Book Summary (book jacket):
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. 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 Expected: Of course, my expectations for this book were very high, since everyone gave such great reviews and seemed so in
love with a seemingly outdated genre- science fiction.
It was a pretty awesome read. I should tell you- I’m a fan of science fiction, from Philip Reeve’s olden-era-in-the-future novels to Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. But all these books (including Across the Universe) don’t have an overload of sci-fi; they have a lot of other stuff mixed in, too.
That was the best thing about Across the Universe- that it wasn’t just one genre- it was somewhat dystopian, a mystery, and a bit of romance all rolled into one. The story- about why Amy got frozen and why everyone on the spaceship acts the way they do was pretty unique.
I totally understood the claustrophobia some of the characters felt. Not a real, actual fear of closed spaces, but the feeling of being trapped inside a closed spaceship- how could anybody live like that?
And that twist at the end. I still shake my head thinking about it.
Initially I didn’t like Amy, but maybe it was because she’s so perfect, and since I’m not perfect, I prefer not to read about perfect people. But as the story progressed, I found myself rooting for her and her smartness. And sunset hair- I wish I had hair like Amy’s, aside from the fact that it wouldn’t suit me at all.
I loved Elder from the start, though. He was so calm and sweet and just that kind of person you could trust and believe blindly because he would never lie to you- it would be impossible (for me, at least) not to like him.
The other characters- Eldest, the leader, Doc, Harley, Orion were well developed. So, although Elder is my undisputed favourite from the group, no character was one-dimensional or anything.
Parting Thoughts: Across the Universe is exactly what I expected and also so much more. The fact that it was a mixture of genres just made it all the more interesting to read. I know that I did end up giving it a glowing review like everyone else, but it’s true- this is a pretty good book.
Rating: 4/5. I liked this book a lot, and I think a lot of people- especially those who don’t like an overload of sci-fi will like it too.