Author: Beth Revis
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.
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.