Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends–and planet–behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship.
Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed‘s scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber.
Someone tried to murder her.
Now, Amy is caught inside a tiny world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed‘s 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, Eldest’s rebellious teenage heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead.
Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship’s cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed‘s hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.
What I thought:
I have this tendency to shy away from science fiction. I’m not sure where it comes from. I’d like to say it’s because technical jargon doesn’t do it for me, but I don’t think that’s quite it. One of my favorite genres is fantasy & while it doesn’t have technical jargon necessarily, it does usually involve some pretty extensive world building.
While I wouldn’t necessarily classify this book as heavy science fiction, it was an awesome intro to the genre for a reader like me. I discovered this book when it exploded through the YA book blogging world a few years ago. Despite the STUNNING cover & all the hype, I was admittedly nervous to begin this.
Now that I’ve finished, I can say 2 things right off the bat: 1) I shouldn’t have been nervous 2) I NEED books #2 & #3 ASAP.
As for the science fiction element, I truly did not have trouble following the world as Amy & Elder knew it on Godspeed. I think what really helped was having a character (Amy) who was being introduced to this world alongside the reader. That is seriously my favorite world building strategy. Elder was also learning as he went, too. Between the dual narrative, Beth’s easy to read writing style, and the near constant revelations & action…this was an absolute pageturner for me.
Although I did guess one of the plot reveals, I really wasn’t bothered because it seemed like every two pages, I was thinking, “OMG whaaaaaat” or “WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THIS SHIP?!” Especially in the last ~100 pages.
On another note, there were a few technical descriptions of the ship, but I never felt bogged down. For the most part, I just got lost in this story. I love those books that you sit down to read & the next time you look up, it’s however many hours later & you’re hundreds of pages further in the story. Across the Universe is one of those books.
A few other random thoughts I had:
–The beginning of Amy’s story truly freaked me out. Being frozen but semi-conscious for TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS?! ::shudder::
–Amy’s version of life on the ship was brilliant. It made me feel SO claustrophobic.
–I watched an interview Beth did a few years ago, during which she talked about being born & raised in a small town & what that meant to her. It was so interesting to see how that came out in the story.
–Another thing I really loved was how the romance kind of took a backseat in this one. I thought the budding romance was very sweet, don’t get me wrong, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. I just thought it was nice to see that the romance wasn’t the whole story here.
Overall, I really loved this book. I think it was a great intro to a genre I haven’t read much of, and now, I’d like to look into reading more of. I can’t wait to continue this series!!