Across the Universe by Beth Revis
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
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 realises 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.
After my reading slump, I reviewed the books in my to-read list, carefully examining them one by one on whether I still want to read them or not. This book was one of those who had a long history of sitting on the to-read shelf. And because of that, I considered setting it aside as I figured I had lost interest in it completely. But re-reading the synopsis now, it got me hooked again. The reviews did warn me about how I was going to be disappointed—Bella-like heroine, explicit inappropriate scene—but the plot was too tempting to ignore. I have held down hopes of finding it a great read considering the amount of time I have left it collecting dust.
The main two warnings I particularly took note from the reviews were how Amy is Bella-ish and the ‘Season’ where humans did the reproduction thing in an animal-like mating system instead of being in love. Those warnings, I discovered, were true. And furthermore, I discovered that I had a lot of problems with this book.
The first chapter – Just as we ventured into this modern-spaceship world, we were already introduced to a scene where one must undress to be properly frozen over time. Seriously? It’s disturbing and privacy-invading. Imagine you getting picked on with devices and such without a single cloth on? Considering it was set in the future, I was expecting that they would’ve come up with something more…suitable to accommodate that kind of condition.
Amy – Again, I found problems with this character within in the first chapter.
“I cried as I undressed. The first boy who ever saw me naked was Jason, just that one time, the night I found out I would leave behind everything on Earth, and everything included him.”
What the heck, heroine? There she was, fretting over the choice of going with her parents being frozen for millennia or staying behind in the Earth she loved, and all she could think of is her manipulative deceiving boyfriend?
“I want my year back.”
Then when she eavesdropped that they were going to be frozen an extra year than planned, she whined about wanting to have that year for herself back in Earth. With who?
“This was one more year I could be with Jason, one more year I could live!”
Yup, with that Jason again.
And then the thing about her usual running clothes, the way she was so blind about Jason cheating her, her frequent flashbacks about how everything—EVERYTHING—she felt with Elder reminded her the way it used to be with Jason, and also how she practically screamed and whined her way on the ship—that girl is sooo shallow (pardon me with the exaggeration). She was so annoying it is frustrating.
Elder – Reading the synopsis, I was hoping he would be more of a mature character with a humble background. But then flipping through the first of pages of the chapter with his POV—again, what the heck hero?
This kid here was prepped since he was a kid to be the next leader with a bunch of drugged community, and there he was whining every now and then on how the Eldest wasn’t properly training him. And with him being a clone, he was also—to some extent—show the power-hungry vibes coming from his predecessors. Also, he’s a pervert AND selfish. Seriously, looking at a girl for the first time (unclothed, please note this), and then in every few pages or so all he wanted was how he’d like to kiss her. And remember when they were in the garden when it was the ‘Season’ and there’s this two people ‘mating’—he said that they were giving him ideas of what he’d like to do with Amy. And again, seriously?
The ‘Season’ – This book totally makes human sounds like mindless lusting animals instead of proper human beings. Not to mention the aftermath of female Feeders lining up at the Doc’s, getting their wombs injected with some meds and the lies that it’s going to keep the baby strong, and then absently rubbing their stomach. Ugh.
The curse words – Revis made up her own curse words—at which I say, they’re silly-sounding. It doesn’t sound swashbucklingly good or cool, just plain silly.
Orion – How in the world does Elder met him and looked him as a father figure without ever asking how the scar in his ear came to as he works as a Recorder which is practically a safe job without the danger of having your ear cut?
The leadership system – One thing I agreed with Amy—this isn’t leadership. It is pure tyranny, dictatorial-ship. There’s no democracy or whatsoever. Though I understood why Eldest chose to run the ship the way he does, a leadership like this is bound to be doomed.
The switching POVs – Different length of chapters with different POVs between one another is okay. But changing the POV in the middle of ONE exact same scene just to write ONE line in ONE chapter—what? It’s too short and too confusing in the end.
Despite the negative points, I found some good things about this book.
The cover – Pretty cover! At first, I thought it was just plain beautiful with purple and pink nebulas, but then I read this review and I thought again, hey, clever cover? It looked like two faces facing one another in opposite way surrounded with the purple and pink galaxy—which again, is clever.
The suspense – This is why I most likely to fail reading Agatha Christie’s books. My guess on the real culprit was easily swayed by the turn of events. At first, I thought it was Orion, but then my suspicions turned to the Eldest—which is completely wrong.
The plot – Even though the characters are plain annoying and the scenes are some unsuitable, the plot and future happenings of the series still interest me enough to continue to the sequels. Knowing me in real life, people might think that this book is definitely what I would stay away from with all the inappropriate scenes going on. But personally, when it comes to reading, this kind of stuff I would usually overlook as I care more about the plot, storyline, and characterization instead of some acts which are deemed too explicit.