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Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Beth Revis, Lauren Ambrose (Narrator), Carlos Santos (Narrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,2013242,948 (3.78)1 / 101
Title:Across the Universe
Authors:Beth Revis
Other authors:Lauren Ambrose (Narrator), Carlos Santos (Narrator)
Info:Razorbill (2011), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Audio, Fiction, Your library
Tags:Teen, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Action, Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Ethics, Audio

Work details

Across the Universe by Beth Revis (2011)


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English (326)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Piratical (1)  All (330)
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
This could've been so good.

For some reason, I thought it would be so good.

Long story short: It's not.

First of all, the writing is not superb. It's not awful, but since everything else is also lacking, the not-so-great writing stands out even more.

Then there are the characters. I guess they aren't terrible or unrealistic, but... they just aren't great either. They aren't WRITTEN well. Elder is basically a child all the time, and not in an effective boy-trying-to-be-leader way. Amy is freaking annoying. She has plenty of reasons to be upset all the time, but still. It's just not done well. Harley is probably the only character I like.

Which brings me to the plot itself. SO FREAKING PREDICTABLE. And I'm not just talking about the romance. Literally everything. I knew right away who Orion would turn out to be, knew how it would end for Harley, knew there had to be something up with the water. The absolute only thing that was actually a surprise was Elder's final confession to Amy at the end, and that part, while pleasantly surprising, just goes on to prove how childish Elder has been the whole time.

Man, it could've been so good. Just a major disappointment. Honestly I'm surprised I managed to get all the way through it. ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Mar 11, 2017 |
fairly likable characters but I am not engaging with the story line. could return to finish rading if nothing more interesting showed, but some authors consistently turn out more interesting fare ( )
  jason9292 | Jan 8, 2017 |

Across the Universe by Beth Revis begins with 17 year old Amy Martin and her parents, Maria and Robert, in a cryo lab, deciding who will be frozen first.

Maria, a geneticist, ends up going first so Amy will not be afraid. The process is explained, from inserting an IV to sealing the eyes, inserting tubes into the stomach, and eventually, filling the clear box with a strange blue liquid. Lastly, the box is flash frozen and then put into a drawer, similar to a morgue.

Before Her father goes into the box to start his freezing process, he tells Amy that she will go last. That way she may choose to stay behind and live with her aunt and uncle. He does not want to pressure his daughter to the life he and her mother have chosen.

Amy is traumatized by watching her parents go through the process. Her parents are top scientists, and it is vital that they agreed to be frozen and reanimated 300 years in the future, when the ship arrives at the new planet. After a while, Amy does decide to go ahead with the procedure even though she knows it is going to be painful an she will never see anyone on earth ever again.

Soon, Amy is frozen. However, Amy quickly notices that she is still conscious. Will she be in this suspended, conscious state for 300 years?!

"People have been cryo frozen before me, and none of them were conscious. If the mind is frozen, it cannot be awake or aware"

The story moves forward to 250 years in the future as the ship glides through space. . During the time Amy was inanimate, she had thoughts or dreams although this should not have been possible. Amy and her parents are on the ship - Godspeed. Elder/Eldest is the name given to the ship's leaders. The Eldest is the main leader; Elder is a leader in training. Each Eldest/Elder is created in a lab on Godspeed. The eldest person of his generation will be the ship's leader when the time is appropriate. People do not live long lives on Godspeed.

The current Eldest is a hard man. The Elder, a 16 year old, is impatient that his mentor will not reveal all there is to know about the ship and how it operates.

Amy's frozen, glass box becomes mysteriously unplugged and she is hastily and painfully reanimated. Amy has now been reanimated almost 50 years early. There no way to safely refreeze Amy so she is now all alone. Only Elder and his friend Harley will keep Amy company and protect her when possible. And, when the ship lands, Amy will be much older than her parents once they are reanimated.

Eldest is angry about Amy's presence, seeing her as a dissident. He announces to the entire ship that she is a freak and should be avoided.

Amy demands to know what has happened to her. Things escalate when other frozens are unplugged. Some live and are refrozen - some die. Amy finally figures out that there is a military connection which makes her fear for her father's life.

The operation of the ship is somewhat complex. People are drugged into submission for easy rule. The drugs were put into the drinking water. People who are no longer useful are secretly killed. The majority of the people, "Feeders," are told what to do, when to do it, and even when to mate. Drugs are used to remove individual thought. This, all to keep the ship running smoothly.

It is learned that Orion, the Record Keeper is really an Elder that was supposed to have been killed. He arrives and kills Eldest. It is also learned that he is the one that has been killing frozens. Orion believed that the military personnel would turn the ship's people into slaves. Orion is frozen by Elder.

Elder is suddenly cast into the role of Eldest and the ship's ruler. He outlaws drugs and begins to try to figure out how to undo all of the misdeeds and lies done by the former Eldests and how to build a future with Amy. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
In her debut book, Beth Revis provides an entertaining, science fiction adventure. Sci-Fi novels, in the Young Adult universe, are few and far between, but Across the Universe stands on its own and will surely find a place in the hearts of many fans.

Amy, in present day, is frozen - along with her parents - and loaded on a ship launched for a new planet. Her parents are part of a crew that was deemed vital to securing and inhabiting the new planet. Amy is along for the journey.

Three hundred years later, aboard Godspeed, Elder is the next in line to lead the ship’s people. After centuries onboard, there is no diversity, no difference, and no uniqueness among the people on the ship.

The story is told from both Amy and Elder’s perspective. Amy’s story starts the day she is frozen and continues when she is awoken - fifty years before schedule. Elder’s story starts on Godspeed as he fights with Eldest (the current leader) to learn more about the ship for his future rule.

Across the Universe is definitely futuristic. We have a self-contained space ship, cryogenics and some advanced medical and scientific sub-plots that I will not get into least I spoil it for you. The characters are well rounded and endearing - Harley being my instant favourite. I wasn’t a fan of Elder in the beginning, but I loved the way Beth handled his characterization. He grew on me in the end, becoming more complex than initially presented.

The one thing I found lacking was that I failed to be wowed by the mystery. As soon as the villain was introduced I saw right through him - it was a little too obvious. A lot of time was spent trying to throw the scent off, but the actions of the villain were pretty transparent. However, the way the story progressed and the way questions raised were answered, helped in creating a good tension for the story and kept me quite engaged until the end. I find that I am curious to know what happens next in Amy and Elders life and am looking forward to the sequels.
( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I wanted to think for once I could possibly enjoy a YA sci-fi novel, and I really, really didn't. I couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to even start liking it at all, and the stupid logical voice in my head kept screaming at me that "this makes no sense" all the time.

I'm sorry, but I absolutely cannot believe that someone who's cryogenically frozen can still actually dream, and while she's still basically frozen (though thawing) she can hear...yet all the while her heart is NOT BEATING. If your heart doesn't beat and there's no blood flow to your brain, it isn't functional and you can't possibly experience REM sleep or any other sort of consciousness that I can possibly imagine. (and please don't tell me about near-death experiences where you feel like you're outside your body and all that -- these are called "near-death" experiences for a reason.)

I've also had a large number of issues with the author's Eldest/Elder concept, and the more it was explained, the less it seemed to make any sort of logical sense to me.

Also, "frex"? Really? Yes, I realize this is in the future by several centuries, but "frex"? Why? If you're going to start using weird expressions to replace swear words, why not just completely leave them out? The dialog could have lived without any of that stuff, and might have been better off without it.

And finally, excuse me, but if the female main character is 16, then I expect her mom is about 40-ish (and hence, about my age) but the description she makes of her when she sees her mom naked in the first chapter...???? Seriously? "Her skin had that rice-paper-thin, over-moisturized consistency old people's skin has. Her stomach--a part of her she always kept hidden under clothes--sagged in a wrinkly sort of way that made her look even more vulnerable and weak." -- WHAT? I know 60-year-old women whose body in no way looks that way, and I'm offended by the implication that to a teenager, anyone that's their parent's age must look ancient and decaying!

Maybe the book gets better, once you get past the start and the main characters meet, and whatever...but I guess I'll never know, and I'm really annoyed that I bought this one instead of having a look at the library for it. BLAH. ( )
  cybercarotte | Nov 23, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beth Revisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ambrose, LaurenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frost, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Järvinen, OutiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Osborne, EmilyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, CarlosNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Daddy said, "Let Mom go first."
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Teenaged Amy, a cryogenically frozen passenger on the spaceship Godspeed, wakes up to discover that someone may have tried to murder her.

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