Amy had the choice to go with her parents on the 300 year voyage to Centuri-Earth or to stay behind and live out the rest of her life with her relatives. She chose to go with her parents and expected to wake up on a whole new planet but that was not the case. When she did wake up it was in a cold metallic room and 50 years to go before they arrived at the new planet.
Elder is training to become the next leader of Godspeed, the ship taking them to the new planet, and when Amy wakes up he feels compelled to watch her and protect her. It is more than just duty that draws him to her. She is the most beautiful person she has seen and she is his one connection to Earth, a planet he has only heard about.
Soon after waking Amy and Elder discover that Amy’s cryogenic chamber did not unfreeze by accident and that someone was trying to kill her. Their suspicions are confirmed when more cryogenic chambers are unsealed and their occupants left to unthaw then die.
Across the Universe reminds me hugely of a book I previous reviewed called Inside Out (by Maria V Snyder). When selecting the book I thought I might get as drawn into Across the Universe as I had with Inside Out but a few chapters in and I found myself still trying to develop some interest in the book. Once Amy had been unthawed and the intrigue started to appear I found it increasingly difficult to put the book down.
Although the main plot seems to take some time to come into play Revis uses the time before hand establishing the world that Amy finds so difficult to fit in to. With the main murder plot coming in so late in the story it does seem slightly rushed as the characters run around trying to find clues and finding the solution without really trying too hard.
The world is very interesting from our perspective but hierarchy and system seem to be rather predictable for this situation. Amy’s reaction and attempt to fit in is also predictable but well written. Revis has written her difficulties well and when Elder finds out the secret that could potentially destroy all of Amy’s hope you find that your heart gives a slight pang of despair.
Across the Universe is a well written book and it is easy to understand with everything explained well. The chapters are laid out nicely and help to convey the character’s thoughts and emotions that some books fail to do. The characters have good depth and aren’t as bland or shallow as other characters I have come across when I read sci-fi. While the book ticks the boxes on the sci-fi side the romance side of the book leaves much to be desired, particularly in Amy’s case, but for a Young Adult novel it suffices.
In all the book was pretty good for a young adult book but given a choice I would recommend Snyder’s Inside Out or Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game instead of this one. Although you feel Amy’s despair or Ender’s frustration Across the Universe just doesn’t have the same sort of intrigue as Inside out or the depth of Ender’s Game.
Review by Anna Sheldrick
Maddy from USA
The premise is great, the writing is awful. This is essentially Twilight in Space. The world is fairly well built, but the language and anthropology is as bad as Twilight, the characters have no difference in voice (even though you're reading in either Amy's voice or Elder's voice), and author tries too hard yet ends up with mediocre execution. The only reason the book was greenlit for publication was the premise, which is explored well. Read the entire series, but... Twilight was/is also a page turner. It's terrible, but you'll get through it quickly because it's interesting. That's this series too. Overall: Check it out at the library? Yes. Buy it? No.
6.3/10 from 2 reviews