Let me start by saying that I’m pretty much kicking butt in my personal goal for the 2012 YA Audiobook Challenge! I am participating in the Head Bangin’ Level which means I need to listen to 36+ YA audiobooks and review at least 24 of them. I’m already on 19 reviews and it is still August! Today’s review of Beth Revis’ Across the Universe is number 20!
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.
Science Fiction is a genre I’m not used to saying I like yet. I do like it, but I didn’t for so long because I think I always thought science fiction looked like this:
Now don’t get me wrong, some people may really enjoy this specific type of sci-fi which strange-looking space creatures and aliens interacting with humans, but it’s not my thing. I’m more into the humans in the future with really cool technology and/or living in space type of sci-fi, like this:
Across the Universe fits perfectly into my preferred type of sci-fi. You have people living in the future on a spaceship, in…SPACE! Plus there is all sorts of cool technology, even if it is sometimes used unethically. I don’t want to give too much away, but the idea that people would choose to be cryogenically frozen in order to populate a new planet 200 years into the future is awesome. There is this whole underlying theme of genetics and ethical decisions with a tad bit of dystopian leadership thrown in. I actually find all of the genetic meddling that goes on throughout the story to be an incredibly realistic possibility for the future. Revis manages to pinpoint both the coolness and creepiness factors of genetic science and technology.
At its heart though, Across the Universe, is also your basic murder mystery. Someone is trying to kill the other frozen passengers on the ship and it’s up to Amy and Elder to figure out who is behind it all. The whole point of view switches between Amy and Elder add to the mystery surrounding the ship and what is actually happening on it. You get a newcomer’s perspective as well as that of one who was born on the ship and is accustomed to its culture.
When it comes to Amy and Elder, both of them frustrated me at times. I felt like despite what Elder knows about Eldest or how things are run on the ship, he is still so quick to believe what he already knows. But, I guess it is easier to go with what you know rather than the unknown. And I sometimes wanted to tell Amy to listen to the people around her. She often just does what she wants without thinking about the consequences and how they affect others. But without this device it can be hard to move a story along. These flaws didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book at all, I just wanted to point them out.
The sequel, A Million Suns, was released in January of this year, so I need to get my hands on it because I had fun listening to this one. In fact, I hope the same two narrators (one for Amy and one for Elder) also read for the second book. Because of some sexual language and scenes referring to “The Season” (oh the infamous season!!) is definitely YA not MG and I’d only recommend Across the Universe to high school aged readers and those like me, who may be a little older!