Title:Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #1
Published: January 11th 2011 by Razorbill
Across the universe starts with Amy, the protagonist, and her parents who are being frozen into a box of glass. They do this, because they will go onto a spaceship, called ‘Godspeed’, that is going to a new planet which is called ‘Centauri-Earth’. They do this because our earth, which is called ‘Sol-Earth’, is not suitable to live on anymore. However, it will take 300 years to get to the new planet, and therefore Amy and her parents are being frozen. It will be like they are sleeping, and when they are landing on the planet, they will be woken up to figure out how to live on this new planet. However, Amy is being unfrozen 50 years early.
But the frozen people are not the only ones on the spaceship. There are about 2000 other people that are living there. They have their own little world on the spaceship where they grow food and try to stay alive, because they are going to be the population of the new planet. This population has a leader, called Eldest, who has the responsibility for all these people and he has to make sure that these people will get to the new planet safely. Eldest also has a successor, called Elder, who he has to train to become the new leader. And Elder is our other protagonist.
Elder meets Amy, and he is impressed by her beauty. They figure out that the fact that Amy has been unfrozen was not an accident. Together they are trying to figure out what is going on, who is trying to kill the frozen people and other secrets that are going on on the spaceship.
What I liked about the book
First of all, I absolutely adore the cover. It is one of the prettiest covers I know of. I am such a girly girl because I like the glitters and the pink and the purple and the kissing people. Though the kissing people were a bit deceiving. Because of the kissing people on the cover of this book, I expected that romance would be a big part of the story. But the story was more about finding out the secrets of the spaceship and other mysteries than that there was a love story. There were some minor scenes that involved some romance, but they were not crucial to the plot. Although the mystery was not what I expected, I really liked it. In the beginning of the book you figure out that there is something is wrong with the spaceship and the people that are living on the spaceship, and throughout the book these mysteries build up, which makes you want to keep on reading to figure out what has been going on on the spaceship.
Another thing that I really liked about this book is the different points of view. The chapters alternate between Amy’s view and Elder’s view. In this way, you get insight in both Amy’s and Elder’s thoughts. It also makes you want to go on reading, because Amy’s chapter could end with something very exciting, but the next chapter was from Elder’s point of view so you had to keep on reading to see what happened to Amy. Some people may find this annoying, but it actually made it more exciting for me to read and I really wanted to find out what was going on on the spaceship.
What I did not like about the book
So far I think I sounded pretty excited about the book, but there is a reason that I only gave it three stars. This is because I found this book really slow. I don’t necessarily dislike slow books, they can be really beautiful. But in this book, the slow pace of the story wasn’t a good thing, because I thought that it made the book boring. This book has almost 400 pages, but the only action that happens in this book takes place in the last 50 pages. I understand Beth Revis’ decision for this, because this gave her the opportunity to build the world and the characters, and build up the mystery around the people on the spaceship. But this shouldn’t feel boring. It should be interesting to learn more about the world, the characters and the mysteries, but it wasn’t. At times I was bored by the book, but I somehow kept reading because I still wanted to know how the mysteries would be solved. The fact that Beth Revis decided to use alternative points of view made me want to finish this book, because that was what kept it somehow interesting. But overall, I only really enjoyed reading the last 50 pages of the book.
I am not sure yet whether I will pick up the sequels, because this book is part of a trilogy. The story isn’t over yet, but if the other books are as slow-paced as this one, I don’t think I am going to enjoy them. But on the other hand, the second and third book have much higher ratings on Goodreads, so they must be better. I am not sure whether I will read them or not. We’ll see.
Would I recommend this book?
If you are into sci-fi or if you like space, I would recommend this book. Although I am not crazy enthusiastic about this book, I still quite enjoyed reading it. Also, if you want to read a dystopian book that does not contain a love triangle: this is the book for you. If you are looking for an action-packed story or a love story, I would not particularly recommend this book.