Book Review: Across the Universe

Across the Universe (#1 Across the Universe)
by Beth Revis

Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction (Dystopian), Fiction
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication date: January 11th, 2011
Pages: 398 Pages
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover

SYNOPSIS: Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone – one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship – tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Even though this book is based upon a spaceship, Godspeed is virtually its own world. Across the Universe follows many typical Dystopian book conventions. There is an attempt at a perfect, controlled “society” within Godspeed and as soon as Amy, a human from Sol-Earth, meets Elder, rebellion sparks. Obviously.

The book virtually follows Elder’s journey training for Eldest position, and Amy and Elder searching for the person that is unplugging the frozen people from Sol-Earth. The plot was very well paced and there were various events to keep the plot flowing nicely. There were many intense scenes like the scene with Amy running through the park during the Season and the scenes that built up to the climax.

The characters were where the story fell through for me. I never felt like I got a good understanding of the characters, especially Elder and Doc. The way they acted towards other characters was not very consistent and I was never able to get a clear idea of their personality. However, I did find the characters to be generally likeable (except Eldest obviously) and I also really liked Amy’s character. She was very relatable and made a good protagonist. However, I don’t see her being a particularly memorable heroine as of now as there is nothing overly special about her.

The Climax: Disappointingly, I was not surprised too much by the discovery of the person who was opening the cyro boxes. Near the beginning of the book, after Amy and Elder had already met, there was an encounter between two characters that gave me a suspicion that that character was definitely the culprit. However, I do believe that there was a great build-up towards the climax and the story drew itself together quite well at the end. The action for this story has wrapped itself up and the characters are fairly safe for now. However, there are still a few plot-lines that have not been drawn together and this helps give that extra push to read the second book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


“I realize the simple truth is that power isn’t control at all–power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others so that they may have the strength to stand on their own.” 

“A leader doesn’t make pawns – he makes people.” 

“And I look at Harley, and the billions of stars are in his eyes, and he’s drinking them up, pouring them into his soul.”

Across the Universe has a double-sided dust jacket and both of them are beautiful!

A comparison of both dust jackets. The inside cover (left) shows the blueprint of GodspeedThe outside cover (right) is just gorgeous. The colours and the stars look amazing!


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