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.
My Thoughts: I don’t usually read young adult science fiction, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about the debut novel from the author, Beth Revis. I must have preordered the Kindle version and totally forgotten about it, because I opened up my Kindle to start a new book and this one popped up in my list. And I am so glad that it was there. This book is a very entertaining mixture of science fiction meets murder mystery, all set aboard a giant space ship with a course set for an earth-like planet 300 years away from earth.
Across the Universe is written in first person point of view, with chapters alternating between Amy and Elder. Amy is awoken 50 years too early in the journey and she finds a space ship full on mono-ethnic people where everyone knows their place and difference is not tolerated. Elder was born on the ship and knows no other way of life, having been selected from birth as the next leader of the people on board and is being trained by Eldest to rule the ship in the near future. Alternating their points of view gives you a great look into what life is like on board the ship to one who was born into it and one who has no choice about being there.
Elder is taken with Amy as soon as he sets eyes on her. Amy has pale skin, red hair, and light colored eyes while everyone who currently lives on board has darker skin, brown hair, and brown eyes. The people aboard the ship Godspeed, even have a different accent than Amy. But it becomes apparent early in the book that you can’t really trust anyone aboard the ship. They all have their own agendas and will do anything to bring them to fruition.
After Amy is sequestered away in the hospital, along with anyone else who shows differences like artistic and musical accumen, more frozen people are being unplugged one by one. Amy and Elder spend the rest of the book trying to catch the culprit. And narrowing down the list of suspects and the eventual why of the crime leads to untold danger to both of them.
One word of caution if you are claustrophobic in any way. One of my biggest fears is being conscious but not able to move anything and the heroine finds herself in just this situation for the first part of the book. The first chapter does describe in detail how Amy and her parents are prepared to be cryogenically frozen, including being submerged completely in liquid. I am extremely claustrophobic and I had to force myself to get through that first chapter.
I give this book a 5 out of 5. There was the perfect mix of sci-fi, mystery, suspense, and thriller genres all wrapped up in one book. And the ending sets up for a very interesting set of circumstances for a second book.