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 awake 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 a 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. – Goodreads
With this being one of my most anticipated books of the year, I almost expected the inevitable disappointment. Luckily, Across the Universe resulted in a mostly satisfying reading experience.
Can I just immediately touch on how dark certain aspects of the story were? Beth Revis did not sugarcoat the details of her dystopia and we got a clear glimpse of the isolation, restraints and treatment of Godspeed’s inhabitants. I won’t go into the details, but The Season – one scene in particularly – was extremely horrifying.
I found that the alternating change of POV was a bit distracting at first, but soon enough it was easy to fall into the flow of it. Still, it was easier for me to get attached to Amy’s narration, seeing and learning about Godspeed as she does, and experiencing many of the same reactions and emotions. Although it’s understandable that Elder saw things differently, having been born and raised on Godspeed, it could be frustrating to have him not understand just how wrong things were, but he of course does have eyeopening experiences to change that.
I feel that the love mentioned in the summary is misleading, as it’s basically nonexistent. Yes, there is a pull between Amy and Elder, but it’s more curiosity than anything else — they’re only just beginning to know each other. I assume that this is intentional, and that Revis will slowly work on building their relationship through the trilogy, so I’m definitely curious to see if I’ll actually see a real spark between the two at some point. While I do enjoy the urgency other YA novels can have, it’s a nice change to not see an immediate connection in this one.
My only real complaint is that it was very easy to put together the pieces of the mystery. I love suspense and twists, but unfortunately there wasn’t much surprise in store for me. Still, it was a great journey with the characters and I can’t wait to return to Godspeed!