Sunday 11 March 2012

Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Across the Universe #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopian, Romance

My Rating: 1 out of 5


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 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.


This book was infuriating! Every chapter, every page, every paragraph just made it all worse and worse. When I thought there could be no more depth to the stupidity, there was!

My number one issue with this book was the poor logic that seemed to abound on the ship, Godspeed. First, it was Eldest, the leader of the ship, and his theories on mono-ethnicity, and how differences bred discord. But the only cause of discord I saw was people like him who made a big deal out of all the differences they saw, instead of trying to understand and accept. And he is a fan of Hitler?! Oh yeah, that's logical, strongly appose discord, yet support the greatest cause of discord in Earth history. Logical. They never address Hitler again, even though the book spoke of Earth's history a few times. And all Eldest's flaws weren't a part of the final confrontation. They seemed to play no part in Amy and Elder's rebellion.

The most common complaint I have heard from others was that this was too slow, and I have to agree. Without giving too much away, the book starts with Amy and her parents being cryogenically frozen, saying goodbye to each other for the next 250 years. Right up to the moment when the tank seals, and I was thinking, this is going to be good. We get to skip all the unimportant stuff, and wake up 250 years in the future. But no, Amy remains semiconscious, and we have to go through 13 chapters of pointless dreams that have nothing to do with anything, before she finally wakes up again. And there are several chapters that contain no dialog at all.

And then there is Amy and Elder themselves. The chapters alternate between the two of them, so we got to know them both equally. But that cannot save the book if the characters suck to begin with. From the moment Amy wakes up, Eldest is upset about the discord she will cause, and she never once tries to argue with him, with all the hundreds of reasons she has every right to be there, and that Eldest should never have taught his crew to hate differences in the first place, knowing perfectly well that there were 100 frozen people at the bottom of the ship that are different from them all. And as she gets to know Elder she tries to show him what people were like on Earth, but it is such a weak attempt I don't know why she even bothers. When people start mating in the streets (which was laughable) she says its unnatural, and Elder is confused but she goes no further to explain. And when Elder recites her an extremely altered version of the Gettysburg Address, she says its wrong, but goes no further to explain the truth about American history. And Elder, he seems to think she is slow or something. Not as slow as everyone else, but he doesn't seem to trust her. The few things she does tell him about Earth, he shakes off and thinks to himself, that she just doesn't understand what it is like to live peacefully. Godspeed is just one small bubble of humans, and Amy came from the origin of humans, where there are billions of them, yet Elder and everyone else treats her as if she knows nothing about it. No one ever takes her seriously. Amy and Elder really don't seem to have a connection at all. And neither seem to react to each other, or to their trials, in any way I would imagine someone reacting. This book is a good example of how the future will never be. No one in this book seemed to behave like a proper human being. The word illogical is the most prominent in my mind when I think of this book.

Elder is basically constantly thinking about how much he wants to jump Amy, but that is purely a physical attraction. He also likes how alive she is compared to the others on the ship, but Amy gives no indication that she has any interest in Elder. Right up until the end, she still doesn't even want to hold his hand. Which reminds me, Amy's old boyfriend Jason. What a jerk. He sounds like a horrible boyfriend and I cant believe Amy is still thinking about him. And I am so disappointed that she slept with him. What a waste. Part of the reason I so love YA romance, not that this had any romance, is I love seeing people discover love and all that entails, together, for the first time. Amy and Elder can't ever have that now, if they ever got that far.

In most dystopians there are a few corrupt individuals at the top. Those underneath either don't know what is really happening, or they serve through fear or bribery. But in this book, there are a few who know the truth of Godspeed, and none of them does anything about it. No one besides Amy and Elder seem to think there is anything wrong with anything. And even then, I have my doubts about Elder. He is far too much like Eldest. No one on the ship seems to have a conscience. When we finally found out what Godspeed's secret was, there were far better ways the problem could have been dealt with, instead of creating all those secrets and discord. And when we found out who the culprit is, his reasons for what he did don't make sense either. I cant think of a single example of good decision making in this book.

This book just makes me so angry. I wanted to shout and throw things. There was absolutely nothing pleasant about the experience. Nothing could make me read the next book. And for those of you who want to read a book that did what Across the Universe failed to do, or even if you loved this and want more dystopians in space, I recommend you read Hope's Daughter.

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