I love this cover! It’s so freaking gorgeous with all it’s detail!
BOOK RATING: 75%
GENRE: YA, Science fiction
Hello! Welcome to Book Rant! Today we are discussing the first book in Beth Revis’ trilogy, Across the Universe. It starts off with this 17 year old girl, Amy, and she’s preparing to get chronologically (EDIT: cryogenically. Caught this while I was skimming! Oops! That’s embarrassing) frozen to go into space with her parents. Technically she doesn’t need to be there but her parents are really high up with her father a military specialist and her mom a super specialized biologist so they arranged to have her come with them. The plan is that they are going to be frozen for 300 years and arrive at a new planet. But someone wakes Amy up 50 years early, almost killing her. She finds her self on the spaceship Godspeed where the people have been completely isolated for 250 years, making her a “freak.” Her bright red hair and pale skin standing out against the 3,000 mono-ethnic inhabitants living aboard Godspeed. Elder is in training to be the next in command and curiosity leads him to befriend Amy, trying to lead her through this foreign world of metal. But Amy has something on her mind other than friendship, there is a killer on the ship and what if her beloved parents are the next targets? This book is written in dual POVs Elder and Amy which I really liked and this book deals more with the mystery and the sci-fi elements more than the romance which I also liked because it seemed more realistic. As per usual, spoilers beyond this point.
When I was reading this book I had so many crackpot theories on how it was going to turn out. First I had the Divergent like one (spoiler alert) where they were still on Earth but intentionally separated from society and brainwashed to think that they were in space and isolated so that they would grow to be stronger people then save the rest of the world. Maybe the world was at war and they wanted to freeze some really important people so that they would be safe and then they put these other people into this “spaceship” so they could be in this peaceful environment to figure out how to adapt and survive and then when they could leave the “spaceship” they could use this knowledge along with the frozen important people to fix humanity. But that idea died. (Spoiler alert over) My next one was more or less right, I figured that they were using some kind of drug in the food to make these people passive and the “insane” ones were immune to it. And I guessed that they had to be messing with DNA because that’s the only way not to have a bunch of mutant children from incest. There are 3000 people and they have been together for over half a century, by this point everyone is related somehow. For most of the book I thought Eldest and Doc were killing off these frozen people because it was a Wall-e situation where they couldn’t go home and having a bunch of these different people running around would cause disturbances so it was just easier to unfreeze them an let them die, writing it off as an accident or accusing someone else. But nope. And the last one I had was that the person wasn’t physically unplugging the people, rather the frozen people were probably hooked up to a power grid designed that if one shut off the rest would still work just as a safety measure so the murderer just had a map of the grid and was shutting them off through that. Which sounded way more logical to me but that didn;t happen either.
I did not see Elder being the one to have unplugged her coming! He is one good actor! I can’t even really be mad at his character because it was ignorance. It would be like getting mad at a child who had never been told better. The fact that he didn’t know was probably good reason for him not to do it, but like a curious kid, he did. I really respect him for telling Amy, she deserved the truth and hat to do with it is her decision. That’s really the theme of this book. Overall I like Elder. Amy I like even more. She’s really realistic and just a determined person. Harley I loved. he was a sweetheart and it was really upsetting when he killed himself.
Ok so these three causes of discord: Difference, lack of leadership and individual thought. All of those are correct, they do cause disorder but they aren’t necessarily bad. Leadership for sure you need. But leadership doesn’t mean tyrannical dictator using mind control. And this whole difference is bad thing, no! Yes it is the cause for many wars but difference is the surface not the root cause. Which is primarily misunderstanding and fear. Also as anyone with even they tiniest amount of biological information knows, difference is what makes a species strong. If you have a species that is all identical you are incredibly weak. That’s why evolution occurs. Because when there is a plague or something there will be those naturally resistant so they will survive when everyone else dies. If you mess with everyone’s DNA making them all the same you are really screwed. There NEEDS to be variation within a group, it happens naturally so stop messing with it! The mono-ethnic thing probably just happened because they’ve been on a spaceship with 3,000 people for half a century so it’s really unavoidable but stop messing with DNA! I predict bad things will happen. And finally we had individual thought. Eldest always said this one with a sneer. And I don’t even know what to do with it! If you take away individual thought you can’t even count those people as human. They are then empty, soulless machines. I guess that’s what he wants because it prevents disagreement but that is such a incredible breech of human rights that I cannot even fathom it because of course you are allowed to think what you want. They’re thoughts. A world where someone says “you can’t say that” I can imagine because it happens but having someone make it so you cannot physically think something is insane. Your thoughts are considered such a personal part of you that no one can take them away. People can try and manipulate them but the bottom line is always they are your thoughts, unless someone kills you you will always have them. Trying to imagine a world where you haven’t been brainwashed because people can always break that but a world where you cannot physically or mentally have an individual personality, it’s a medical impossibility, I can’t do it. It’s a concept I have a really hard time wrapping my head around, it seems like a step beyond being drugged.
The fact that they altered history was so weird. Abraham Lincoln and that whole ordeal. It’s common knowledge to us. I’m not American and I know what happened, I’m guessing most educated people of the world do. Maybe not in details but if someone started telling you what Elder was you would stop and be “Whoa, what?” Like Amy said she didn’t have the thing memorized but she knew that wasn’t it! The Hitler thing was messed up. when someone says Hitler we associate it with a brutal point in history and a controlling, disturbed leader. But Elder associated it with a strong, good leader. Maybe to him he was trying to rid the world of difference and it should be looked on as a good thing. History as we know it has been so twisted to suit the Eldest’s desires it was scary.
This book was really weird but super interesting and it really made you think. I will be reading the second one, A Million Suns, ASAP! Bye all!