Review: Across the Universe by @BethRevis Tantalizing and terrifying.
So I am not a big SciFi person... My childhood his riddled with dad and I watching Star Trek on Saturday mornings and we watched Star Wars together, but that is about where my Science Fiction background begins and ends. When my book girls started talking about this book, it sounded intriguing as well as having a kickass title. When several girls started an ARC tour of the book so we could blog about it as it was coming out on 01-11-11, I jumped on the list. When I got it and saw how big it was last weekend, I really was concerned if I'd be able to finish it. SciFi's just not my thing, I'm really on a YA and Historical Fiction kick right now, it will distract me with all the technical stuff and I'll forget the plot... yeah, no. That is not at all what happened.
I started it yesterday midday. I finished it a few minutes ago.
I read in the car, at hockey, while making chicken soup from scratch with my stepmom all while convincing her to read it, curled up on the couch with Bella dog and the kitties, and in the tub tonight while trying to destress.
This book is awesome. And not like, "Yay, good yarn, kept the groundlings entertained for a while" good. This was frexing awesome!
The characters are very well drawn and even though it all happens over a matter of days, you get an entire lifetime, or three, in the pages. I immediately fell in love with Amy, the female lead character, and slowly warmed to Elder, the male. The point of view flips between the two which is something I'm glad to see more and more since I'm doing it in my own novel. I'm glad I'll not be the lone weirdo, or simple freak, as Amy is referred to in the book.
There are a lot of emotions riding throughout this story and on several occasions I was startled by the harshness and brutality that was considered "normal" on the Godspeed spaceship. The Season and the Fourth Floor had me completely disgusted and enthralled. I was also started to find myself agreeing with Eldest, the late Elder, and Elder. I know that's confusing, read the book, you'll get it. I was truly horrified by Eldest, but yet I understood his actions. I was scared by the way the late Elder behaved but also in the way I thought of how he had a semblance of the right idea... I could empathize with his choices. Then there is Elder, who you want to hug and smack repeatedly through the book. Especially at the end. He's been put in this integral role; that he never wanted, that he's not prepared for, and none of this is his fault. He does struggle so much, but yet, as Amy describes, he has this innocence and kindness muddled with the Leadership that's bred into him. I kept thinking "mancub" while reading.
There are a few scenes that I saw coming and was happy I could figure it out ahead of Amy and Elder. There are a few curveballs in there thanks to Beth's ability to turn a phrase and catch you off guard. Harley... wow. Such a wow.
The entire time you are on this stunning emotional rollercoaster. You are up with Amy who is strong and fragile, you are down with her as well when she's totally broken, but trying to stand on her own two feet in a situation that I can not totally comprehend. All the while there is a cunning, fascinating mystery thriller wrapping around an incredible social message threading it's way through this tale of power, love, strength, vulnerability, passion, anger, friendship, and peace.
If we don't have the sky, where are we?
If we can't help each other, who are we?
If we don't have truth, what do we have?
Mazel Tov Beth! You did an incredible job! And while I left with many a question, I enjoyed this book immensely. I may pick up another SciFi in the future! Care to write a sequel to help me with all the damned questions still ricocheting around my cerebrum? I hear murmurs of there being more, but no real facts... Beth? Anyone? Bueller?
Go pick it up. If you like a good mystery thriller, you won't be sorry! And check out Beth's site- bethrevis.com and the book site as well, a lot of fun stuff, including several prizes for pics of you with your book! I'm still looking for the secret page, if anyone has a cheat, hook me up!