Series: Across the Universe
Number in Series: 1
Time: 10 hrs. and 11 mins.
Narrator: Lauren Ambrose and Carlos Santos
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group
Genre:Young Adult/Science Fiction/Dystopian/Fantasy/Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
I was urged to read this by my good Twitter friend and author Jessica Subject. I didn’t even bother to read the synopsis, so I had no idea what this was about. All I knew was that space was involved and the cover is stunning. But this book really stunned me; it was such an amazing book. I love a great science fiction tale and honestly, this was one of the best ones.
Unlike the majority of science fiction books I have come across or have been made into movies, it is all about man vs. the machines. This is about present man vs. future man. How would the world be like in the future? Would the history we know be misconstrued and rewritten in order to keep the future in check? That is what Amy is starting to see. On Godspeed (the ship), the people are oblivious and have been lied to for a very long time. Amy is the first to notice something is wrong. But the captain of the ship, Eldest, wants nothing to do with her and has made it seem as though she is crazy. So she is a leper, but Elder (second in command and love interest) knows that Amy isn’t crazy and because of her he is starting to see Godspeed in a very different light.
I loved our characters. I loved how strong Amy was even though everyone was against her. Being on a ship where no one wants anything to do with you because you are different is very frustrating. Everyone is mono-ethnic. Olive skin, dark hair and dark eyes; Amy is very pale with bright red hair and green eyes, so she is immediately seen as an alien. I loved that Elder took such a liking to her and didn’t see her as a freak. I liked that he actually listened to her and slowly started rebelling against Eldest even though he raised him. I loved some of the secondary characters as well. I loved Harley, he was Elder’s best friend. He was raised in the psych ward with Elder; apparently they were “crazy”. But Harley saw things differently and helped Amy immensely in this book.
I loved the plot. The buildup was so intense. It starts off as a “whodunit” sort of book and evolved into a crazy and well thought out conspiracy. The secrets in this book were so unexpected and so scary, this book really freaked me out. To think that someone is targeting people that would be an asset to the new planet is bad enough. But you also have the fact that the people are the shipped are dazed because they are given drugs. They can’t think for themselves and even when “the season” comes along (when everyone 18 and over has sex anytime, anywhere just to reproduce), that is even controlled in a very animalistic and sadistic way. I really don’t want to spoil anything, but trust me, it is awful to even comprehend it all.
Overall, this is a high recommendation. One thing you will love about this is the emotional aspect of the book. The feeling of being lost, the decision of whether you want to be frozen alive with your family for 300 years on a ship or stay on Earth and live out the rest of your life, the sadness of knowing that once unfrozen, you can’t be frozen back to continue the journey with your family and so much more. It is so heart wrenching seeing things from Amy’s perspective. And seeing things from Elder’s perspective is very intense as well. He finds out he has been lied to all his life and things about the ship are far worse than anyone thought and it is all on his shoulders since he helps to lead the people onboard. I know those are some bad run-on sentences, but I just have to fit in as much awesomeness as I can. This book was brilliant from beginning to end. Even if sci-fi isn’t your thing; I would still recommend this to you. It is just that incredible. It is fresh, well written, and suspenseful. Get it now!