Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis and GIVEAWAY!

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Publication date: January 2011
ISBN: 9781595143976
Source: Review copy provided by publisher and LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Across the Universe 

When Amy and her parents decide to go on a mission to a new planet, they must be cryogenically frozen for 300 years.  But Amy is brutally awakened 50 years too soon and finds herself on a spaceship filled with secrets and lies.  She struggles to adapt to this enclosed space where people docilely accept everything the sinister leader Eldest tells them without question.  She thinks she can trust Elder, the next in line for leadership, but in a place where she knows no one and understands nothing, can she really trust him?

Things I Liked:
This book really does have it all.  It's mystery, sci-fi, dystopian, action-adventure and even a little romance.  The story is completely consuming and it caught me almost immediately in its grasp.  There were a lot of twists and surprises that totally reversed how you thought about everything and sometimes everyone!  While I did have one of the major plot mysteries figured out almost immediately, I did not grow bored because there was so much I hadn't figured out and couldn't have guessed.  I loved the way Revis created the atmosphere on the ship - Amy discovers smells and tastes and sights that are so well described that you feel a part of the ship too.  The isolation and struggles of her new life are emotionally overpowering and you can't help but feel the same way.  I was also impressed with Elder and the conflicting and sometimes contradictory way he acted and thought.  It was really a fascinating and fast-paced story complete with interesting ethical dilemmas and a glimpse at a horrifying and beautiful possible future.  

The air hits me like a wall, and I stop a few feet from the door.  It smells processed, cool against my nostrils, just like the air-conditioned hospital.  I'd expected mechanical, industrial-cold air inside.  That air felt natural, because it was just like every other air-conditioned house back on Earth, with that falsely cool, slightly stale feel to it.  But outside...the air is still the same.  This is not air that has ever felt a breeze.  This is air that has been used and reused for centuries.  p 133 of ARC
How can I explain to this girl, who was raised among differences and lack of leadership and chaos and war that this is the way a normal society is run, a peaceful society, a society that doesn't just survive, as hers did, but one that thrives and flourishes as it hurtles through space toward a new planet? p 298 of ARC
Does it matter if it's a lie if it keeps us alive? p 354 of ARC 
Things I Didn't Like:
I have to admit that there were minor things that nagged at me while reading.  It felt like there were a few minor holes in the plot that I couldn't quite recognize, but that left me doubting some of the events.  Also, I could have done without the Season.  Just saying.

Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Matched by Ally Condie
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

s-factor: !
a few, but mostly there were evolved cuss words

mrg-factor: XX
quite a bit, though most of it is not descriptive

v-factor: ->->
some disturbing images, but not a lot of gore

Overall rating: *****

I was lucky enough to get an extra ARC and I would love to pass it on to one lucky reader! Fill out the form below by next Friday, January 14. US only.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I have heard that this is a good book and I will hopefully get to read it soon to find out for myself.

    I like that it has a science fiction element to it. That kind of makes it stand out from the other dystopian fiction of late. I enjoyed your review! It is good to know that even though you figured out the major mystery you still liked the book.

  2. Christina, it had more sci-fi than other dystopian books, though I think I've heard dystopian lit is sort of a subgenre of sci-fi. Funny how many of them are light on the sci-fi, though :) Hope you like it!

  3. I agree, I could've done without the season - but overall I REALLY liked it too :)

  4. I heard it was good great giveaway thank you!

  5. Thanks for the giveaway. Been wanting to read this one!

  6. Hm, I just read another review with similar complaints. I don't like figuring out plot points earlier than I'm supposed to, but it's good to hear that didn't bother you because sometimes I can overlook that too. I'm curious about this one (and about what that dreadful Season is!)

  7. Corinne, glad I'm not the only one :)

    latishajean, hope you enjoy it!

    Dakota, it's worth the read, in my opinion.

    Small Review, I am usually annoyed by figuring things out, but there were plenty of other things that surprised me and that I enjoyed. I hope you like it (despite the Season...:)

  8. Oooh, sounds delightful. Even if I don't win a copy, I'll have to get my hands on it somehow.

  9. I am reading this right now...as in it is sitting open on my lap...and the Season was really bothering me so I had to take a moment and read what others had written. Glad to know I'm not the only one. Now I can move past it and get back into the story.

  10. Melissa, yes, yes you must. :)

    Jess, hopefully you can get past that part and enjoy the rest of the story. It's worth continuing to read, in my opinion.


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