Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
Series: Across the Universe #1
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Amy is a cryogenically frozen  passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to wake up on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.

Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But can she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.
Across the Universe is a well-written mix of science fiction and mystery. It grabbed hold of me in the first chapter and it didn't let go. And it completely fooled me! I can usually make accurate predictions of what will happen in stories, but there are some things in this book that I just did not see coming (even though I did guess the murderer pretty easily), and it is awesome. Also, this book has one of the coolest, most cringe-worthy first chapters I've ever read.

The characterization and world building are really well done. I sympathize with the characters. The protagonists have pretty good depth to them, and each one (the POV alternates between Amy and Elder) offers something unique and important to the story - Amy with her sympathetic, relatable perspective and Elder with his knowledge of and access to the ship and its heirarchy. The villains have motivations believable enough to be terrifying. (I love sympathetic villains. They're so much scarier because they feel so much more plausible.) I felt the claustrophobia of a ship with no windows, no fresh air, no breeze or sunshine or weather. There should be more YA science fiction that is set in space, because there just has not been enough of that recently.

The pacing is pretty steady throughout the book, and is driven by the mystery of who has been tampering with the cryogenically frozen passengers as well as Elder's desire to know what truths about the ship Eldest is keeping from him. The plot has the characters going through series of events that are devastating and hopeless and lonely and needy. Beth Revis does an amazing job of creating a situation that is both bittersweet and beautiful. The ending is satisfying, but this is the first in a trilogy so I am very interested to see what direction the next two books will take.


  1. Arrgggh, another book to add to my TBR list. Thanks a lot, Jenny. D: Your review was specific yet not specific enough to torture my curiosity (which translates to, "awesome review"). *sighs* A trip to the bookstore is in order now. At least I can use this one for group genre challenge. ;D

  2. Ohh wow great review. I super super love to read this book. :) Anyway, Just dropping by to tell you that I have an award for you in my blog. :) Check it out at Clandestine Sanctuary

  3. Great review. I wish I could grab a copy of this book but I checked the nearest bookstore yesterday and I find no luck. I added it to my top 10 most anticipated book for this year.


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