Across the Universe by Beth Revis

(6.5/10)

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

12+

Across the Universe reader reviews

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

Write a reader review

Your rating out of 10

Books you may also enjoy

Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.  [...]


Published: 2011

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.3 | 2 positive reader reviews

12+

Ancillary Justice

by Ann Leckie

They made me kill thousands, but I only have one target now.The Radch are conquerors to be feared - resist and they'll turn you into a 'corpse soldier' - [...]


Published: 2013

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.3 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

iBoy

by Kevin Brooks

For Tom Harvey, it was just another dull, routine Friday after school. That is, until a mobile phone hurtled through the air and hit him squarely on the head, embedding fra [...]


Published: 2010

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.1 | 4 positive reader reviews

12+

Inside Straight

by George RR Martin

In the six decades since the alien plague known as the “Wild Card virus” spread a wave of mutations across the globe, humanity has begun to come to terms with i [...]


Published: 2008

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Martian War

by Kevin J Anderson

What if the Martian invasion was not entirely the product of H. G. Wells's vivid imagination? What if Wells witnessed something that spurred him to write The War of the [...]


Published: 2005

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Zenn Scarlett

by Christian Schoon

Zenn Scarlett is a bright and occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. She specializes in the treatment [...]


Published: 2013

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

When the world was flat (And we were in love)

by Ingrid Jonach

When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if [...]


Published: 2013

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Vicious

by VE Schwab

Victor and Eli, due to a research project gone wrong, become ExtraOrdinaries (referred to as EO's from here on in) with supernatural powers. Ten years later Victor esca [...]


Published: 2013

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Ancillary Sword

by Ann Leckie

Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship. Once a weapon of conquest controlling thousands of minds, now she only has a single body and serves the emperor she swore to des [...]


Published: 2014

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+