Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Recommendation: Across the Universe

The Set Up: 
A Story of Love, Murder, and Madness Aboard an Enormous Spaceship Bound for the Future
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 should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

My Thoughts:  I sort of struggled with this book recommendation, because like a lot of books I finished the book with more questions than I wanted to.  Part of this is because this is obviously the first in a series, but it’s also because I felt there were some things left unfinished, not just as a story arc, but just got left behind in the rapid pace of the story.
Still, this book was really good, and I found myself pulled into the story immediately.  The biggest issue I had with the story was the alternating POV.  I liked Amy much more than I liked Elder, and found myself zipping through her chapters eagerly while I read through Elders more slowly (Elder’s chapter were also where I took most of my breaks).  I think this was because I never felt any motivation from him to solve the mystery, not like I did with Amy.  In fact, most of his chapters are spent with him talking about her, and I never really felt like I knew him all that well.  Either way, it wasn’t enough to mar my enjoyment of the story.  Most likely, if this book had been Amy’s alone I would have read it twice as fast J.
The storyline flew, and I appreciated the minimal description and back story.  I like to be able to fill in my own details as much as possible, and I get bored with endless pages of back story and descriptions of things.  So I loved how Beth Revis described something for us and moved on, and I loved her creative look at how a micro-world would evolve, especially where human tinkering is rampant.  The terrifying moo-oink of cow-pigs (you’ll have to read the book to see what I mean) is still with me.
My biggest nitpick (because I always have one) is an incident that I believe isn’t handled.  Not that it isn’t handled well, it isn’t really handled AT ALL.  Suffice it to say something very upsetting happens, and instead of the character dealing with it, the aftermath gets all of two pages.  I’m hoping Revis comes back to this in later books, because I think it’s something that needs to be addressed.  But again, I still really enjoyed the book despite this.
Bottom line?  I liked this book, and I think you will, too.


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