything. He was selfish: he saw a pretty girl and did not want to be alone, who cares what she wants. And until the very end it seemed like he was only interested in her because she was pretty, nothing else. He absolutely did not seem like a leader, I'm actually really curious how he's going to survive leadership in the second book.

The only likeable character was Harley. At least he showed actual emotion and he had an interesting, but tragic story. He actually seemed like a better love interest for Amy than Elder, but well.. that's not going to happen anymore is it..  I would definitely read a short story about him and Kayleigh. 

I guess I would not recommend this book. There is nothing I can really praise this book about and I'm not going to read the second book.

Funny thing about the cover: it took me ages to find out it was a girl and a boy. I only saw the pink in between them, I thought that was some kind of funny thing in the universe (I don't know exactly what it should have been). 

Stars: 2.5 out of 5 


  1. Yes! I'm not alone! I also wasn't very impressed, and thought the mystery was very predictable. I totally agree that Amy was childish for a lot of the book - I really couldn't stand her constant angst.

  2. Awww, so sorry you didn't like this one, dear! I do agree the first one's not really the best of the series (the third one was awesome), so I understand why you didn't like it :) I agree about the cover, though - I actually thought they were fishes at first! Hahaha.

    Faye @ The Social Potato Reviews

  3. I was considering reading this book, but judging by this review it might be better not to. If a book is going to be a romance, the main characters better have chemistry.

  4. I read this book and really liked it my self. I am a big fan of sci-fi and I felt like this book really got the true meaning of sci-fi which is something that many YA books miss.I did find the near rape part very hard to read and crazy and though I would have liked it to be less intense I felt that done playing it would have been wrong because rape is scary,wrong and horrible.
    I also liked how there was so little chemistry because in YA people tend to fall in love in one page. It makes sense for Amy to like elder but not be in love with him or have a spark.
    I do have ever agree that at times amy was a pain. it started off nice to show her weaker side but I wanted to see her really step up which you do not until the next book a million suns.
    Still a very good honest review :)



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