Across the Universe (Hardback)
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Short Description for Across the Universe Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship "Godspeed" and expects to awaken on a new planet in 300 years. Never could she have known that she would be thrust into the world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
- Published: 11 January 2011
- Format: Hardback 398 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781595143976 ISBN 10: 1595143971
- Sales rank: 9,777
Reviews for Across the Universe
A space ship setting of epic expansion!
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE was my first book out of the sci-fi genre. I've never been very into stories about space ships or space wars. The universe with its wide expanse, planets and stars have always fascinated me in some way though. So ACROSS THE UNIVERSE was a perfect pick for me to approach this foreign genre.
The story begins with a decision that has to be made by our female protagonist Amy. She has to decide whether she wants to go on a mission with her parents and be cryogenically frozen for about 300 years or stay on earth all by herself. Doesn't that sound like the hardest choice? The process of being frozen is described so vividly and detailed it's pretty scary and I don't know if I would have been able to make such an important and life-changing decision.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE- A space ship setting of epic expansion, a murder mystery with goose bump potential and a subtle but sweet romance make Beth Revis' debut novel shine as bright as the stars.
Beth Revis has a really engaging writing that gives every single character of her Godspeed inhabitants a unique and very authentic voice, especially Amy and Elder as the two protagonists. The conspiracy plot of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is very well-constructed by Beth Revis. If I would have to name a captain of my space mission it would definitely be her!
I can't wait to start A MILLION SUNS and dive deeper into the romance of Amy and Elder and future of the space ship Godspeed.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE embraces about eighty chapters, alternating between the perspectives of Amy and Elder. They are rather short and allow small reading breaks.
The romance between those two is subtle. They need their time to approach each other, both grown up with very different views on the world and relationships.
Amy and Elder are great protagonists and two witty and sharp-minded investigators. The main focus of the story lies on the investigation of the murders of various innocent and helpless...frozen people. I was glued to every step Amy and Elder traced the murderers footprints. I was so eager to figure it out!
The entire ACROSS THE UNIVERSE cast is pretty crazy and everyone on that ship seems to have their own issues that start to influence not only the relationship between Amy, Elder and his best friend Harley and the leader of the ship Eldest, but all the other people, too.
It's an interesting chase for the evil mind in the limited space on Godspeed. The closed space and number of possible antagonists makes ACROSS THE UNIVERSE a really mysterious and exciting story.
The actual story of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is set in future and has many opportunities and inventions to offer, medical-wise for example. It involves a few very cool elements like frozen people, a total agricultural system inside a space ship of a gigantic size and of course all kinds of other advanced technologies.
The US hardcover copy comes with a very helpful print on the inside of the book jacket with a blue print of the entire space ship of Godspeed. There are several levels on that space ship and many rooms and different parts of it that need to be remembered. Although the story is limited to the setting of Godspeed, a spaceship caught in space, the possibility of settings is very complex. It's a gigantic project! by MissPageTurner
Previously published on my blog: http://fictionfervor.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/review-across-the-universe-by-beth-revis/
I love books that aren't constrained to just one genre. I like mythological creatures with romance. I like dystopia with the supernatural. I like a little murder mystery tinged with love. I like that. So you can imagine that I was very pleased with the mixture of science fiction, dystopia, mystery, and romance in this novel. The science fiction? Represented through the futuristic feel of this book and the space journey. The dystopia? Represented in how Godspeed was run, under an all-powerful (or almost all-powerful) Eldest. The mystery? Represented in the mystery of who woke Amy from her cryo chamber. And the romance? Ah. Well. Amy and Elder.
In addition to the mixture of genres, the plot was very well developed. I could easily follow along and imagine what it's like to live in a ship with 2312 inhabitants, some of which are Feeders, who provide for the food of the ship, the Shippers, who run the ship, and Elder and Eldest, who control the people. And then add in the new technological developments-the wi-coms that let you communicate with anyone anywhere in the ship, the grav tubes that transport you through the ship, the floppies with huge screens that can hold enormous amounts of information ... You'd think all of that would be overwhelming. But in Across the Universe, you can just fall right into the book.
I loved the characters in this book. Loved. Amy, one of our protagonists, is such a strong female character yet still has that tenderness inside of her that wants to cry for her parents when she realizes that she is alone with strangers. Her passion in trying to find out who is killing the passengers in the cryo chambers and her determination in being accepted in the ship make her one of my favorite heroines. Elder, our other protagonist, is another of our strong characters. Elder has the leadership and courage and heroism that is required of him (he is, after all, the future leader of the ship), yet he still has the average thoughts of the average teenage boy. Also, originally he is obedient and submissive to Eldest; but I loved when he finally stood up to the leader of the ship.
And I haven't even talked about the romance yet. I love Amy and Elder's relationship; though at first, you wouldn't believe that the two could be together, you gradually realize that they're made for each other. I loved how Elder was always honest to Amy. And he always tried to stand up for her and protect her. Now that's the kind of guy I'd like.
The only problem I had with this book was the way the workers were practically brainwashed - so much that they would have sex on command. And the few who weren't brainwashed could pretty much rape someone else, who couldn't even cry out to help because everyone else was brainwashed. It's just a sad, sad world when something like that can happen with no one to stop it.
There were few problems that I could find with this book. Almost everything was written beautifully, developed wonderfully, depicted fantastically ... Practically perfect. by Linda
I really liked this book! Some people had mentioned before that it was at times a slow read however i got through it very quickly and finished it in one sitting. The characters Amy and Elder are likeable and the plot engaging, the book is defiantly a page turner. Well worth your time and entertaining! by Priontie
A fun, light read.
Have you ever read Ringworld by Larry Niven? I have, and I loved the books. I think Ms. Revis has, as well. Now, I could be wrong (obviously I definitely do not have any insider information on what Ms. Revis has or has not read in her lifetime), but I'm fairly certain that I can detect quite a few parallels to Mr. Niven's books. Now...I'm not implying she stole the story. I'm not saying anything negative, in fact. I'm merely saying that I think this book could have been at least partially influenced by bits and pieces of the Ringworld series of books. There's nothing wrong with that, is there? As C.C. Colton said, "Imitation is the sincerest [form] of flattery".
Enough of that. Let's get to the nitty gritty of things. Our main characters are Elder, the future leader of the spaceship upon which this story takes place, and Amy; She's "nonessential cargo". Amy's parents are also cargo, though not nonessential, and a cryogenically preserved while waiting for said spaceship to reach its destination. There's quite a few others waiting in a popsicle-like state in the cargo bit of the ship - 97 others, in fact. So we have a ship full of people who have been traveling from point A to point B for a -very long time-, an up and coming new leader, a few crazies thrown in for good measure, and a plot that's been done a few times before. But that's OKAY! Why? Because Beth Revis makes it seem fresh. Also, this particular book is written in such a way that the younger crowd can really get into it. It's not quite so deep that you have to ponder for hours over it. It is, however, fun.
The chapters change character perspective throughout the book and honestly, I felt as though the book suffered a bit for this. The voices of Amy and Elder sound oddly similar and that, to me, was a bit disappointing. Perhaps if they were more noticeably different, the alternating voices would have worked.
All in all I feel the book was decently written, but it's not one of my favorites. Enjoyable, yes; It's a fun, light read.
I'll read the sequel. I'll probably even like the sequel. In the meantime, though, I'm going to go re-read Ringworld and its sequels and prequels, 'cause Across the Universe made me miss it. by Aerie Anderson
Really Great Book!
Across the Universe has been on my list since I first saw the cover. The cover is hands down of my favourites of all time. It's just pretty. The cover is a little deceiving though, because there wasn't really a big romance in this book. There was more of a foreshadowing slash blossom of one. An instant attraction, but nothing hot and heavy. Another reason why I knew I had to read this book is because it's sci-fi. Finding a sci-fi romance novel in the Young Adult section is almost impossible. Or is? I've never seen one before!
This book is a great mix between sci-fi, mystery and dystopian. But the great thing about it is that it's a great medium for those that don't normally like sci-fi. I think one of the biggest complaints about the sci-fi genre that I've heard is that they're sometimes too hard to relate to and become confusing. This book was written very clearly and everything is very easy to picture.
The book alternates between Amy and Elder and I liked that especially because you get to see the ship through Amy's eyes, which makes it easier to relate to and make everything more relatable and Elder, so you can see the life on Godspeed through his viewpoint, the viewpoint of a native and accustomed to the life on board, even if he is much different than the others.
There is an attempted rape scene in this book as well as a lot of sexual going ons in the background. The sexual going ons are due to the mating season on the ship and the citizens of Godspeed have no qualms about doing the dirty out in the open much to Amy's horror (well, and my horror). It didn't put me off the book by any means, but that may put other readers off, so just a heads up.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had a fascinating world, a good mystery and the kindling for a future romance. I definitely see this series becoming a favourite of mine! by Elizabeth Kurlykova
Oh My Books! Review
Across the Universe was on my wishlist since I discovered last year. The cover is amazing and the summary interesting. I was so glad I finally read it. Not even in my wildest dreams I imagined this book would be so original.
Amy is seventeen years old and frozen for 300 years in a spaceship, until they reach the new planet in Godspeed. But suddenly, she's unfrozen and wakes up in a totally different spaceship. One full of weird people.
Elder is the future leader of Godspeed. Since the Plague, that almost killed everyone in the space, there is a leader who decide everything that happens in the ship. He's young, naive, and believe everything the present Eldest teaches him until he discovers Amy and the rest of the frozen people.
Can you imagine living at a spaceship? Could you do it, knowing that you'll die without seeing the sky, the stars, and whatever it's waiting at the new planet? People at Godspeed have been living that way since they were born inside the spaceship, but how can they do it? How they don't feel desperate?
Amy, who lived in Earth, can't believe how people is living inside this spaceship. But soon she discovers that things aren't as they should be. There are new rules, and nobody seems to think those rules are wrong.
Across the Universe is definitely an original story. I'm not a fan of sci-fi but I'm totally starting to like this genre. And I absolutely loved the author's writing. I really felt as Amy, trapped in this spaceship. It helped that I'm kind of claustrophobic and I read the book while flying for 8 hours at a plane, but least I could see the sky...
I always like romance in my books. Across the Universe has a little bit of romance, but I was fine with that. I don't like instant love and the characters were having a bad time at the spaceship. It wouldn't have been realistic.
Overall, I really loved this book. I'm not a reader of science fiction, and I thought it was amazing and original. You should read it, specially if you're looking for something different as sci-fi. I can't wait until the next book, A Million Suns, which comes out next year. by Maria Guajardo (GABY)
- Top review
Review of Across the Universe
I read this book in four hours. Well, four hours and 30 minutes because 15 pages from the end I had to leave to pick kids up from school and I was chomping at the bit to get back home and finish it.
Sometimes I'm a bit wary when I hear people hyping up a book. I heard about how amazing a certain series with an emo teenage girl and a creepy vampire was and I was less than impressed when I gave in and read it. I tend to like to read books before the hype starts up on them - but this one.. the hype had started months before its actual release.
So when I saw it in the bookstore I picked it up, was somewhat put off by how shiny the cover was (something I don't like, call me weird), put it down and walked away - then I remembered I had a 20% off coupon and decided - what the heck, I can always give it away to a sibling I don't like much. =)
That was two weeks ago. Today I picked the book up and wondered why the heck I waited so long.
Across the Universe is a sci-fi thriller filled with cause and effect of living life in a controlled environment. The story starts off with some pretty hard-hitting descriptions and only progressed from there. Amy, the teenager who has to choose whether or not to follow her parents into a sleep that would last 300 years, is a gusty 17 year old girl who is thrust into something well beyond the typical teenager life.
This book was filled with twists and turns and I gasped a few times even! I was thoroughly caught up in the story, felt every betrayal, felt the fear and the pain of various characters and was really, really sad to be closing the book on the story. That's my biggest complaint - it was too short.
Across the Universe is a great addition to YA Fiction - and even more fantastic, it opens up the science-fiction genre in a very accessible, approachable way. My only hope is that this book inspires kids to go out and find books like Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. by Lydia Presleyunder review
Across the Universe - Out of this frexing world!
When I first heard about Across the Universe by Beth Revis, I was definitely interested to read it; after all it's YA IN SPACE!!! This had me excited enough already but it wasn't until I saw the gorgeous cover and read the first chapter that I really began lusting after it. I was HOOKED from the very first chapter which is in my humble opinion *THE* best first chapter I've ever read in my life. The way Beth describes the freezing process is both horrific and fascinating at the same time. And to my surprise it didn't stop there the book just got better and better. To the point that I was sat on the train to London and some noisy children got on and sat opposite me (I am a magnet for children, I have no idea why). Anyway, usually I can't read with that much noise and distraction but I was literally SUCKED into the world inside the book and just zoned out. Here's the gist of the story:
The world of Across the Universe is mostly centred around Amy, a 17 year old girl who has to make a decision early on whether or not to follow her parents (who are essential to terraforming new planets) onto Godspeed, a shape ship that will take 350 years to reach its destination. When Amy wakes, things are a little different to what she expected. For one, not only was she reanimated 50 years too early but it was no accident and she must face the realisation that someone tried to kill her. The question is why? As more "frozens" are being left out to thaw, the hunt is on for the killer. Amy teams up with Elder, the future leader of the people aboard Godspeed and together they discover that the ship holds many secrets which will make them question everything they've ever known.
Amy is one of our main protagonists and Godspeed (a world in itself) is built on monoethnicity, an idea put into practice to prevent one of the main reasons for discord: differences. And of course, Amy stands out like a sore thumb with her pale skin and flaming red hair. But it is her differences that first capture the attention of Elder, our other main protagonist and by far my favourite character. Elder is second in command of the people (rather than the ship, the ship runs itself) and a future leader in training. I liked his inquisitiveness and the way he wasn't afraid to question things. And for a 16 year old boy, I really admire his courage and integrity. He certainly has the traits I would like to see in a leader. But he's frustrated because Eldest (the current leader) appears to be neglecting his duties in preparing Elder for the time when he must lead and that frustration is felt throughout the book.
I thought that Beth captured the plight of a teenage girl who realises that she won't ever see her parents again and is alone in a strange, new world really well. I loved her "spunkiness", her defiant attitude that kept her going.
Eldest was a very interesting character for many reasons (most of which I can't mention for fear of spoiling the book) and his steadfast belief that he is right and does what he does for the good of the people even if ethically or morally, it is wrong.
I also had a soft spot for Harley and for a secondary character, I thought he was fantastic. He reminded me a bit of Finnick from The Hunger Games. I loved his artistic sensibilities and the way he took to protecting Amy like a big brother.
Across the Universe is definitely a plot driven novel but I'm happy to report that the characters are also fleshed out well. I've realised recently that I need both to be truly satisfied with a story. Having said all that, I think one of the biggest selling points of Across the Universe is the world building. I'm astounded with just how believable everything is. I love the fact that accents have changed and new words have formed which is totally representative of a future society. Everyone looks the same to try and retain a sense of harmony and balance onboard the ship but everyone has a role to fulfil. One of the things I found most disturbing was "the season" which is very animalistic in nature and more about reproduction than loving relationships. I suppose in a way it's less complicated and an assurance that there will be a new generation but ewww. Again, horrifically fascinating.
There were a lot of themes running through the book and I particularly liked the idea of nature versus nurture. Unfortunately I can't say much about it as I don't want to give any spoilers away. The idea of what makes a good leader is brought into the mix and we get to see the differences between a tyrannical leader and the young idealist. I watch A LOT of movies as well as read books and I can usually guess the twists and turns but I did NOT see a lot of the revelations in this book.
I think one of the main messages in the book, or at least one that I got out of it was the idea that you are who you decide to be, regardless of upbringing, environment and any other outside factors. Yes, they can have an influence on you but at the end of the day, YOU CHOOSE to be who you are and I like that.
In conclusion, Across the Universe is an outstanding debut novel that will satisfy your need for a sci-fi adventure and romance that spans across space and time. Across the Universe was everything I thought it was going to be...and then some. I absolutely loved it and am adding it to my top reads of 2011. By the time this has been posted, I will have pre-ordered and hopefully received a finished copy of the book so I can read it and fall in love with it all over again. Please God someone buy the movie rights as that would ROCK MY WORLD!
Across the Universe is out of this frexing* world and I would urge you to give it a read. The US hardback is released on 11th January, 2011 however us Brits have to wait a little longer for the paperback release on 3rd March. The as of yet untitled sequel is due out next year and I can't wait! My only request is for more kissing please!
* When you read the book, you'll understand the reference ;) by Lynsey J Newton
Assured to please the vast reading industry
From the frame work of the crafted world to the bowels of Godspeed to the existence of life- Debut novel, Across The Universe is intricately written with assurance to please the vast reading industry. Although apart of me feels like tilting my head up to a swelling sky of rain drops singing and notes of praise there are a few things on the predictable side and worthy to note.
Elder and Amy are the main characters and the narrators of the story. I am a big fan of switch narration because it allows me, as the reader, to cover more ground. There are few limitations which I love.
'Elder' is more of a title rather then name but it is the only name this teenage boy is addressed as because Elder is a child of the ship. The future leader of Godspeed and its people. It is a huge pressing responsibility to bear and Elder has always known he would be the next leader. He is also among the few populace of Godspeed who is capable of forming individual thought.
Amy is a 17 year old girl from present time Earth who is cryogenically frozen along with her parents to be awakened a few hundred years down the road on a new planet. She is considered nonessential cargo aboard Godspeed and when she awakes early she is among vast changes. Amy, a child of present Earth (hundred years past in the novel) is capable of forming her own thoughts and opinions. Even at a young age she is knowledgeable of facts and events that push her continuous questioning of the happenings among Godspeed. She knows she is in a dire situation but holds steadfast with the help of Elder, Harley and a few tears.
What I loved:
Chapter One rocked (Read it here). I haven't read a more engrossing beginning. It is a teaser alright. There are two things the first chapter accomplishes: 1) It showcases the emotional journey that was felt through the entire novel and 2) It set a high bar for the rest of the novel.
The writing is brilliant and heart felt. Teaser:
Page 49: "Yes! YES. Wait- I'm coming. Just give me some time to thaw, and and I will raise from the ice and live again. I will be your frozen phoenix. Just give me a chance."
Elder. Elder's character was my favorite. He is from an enclosed world. He's never set foot any kind of land nor has he seen many differences in way of race, culture and thought. Thus, reading of his journey and fascination with Amy is like feeling things for the first time that I know all to well in reality already. Teaser:
Page 60: "I wonder what color her eyes are. I squint through the ice. I can see that her eyelashes are long and reddish-yellow-frex! I didn't know they made eyelashes like that!-but they are sealed firmly shut. All I know is if a girl can have skin that pale and hair that red and eyelashes that sunshiny, then who knows what colors live in her eyes?"
The Ending is perfect but I was caught off guard. Elder has a secret and he told himself he wouldn't tell Amy because it's big. This secret is something I didn't even know through the entire novel until Orion briefly made mention. To my surprise Elder shares this secret in the final chapters and Amy, who I look forward to reading more of, come to grips with it. Thus, the ending is complete. Since this is a stand alone I am satisfied that all loose ends are tied up but I can also see how Across can be expanded if so be.
Emotion. Beth Revis doesn't spare her characters. The characters that are "capable" or "allowed" to feel emotions are thrust into the thick of things. I could not help but feel a range of emotions. Fear of enclosure. Anger of betrayal. Disgust of atrocious crimes against humanity. Sadness of people and things lost. Wonder of people and things to come. Need of comfort. Hope of an untainted future.
My lists of dislikes is simple.
There were a few predicable moments. 1) Orion's identity and his scar 2) the connection among victims 3) The Plague. To avoid spoilers I will not specify but will say that I was easily able to draw the conclusions long before it was revealed. Does it disrupt the storyline- I dont think.
Romance. I find the blurb telling of more romance then there actually is or it's quite possible I read a bit more into the lines :"A love out of time." and "Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming." It is obvious that Elder is smitten for the girl with sunshine hair and no doubt that Amy has feelings towards him but there was not much exploring of the relationship. Though I am left
All in all, I enjoyed this novel and thankful to Shellie, a bookie friend of mine who encouraged me to read Chapter One of Across. Thank you!
I just realized that my Sci-fi adventure is continuing- *Wee heeee* From what I can tell and what I've seen on Beth's website Across is a mix of Sci-fi and dystopian. Both of which are up my alley even more so with Across since there is Romance to make it a more well-rounded read.
Note: There is sexual content surrounding of the characters but the main characters do not partake. by Chasity