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Across the Universe (Across the Universe Series #1)

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Overview

Book 1 in the New York Times bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Gallactica and Prometheus!

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SURVIVE ABOARD A SPACESHIP FUELED BY LIES?

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...

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Across the Universe (Across the Universe Series #1)

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Overview

Book 1 in the New York Times bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Gallactica and Prometheus!

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SURVIVE ABOARD A SPACESHIP FUELED BY LIES?

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 an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This competent and gripping first novel recycles one of science fiction's oldest motifs: the starship sent to colonize a new world but gone badly astray. Amy, the teenage daughter of two of the colony's future leaders, was a passenger, and was supposed to stay in cryogenic suspension for 300 years until the Godspeed neared its target world of Centauri-Earth, but she is awakened 50 years early--in what looks to be the first in a string of attempted murders of the frozen colonists. There has been a plague among the crew who, generation after generation, were supposed to keep the ship running, and much essential information has been lost. The starship is now ruled by Eldest, a tyrannical old man assisted by teenage Elder, who will eventually replace him. Neither knows why Amy was awakened, but in the monoethnic and heavily sedated society of Godspeed, she represents difference--something Eldest will not tolerate, but which captivates Elder. Revis's tale hits all of the standard dystopian notes, while presenting a believable romance and a series of tantalizing mysteries that will hold readers' attention. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
VOYA - Ed Goldberg
Amy is not being forced to undergo cryogenic freezing and join her parents' three-hundred-year voyage to a new planet, Centauri-Earth; the thought of living on Sol-Earth without them, however, is so horrendous that she consents. When she is awakened fifty years prematurely, she is unprepared for what she encounters: a community similar to that in Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton Mifflin, 1993/VOYA August 1993)—people who are mono-ethnic, robotic, unthinking. Elder, the spaceship Godspeed's future leader when Eldest dies, is intrigued by Amy's differences (although Eldest says the first cause of discord is differences)—her red hair, her energy, her independent thought. When three other passengers are found thawing and two of them die, the mystery begins: who is attempting to kill this cargo and why? This begins to haunt Amy and Elder. As they delve into life aboard Godspeed, they uncover more than they bargained for. Might Eldest's iron fist be the right way to rule, or are differences and independent thought to be cherished? Revis's debut novel is well written and suspenseful. Readers will understand Amy's concern during the freezing process and after waking up, alone, in an alien environment. Elder, only sixteen, has not been trained to be Eldest, and as he explores Godspeed, he discovers how much is hidden from him. Eldest, as the older generation, is tyrannical, while Elder is open to change. The secondary characters add color to this fast-paced story. Across the Universe will appeal to boys and girls, science fiction fans, and anyone interested in a good story. Reviewer: Ed Goldberg
VOYA - Nicole Drago
No one truly knows what it is to travel to the future or across the universe, but while reading Revis's debut novel, readers can imagine it in great detail. Revis describes the story of a girl who is frozen and labeled "nonessential cargo," set to awaken hundreds of years later on a strange planet. Through intricate plot twists and turns, Amy finds herself woken up early and disrupting the order, government, and very being of the ship as she discovers who she really is. This compelling read reveals the inner workings of a society that has been isolated and makes the reader question the authenticity of the place we call "home." I recommend this for teenagers interested in science fiction and action. 5Q,4P. Reviewer: Nicole Drago, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Imagine leaving everything behind in order to be with the people you love, only to be left with nothing. Amy and her parents have been cryogenically frozen to be awakened in 300 years when their spaceship reaches the planet they will colonize. Unfortunately, Amy is unfrozen 50 years too soon. Her parents are too critical to the colony to awaken early, so by the time she sees them again, she will be older than they are. The culture on the spaceship is unfamiliar and everyone Amy meets is either an emotionless drone or lives in the mental ward. But there is little time for her to grieve the loss of her former life, because someone is thawing other colonists and leaving them to die. In order to find the murderer, Amy must join forces with Elder, the teenage future leader of the ship. But all of the inhabitants onboard have been told lies, and there are secrets that even Elder doesn't know. This compelling novel is told in alternating chapters from Amy's and Elder's points of view. Amy is a contemporary character in a fish-out-of-water situation, and her grief and fear are realistically depicted. And as Elder learns the truth behind the ship, he begins to experience a coming-of-age that is convincingly written. The mystery will propel readers along, and the budding romance between Amy and Elder set against the backdrop of a dystopian society will appeal even to readers who don't enjoy science fiction. Revis's thrilling debut novel hints at more great books to come.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Kirkus Reviews
An unforgettable opening scene, in which Amy watches her parents climb into glass boxes to be agonizingly frozen alive and then submits to being frozen herself, launches this riveting thriller about space travel, secrets, murder and Realpolitik. Amy's family chooses cryogenics so they can be defrosted when the spaceship Godspeed completes its 300-year journey to a new planet. But en route, in space, Amy's cryo-wires are unplugged early—almost lethally. She wakes to meet Elder, another teen, named for his leader-in-training position. Ironhanded commander Eldest refuses to teach Elder the critical details for running Godspeed, and in scrutinizing the deadly mystery of who's unplugging the frozens, Elder and Amy uncover generations of devastating lies underpinning Godspeed's on-board society. From the ship's windowless metal walls and recycled-air full-farming ecosystem to the people's carnal and oddly synchronized breeding Season, Revis' extraordinary setting is credible and palpably claustrophobic. The two teens' alternating viewpoints, both in first person, divulge information to readers bit by tension-filled bit. Wherever the series goes from here, this opener leaves an indelible imprint. (Science fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595143976
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Publication date: 1/11/2011
  • Series: Across the Universe Series , #1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 85,085
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.18 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Beth Revis

Beth Revis lives in rural North Carolina with her husband and dog, and believes space is nowhere near the final frontier. Across the Universe is her first novel.

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Read an Excerpt

1 A m y

Daddy said, "Let Mom go first."

Mom wanted me to go first. I think it was because she was afraid that after they were contained and frozen, I'd walk away, return to life rather than consign myself to that cold, clear box. But Daddy insisted.

"Amy needs to see what it's like. You go first, let her watch. Then she can go and I'll be with her. I'll go last."

"You go first," Mom said. "I'll go last."

But the long and the short of it is that you have to be naked, and neither of them wanted me to see either of them naked (not like I wanted to see them in all their nude glory, gross), but given the choice, it'd be best for Mom to go first, since we had the same parts and all.

She looked so skinny after she undressed. Her collarbone stood out more; her skin had that rice-paper-thin, over-moisturized consistency old people's skin has. Her stomach—a part of her she always kept hidden under clothes—sagged in a wrinkly sort of way that made her look even more vulnerable and weak.

The men who worked in the lab seemed uninterested in my mother's nudity, just as they were impartial to my and my father's presence. They helped her lie down in the clear cryo box. It would have looked like a coffin, but coffins have pillows and look a lot more comfortable. This looked more like a shoebox.

"It's cold," Mom said. Her pale white skin pressed flat against the bottom of the box.

"You won't feel it," the first worker grunted. His nametag said Ed.

I looked away as the other worker, Hassan, pierced Mom's skin with the IV needles. One in her left arm, hooked up at the crease of her inner elbow; one in her right hand, protruding from that big vein below her knuckles.

"Relax," Ed said. It was an order, not a kind suggestion.

Mom bit her lip.

The stuff in the IV bag did not flow like water. It rolled like honey.

Hassan squeezed the bag, forcing it down the IV faster. It was sky blue, like the blue of the cornflowers Jason had given me at prom.

My mom hissed in pain. Ed removed a yellow plastic clamp on the empty IV in her elbow. A backflow of bright red blood shot through the IV, pouring into the bag. Mom's eyes filled with water. The blue goo from the other IV glowed, a soft sparkle of sky shining through my mother's veins as the goo traveled up her arm.

"Gotta wait for it to hit the heart," Ed said, glancing at us. Daddy clenched his fists, his eyes boring into my mom. Her eyes were clamped shut, two hot tears dangling on her lashes.

Hassan squeezed the bag of blue goo again. A line of blood trickled from under Mom's teeth where she was biting her lip.

"This stuff, it's what makes the freezing work." Ed spoke in a conversational tone, like a baker talking about how yeast makes bread rise.

"Without it, little ice crystals form in the cells and split open the cell walls. This stuff makes the cell walls stronger, see? Ice don't break 'em." He glanced down at Mom. "Hurts like a bitch going in, though."
Her face was pale, and she was lying in that box, and she wasn't moving at all, as if moving would break her. She already looked dead.

"I wanted you to see this," Daddy whispered. He didn't look at me—he was still staring at Mom. He didn't even blink.

"Why?"

"So you knew before you did it."

Hassan kept kneading the bag of blue goo. Mom's eyes rolled up into the back of her head for a minute, and I thought she'd pass out, but she didn't.

"Almost there," Ed said, looking at the bag of Mom's blood. The flow had slowed down. The only sound was Hassan's heavy breathing as he rubbed the plastic sides of the bag of goo. And whimpering, soft, like a dying kitten, coming from Mom.

A faint blue glow sparkled in the IV leading from Mom's elbow. "Okay, stop," Ed said. "It's all in her blood now."

Hassan pulled the IVs out. Mom let out a crackling sigh.

Daddy pulled me forward. Looking down at Mom reminded me of looking down at Grandma last year at the church, when we all said goodbye and Mom said she was in a better place, but all she meant was that she was dead.

"How is it?" I asked.

"Not bad," Mom lied. At least she could still speak.

"Can I touch her?" I asked Ed. He shrugged, so I reached out, gripped the fingers of her left hand. They were already ice cold. She didn't squeeze back.

"Can we get on with it?" Ed asked. He shook a big eyedropper in his hand. Daddy and I stepped back, but not so far that Mom would think we'd left her in that icy coffin alone. Ed pulled Mom's eyes open. His fingers were big, calloused, and they looked like rough-hewn logs spreading apart my mom's paper-thin eyelids. A drop of yellow liquid fell on each green eye. Ed did it quickly—drop, drop—then he sort of pushed her eyes shut. She didn't open them again.

I guess I looked shocked, because when Ed glanced up at me this time, he actually stopped working long enough to give me a comforting smile.

"Keeps her from going blind," he said.

"It's okay," Mom said from her shoebox coffin.

Even though her eyes were sealed shut, I could hear the tears in her voice.

"Tubes," Ed said, and Hassan handed him a trio of clear plastic tubes.

"Okay, look." Ed leaned down close to Mom's face.

"I'm gonna put these down your throat. It's not gonna feel good. Try to act like you're swallowin' 'em."

Mom nodded and opened her mouth. Ed crammed the tubes down her throat. Mom gagged, a violent motion that started at her belly and worked all the way up to her dry, cracked lips.

I glanced at Daddy. His eyes were cold and hard.

It was a long time before she became still and silent. She kept trying to swallow, the muscles in her neck rearranging themselves to accommodate the tubes. Ed threaded the tubes up through a hole in the top of the shoebox coffin, near Mom's head.

Hassan opened a drawer and pulled out a mess of electrical wires. He stuffed a bundle of brightly colored wires down the first tube, then one long black cable with a small box at the end down the second one, and finally a small rectangular black piece of plastic that looked like a solar panel attached to a fiber-optic string down the last.

Hassan plugged all the wires into a little white box that Ed fixed over the hole at the top of what I realized was nothing more than an elaborate packing crate.

"Say goodbye." I looked up, surprised at the kind voice. Ed had his back to us, typing something into a computer; it was Hassan who spoke.

He nodded at me encouragingly.

Daddy had to pull my arm to make me approach Mom. This . . . this was not the last image of her I wanted. Yellow crusting her eyes, tubes holding wires crammed down her throat, a soft sky-blue sheen pumping through her veins. Daddy kissed her, and Mom smiled a bit around the tubes. I patted her on the shoulder. It was cold too. She gurgled something at me, and I leaned in closer. Three sounds, three spluttering grunts, really.

I squeezed Mom's arm. I knew the words she was trying to get past the tubes were, "I love you."

"Momma," I whispered, stroking her paper-soft skin. I'd not called her anything but Mom since I was seven.

"'Kay, that's it," Ed said. Daddy's hand snaked into the crook of my elbow, and he tugged at me gently. I jerked away. He changed tactics and gripped my shoulder, spinning me against his hard, muscled chest in a tight hug, and I didn't resist this time. Ed and Hassan lifted up what looked like a hospital's version of a fire hose, and water flecked with sky-blue sparkles filled the shoebox coffin. Mom spluttered when it reached her nose.

"Just breathe it in," Ed shouted over the sound of rushing liquid.

"Just relax."

A stream of bubbles shot through the blue water, obscuring her face.

She shook her head, denying the water the chance to drown her, but a moment later, she gave up. The liquid covered her. Ed turned off the hose and the ripples faded. The water was still. She was still. Ed and Hassan lowered the shoebox coffin lid over Mom. They pushed the box into the rear wall, and only when they closed it behind a little door on the wall did I notice all the little doors in the wall, like a morgue.

They pulled the handle down. A hiss of steam escaped through the door—the flash freezing process was over. One second Mom was there, and the next, everything about her that made her Mom was frozen and stagnant. She was as good as dead for the next three centuries until someone opened that door and woke her up.

"The girl's next?" Ed asked.

I stepped forward, balling my hands into fists so they wouldn't shake.

"No," Daddy said.

Without waiting for Daddy's response, Ed and Hassan were already preparing another shoebox coffin. They didn't care whether it was me or him; they were just doing their job.

"What?" I asked Daddy.

"I'm going next. Your mother wouldn't agree to that—she thought you'd still back down, decide not to come with us. Well, I'm giving you that option. I'm going next. Then, if you'd like to walk away, not be frozen, that's okay. I've told your aunt and uncle. They're waiting outside; they'll be there until five. After they freeze me, you can just walk away. Mom and I won't know, not for centuries, not till we wake up, and if you do decide to live instead of being frozen, then we'll be okay."

"But, Daddy, I—"

"No. It's not fair for us to guilt you into this. It'll be easier for you to make an honest decision if you do it without facing us."

"But I promised you. I promised Mom." My voice cracked. My eyes burned painfully, and I squeezed them shut. Two hot trails of tears leaked down my face.

"Doesn't matter. That's too big of a promise for us to make you keep. You have to make this choice yourself—if you want to stay here, I understand. I'm giving you a way out."

"But they don't need you! You could stay here with me! You're not even important to the mission—you're with the military for Pete's sake! How is a battlefield analyst supposed to help on a new planet? You could stay here, you could be—" Daddy shook his head.

"—with me," I whispered, but there was no point in asking him to stay. His mind was made up. And it wasn't true, anyway. Daddy was sixth in command, and while that didn't exactly make him commander in chief, it was still pretty high up. Mom was important too; no one was better at genetic splicing, and they needed her to help develop crops that could grow on the new planet.

I was the only one not needed.

Daddy went behind the curtain and undressed, and when he came out, Ed and Hassan let him use a hand towel to cover himself as he walked to the cryo chamber. They took it away when he lay down, and I forced my eyes to stare at his face, to not make this worse for either of us. But his face radiated pain, a look I had never seen Daddy wear before. It made my insides twist with even more fear, more doubt. I watched them plug the two IVs in. I watched them seal his eyes. I tried to retreat within myself, silence the scream of horror reverberating in my mind, and stand straight with a spine made of iron and a face made of stone. Then Daddy squeezed my hand, once, hard, as they crammed the tubes down his throat, and I crumbled, inside and out.

Before they filled his box with the blue-speckled liquid, Daddy held up his hand, his pinky finger sticking out. I wrapped my own pinky around his. I knew that with it, he was promising everything would be okay. And I almost believed him.

I cried so hard when they filled his cryo chamber up I couldn't see his face as it drowned in the liquid. Then they lowered the lid, slammed him in his mortuary, and a puff of white steam escaped through the cracks.

"Can I see him?" I asked.

Ed and Hassan looked at each other. Hassan shrugged. Ed jerked the lever of the little door open again and pulled out the clear shoebox coffin.

And there was Daddy. The translucent liquid was frozen solid and, I knew, so was Daddy. I put my hand on the glass, wishing there was a way to feel his warmth through the ice, but I snatched it away quickly. The glass was so cold it burned. Green lights blinked on the little electric box Hassan had fixed to the top of Daddy's cryotube.

He didn't look like Daddy under the ice.

"So," Ed said, "are you going under, or are you leaving the party early?"

He pushed Daddy's shoebox coffin back into its little slot in the wall.

When I looked up at Ed, my eyes were so watery that his face sort of melted, and he looked a bit like a Cyclops.

"I . . ."

My eyes slid to the exit, past all the cryo equipment on the other side of the room. Beyond that door were my aunt and uncle, who I loved, who I could be happy living with. And beyond them was Jason. And Rebecca and Heather and Robyn and all my friends. And the mountains, the flowers, the sky. Earth. Beyond that door was Earth. And life. But my eyes drifted to the little doors on the wall. Beyond those doors were my momma and daddy.

I cried as I undressed. The first boy who ever saw me naked was Jason, just that one time, the night I found out I would leave behind everything on Earth, and everything included him. I did not like the idea that the last boys to see me naked on this planet would be Ed and Hassan. I tried to cover myself with my arms and hands, but Ed and Hassan made me remove them so they could put the IVs in.

And, oh god, it was worse than Mom made it look. Oh, god. Oh, God.

It was cold and it was burning all at the same time. I could feel my muscles straining as that blue goo entered my system. My heart wanted to pound, beat upon my ribcage like a lover beating on the door, but the blue goo made it do the opposite and sloooow down so that instead of beatbeatbeatbeat, it went beat . . . beat . . . . . . beat . . . . . . . . . . . . beat . . . . . .

Ed jerked my eyelids open. Plop! Cold yellow liquid filled my eyes, sealing them like gum. Plop! I was blind now.

One of them, maybe Hassan, tapped on my chin, and I opened my mouth obediently. Apparently, not wide enough—the tubes hit my teeth.

I opened wider.

And then the tubes were forced down my throat, hard. They did not feel as flexible as they had looked; they felt like a greased broomstick being crammed down my mouth. I gagged, and gagged again. I could taste bile and copper around the plastic of the tubes.

"Swallow it!" Ed shouted in my ear. "Just relax!"

Easy for him to say.

A few moments after it was done, my stomach tingled. I could feel the wires inside me being pulled and tugged as Hassan plugged the little black box to the outside of my very own shoebox coffin. Shuffling noises. The hose.

"Don't know why anyone would sign up for this," said Hassan.

Silence. A metallic sound—the hose being opened up. Cold, cold liquid splashed on my thighs. I wanted to move my hands to cover myself there, but my body was sluggish.

"I dunno," Ed said.

"Things ain't exactly peachy here now. Nothing's been right since the first recession, let alone the second. The Financial Resource Exchange was s'posed to bring more jobs, wasn't it? Ain't got nothing now other than this P.O.S. job, and it'll be over soon as they're all frozen."

Another silence. The cryo liquid washed over my knees now, seeping cold into the places on my body that had been warm—the crease of my knees, under my arms, under my breasts.

"Not worth giving your life away, not for what they're offering." Ed snorted.

"What they're offering? They're offering a lifetime's salary, all in one check."

"Ain't worth nothing on a ship that won't land for three hundred and one years."

My heart stopped. Three hundred . . . and one? No—that's wrong. It's three hundred years even. Not three hundred and one.

"That much money can sure help a family out. Might make the difference."

"What difference?" Hassan asked.

"Difference between surviving or not. It's not like when we were kids. Don't care what the prez says, that Financial Act ain't gonna be able to fix this kinda debt."

What are they yammering about? Who cares about national debt and jobs?

Go back to that extra year!

"A man has time to think about it anyway," Ed continued.

" Consider his options. Why'd they delay the launch again?"

Cryo liquid splashed against my ears as my shoebox coffin filled; I lifted my head. Delay? What delay? I tried to speak around the tubes, but they filled my mouth, crowded my tongue, silenced my words.

"I have no idea. Something about the fuel and feedback from the probes. But why are they making us keep all the freezing on schedule?"

The cyro liquid was rising fast. I turned my head, so my right ear could catch their conversation.

"Who cares?" Ed asked.

"Not them—they'll just sleep through it all. They say the ship'll take three hundred years just to get to that other planet—what's the difference in one more year?"

I tried to sit up. My muscles were hard, slow, but I struggled. I tried to talk again, make a sound, any sound, but the cryo liquid was spilling over my face.

"Just. Relax," Ed said very loudly near my face. I shook my head. God, didn't they know? A year made the world of difference! This was one more year I could be with Jason, one more year I could live! I signed up for three hundred years . . . not three hundred and one!

Gentle hands—Hassan's?—pushed me under the cryo liquid. I held my breath. I tried to rise up. I wanted my year! My last year—one more year!

"Breathe in the liquid!" Ed's voice sounded muffled, almost indecipherable under the cryo liquid. I tried to shake my head, but as my neck muscles tensed, my lungs rebelled, and the cold, cold cryo liquid rushed down my nose, past the tubes, and into my body.

I felt the finality of the lid trapping me inside my Snow White coffin. As one of them pushed at my feet, sliding me into my morgue, I imagined that my Prince Charming was just beyond my little door, that he really could come and kiss me awake and we could have a whole year more together.

There was a click, click, grrr of gears, and I knew the flash freezing would start in mere moments, and then my life would be nothing but a puff of white steam leaking through the cracks of my morgue door.

And I thought: At least I'll sleep. I will forget, for three hundred and one years, everything else.

And then I thought: That will be nice.

And then whoosh! The flash freeze filled the tiny chamber.
I was in ice.
I was ice.
I am ice. But if I'm ice, how am I conscious? I was supposed to be asleep; I was supposed to forget about Jason and life and Earth for three hundred and one years. People have been cryo frozen before me, and none of them were conscious. The mind is frozen; it cannot be awake or aware.

I've read before of coma victims who were supposed to be knocked out with anesthesia during an operation, but really they were awake and felt everything.

I hope—I pray—that's not me. I can't be awake for three hundred and one years. I'll never survive that.

Maybe I'm dreaming now. I've dreamt a lifetime in a thirty-minute nap. Maybe I'm still in that space between frozen and not, and this is all a dream. Maybe we haven't left Earth yet. Maybe I'm still in that limbo year before the ship launches, and I'm stuck, trapped in a dream I can't wake from.

Maybe I've still got three hundred and one years stretching out before me.

Maybe I'm not even asleep yet. Not all the way.

Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I only know one thing for certain.
I want my year back.

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  • Posted October 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Incredible Debut YA Sci-Fi Novel -- A Must Read!

    WOW! I think this word over and over again throughout the reading of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis. A Young Adult novel, it is literally a murder mystery in space, in a universe that stretches on and on, infinite and vast. And how incredibly lonely it is when stuck on a ship traveling in it. Amy is sixteen and lives with her parents on Earth. Her parents are gifted and essential to a world that other gifted members of society are selected to make a journey to. These people will be cryogenically frozen to journey 300 years to this new world to help begin life on that planet. But, Amy is not essential to this new planet. She's a kid, but is permitted to go because of her parents, and is frozen into the 300 year sleep along with her parents on the ship called Godspeed. Fifty years before the intended arrival to this new world, Amy awakes when she is unplugged and separated from her cryo-haven, surviving an attempted murder -- and no one knows who did it. Forced with the reality that she is now living in a small city that exists on the metal ship, where everyone awakens to a fake sun and drinks recycled water, Amy bonds with Elder, also sixteen. This new life is all that she will now have and she is also awake before her parents. She's now alone. Elder is next in line to lead the ship after the current aging leader, known as Eldest, passes on. But, now amidst the safety of a world which doesn't know questions and chaos, someone is starting to kill again, and they're targeting the frozen people hidden in a ship that only a few select people know about. The release date for this book is January 2011, and color me giddy with excitement for how this book will be received by everyone. It has all of the elements that all murder mysteries need, which completely satiated my desire for a good "whodunit," all amidst the realities of space and the cage of Godspeed. I could not put the book down, and my eyes were growing heavy with sleep late into the night as I kept telling myself "just one more page." Each chapter switches between Amy's and Elder's perspective, allowing you to experience each of their own stories. Normally, I tend to like one character more than another when chapters switch like that and want to hurry to get to the next chapter, but not with this one. As each chapter switched characters, I was excited, ready to find out more and uncover the mystery that each of them were facing. I cannot tell you more about the plot without giving anything away - I can only tell you that I loved this book, this story with characters so real and interesting and engaging. I was drawn into their angst, their confusions, and the mystery that they were trying to solve. There is even more to this story, discussions of class systems, prejudice, and other social issues that were fascinating. I admit that I sit on the edge of my seat wishing for 2011 to pass quickly so that I can get my hands all over Book Two -- oh, yes, this is a series! Yes, yes, yes!

    27 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

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    80 chapters - 79 of them are depressing

    Reading Across the Universe is like watching a bad carwreck, you know it's sad but you just can't look away. Among the spaceship's 1,000 + inhabitants are 100 people who have been cryogenically frozen - specialists in the fields of science and military and their family members from earth who will help to start the new planet once they land. But there are problems. Lots of them. Someone has been trying to kill off select frozen people by unplugging their power source and thus making them drown to death, through centuries of breeding incest is rampant on the spaceship and everyone looks the same, the spaceship is being ruled by a Hitler-like dictator who lies and drugs the passengers in order to keep them obedient, history books about earth have been changed to show Kim Jong IL and Hitler as heroes and peacemakers as evil and the one unfrozen victim who was rescued is the only one who can see all the problems and knows the truth but no one believes her. The book was great in a depressing way. I kept wanting to read and find out what else was a lie about the spaceship, some of the secrets were easy to figure out, others were complete shockers. The last chapter ended on a positive note, however this is a series so look forward to the next depressing 79 chapters soon!

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2010

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    Very smart Sci-Fi!

    As Amy's father prepares to be cryogenically frozen, he offers her a chance to opt-out and continue living her life as normal on Earth. She chooses to be frozen herself, and follow her parents aboard the Godspeed, to be woken up 300 years in the future on another planet. When she is thawed out, it is extremely painful and 50 years too soon. She quickly makes a friend in Elder, a boy roughly the same age as she is and second in command on the ship. But Amy is from Earth, and her different appearance and behavior does not fit into society on the ship at all. Before long, sinister acts begin happening around Amy, turning allies into suspects. With lies being revealed and secrets being overturned, Amy and Elder hold on whatever truths they hold in themselves.

    Across the Universe is breathtaking science fiction, the kind where I feverishly turn the pages to find out what happens next. One of those books where immediately after the last page is turned, I want to start over from the beginning and read it again. It really is that good. I was hooked right from the start, with the detailed process of being frozen. I am usually pretty squeamish but I could not stop reading. I felt every inch of Amy's claustrophobia and every ounce of Elder's frustration. The futuristic swearing is reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica and works well with Elder's character. Revis goes to great lengths in order to let the reader discover what is what in the world she has created. There are no lengthy passages of exposition. Some aspects are very cool (grav tubes) and others are a little far-fretched (mono ethnicity), but overall the concepts are deeply thought out and well executed. Fans of Maria V. Snyder's Inside Out and Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games will love this book. I eagerly look forward to more from this author!

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    Sci-Fi YA for people who don't think they like Sci-Fi or YA.

    I have to admit, I was nervous to read this one. I mean, I LOVE Beth, and we're *friends* online, and even though the blurb sounded cool and this book has had CRAZY buzz and everyone I knew who'd read it had LOVED it and I had no doubt of Beth's talent, there was a teeny, tiny part of me that thought: OMG what if I hate it--what will I say?????????? Especially because...*whispers*...I don't usually like Sci-Fi.

    *pauses while fans of Star Wars and Star Trek and anything else with "star" in the title gasp and race away*

    I know. I'm weird. It's just not my thing--usually. But I'm telling you guys right now--my worries were totally and completely unfounded.

    I LOVED this book. Me--the girl who usually loses interest the second anything is set in space--could not put this book down. Not sure if it's because it's SO well written, or because it's also a dystopian novel squeezed inside all the space stuff, or because Elder and Amy have this wicked chemistry between them, or because it has this great omg-what-is-going-on-I-need-to-know-NOW!!!! kind of mystery--but whatever it is, it's AMAZING. Dark and claustrophobic and tense and full of tons of twists and turns that keep you on your toes. And I love that Beth doesn't go easy on her characters or her readers. She's not afraid to push everyone as hard and as much as she can, so you never know who's safe and who you can trust.

    ACROSS THE UNIVERSE lives up to every bit of the hype it garnered, and I recommend it to anyone--whether you can recite every line from the one and only season of Firefly from memory or whether you're scratching your head right now wondering what the heck Firefly is. Put any preconceived notions you may have about Sci-Fi or Young Adult novels aside and read this book!!!! You will not be disappointed. In fact, I'm fairly certain you'll be blown away. I certainly was.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not What I Expected...

    Across the Universe is like nothing of ever read before, mixing three genres (dystopian, sci-fi and mystery) effortlessly together to create a deeply complex novel that is truly haunting.

    I love how the novel is told in alternating points of view since I think it adds great depth to the story and both main characters, Elder & Amy. Amy is someone I was in absolute awe of, she's just such a strong and brave young woman. I'm not sure if I could have handled half the things that happen to Amy but somehow she never gives in. Elder, though harder to relate to, is perhaps one of the most interesting YA characters I've ever been introduced to. He's someone so desperate for love and the truth that he will tear down everything he believes in to get it.

    Godspeed definitely felt like its own character due to its immense size, structure and over all eeriness. Beth Revis easily made me feel as though I was aboard the ship with its recycled air, florescent lights and huge metal dome, but its not a place that ever feels comfortable.

    I have to be honest in saying that I felt the connection between Amy & Elder, though strong, is one more out of need, then romance. Though their is definitely an attraction between them, its a bit one side and feels more like a growing friendship then anything else. I mean both of them are looking for someone to fill a hole in their lives left empty be the circumstance they find themselves in. I would definitely never say this novel is romantic, so if that's what your looking for this may not be the book for you.

    I also wish the murder-mystery plot had been much more complex and featured more suspects. I felt that it was very easy to figure out who was behind everything and could often see the set up for a reveal very early on, which was both annoying and disappointing

    Though I greatly enjoyed the uniqueness and complexity of the world Beth Revis created, as well as the character of Amy, I found the mystery aspect to be very lacking. I really wished it had been executed better or done differently since the plot realize so heavily on this part of the story. Though not for everyone, I definitely think its worth reading especially if your a fan of Sci-Fi or Dystopian novels.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    needs a sequel story line felt unfinished

    There was almost two main plots, you have the plot of the overall space mission and then you have the subplot of the murders. While one reached a conclusion the other did not. I definitely felt like the ending was abrupt and when i got to the last page I couldn't believe that was it. It was very original and hit on some lessons about racism and individual thought. Although there were some sex scenes that seemed odd and forced. Overall I don't think it would make it to my reread list.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2011

    horrible

    What a waste. The plot jumps around, no good resolutions, and no good dystopian society. save your money and time. also the girl saying daddy all the time was extremely annoying and the authors three new curse words were silly. they come up with new profanity but no new other words? ugh.....refund please?!

    4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2012

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    Return Worthy

    You know that gamefly commercial where everyone is upset about buying a bad game? That's how I feel about this book. I wish I could take it back. I just might try. If it were anything else I wouldn't hesitate to return something I was so incredibly dissatisfied with. This book shouldn't be any different. The story jumps around a LOT. "Amy" sounds like a young child other than the teenager she is. The "romance" between Amy and Elder seems like a melodrama written by some high school-er based on what they THINK romance is and how they should act. The fake swearing that is useless and does not further the story nor add to the characters personality. It is just completely unnecessary. Then there are the geographical slang words that are used in different contexts only adding to the confusion of their meaning. I shouldn't have to check the urban dictionary because an author doesn't know how to be consistent with their slang. If I could I would give it no stars but I have to give it something to give a review. I am honestly surprised anyone published this piece of mediocre writing.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Simon k

    Bxhzujhc

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2011

    Magnificent!

    Buying this book was a spur of the moment thing. It was the night it came out and there were no reviews or ratings, but I loved the colors on the cover. I fell in love with this book as soon as I opened it. The engraved symbol, the ship blueprints, everything. I stayed up until 2 in the morning reading it and I just keep reading it and reading it. Even before finishing the whole story it became my favorite. I highly reccomend this book! Some people might not like it, but hey. You can't please everyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    EPIC

    "I want to take her into my arms and hold her tight. But at the same time, I know that is the exact opposite of what she wants. She wants to be free, and all I want is to hold her tight against me."
    ~ Elder

    Across the Universe by Beth Revis suprised me, I normally try to steer clear of Sci-fi or Dystopia books (nothing personal there just usually not my favorite) but this book...was EPIC. Amy is a normal 17 year old girl she has (had) a boyfriend who she loves, and goes (went) to school and all that...but Amy..is going to be frozen for the next 300 years with her parents. She is suppose to awake with her parents, on a new planet, what she's not suppose to do is be woken up 50 years earlier and almost die because someone broke open her case...she is scared, and well freaking out. she cant be re frozen, its too risky, now she must find out who is murdering people on the ship..before time runs out. Across the Universe was much better then i thought it was going to be, the chapters flip back and forth between being in Amy's head and being in Elder's head. I found myself not being able to put this amazing read down, threw out the whole book you cant help but feel like your part of the story, most books that have a mystery in them, are always obivis who did it..but in this book i was kinda stummped. (kinda i knew half of what was gonna happen ahead of time but there was still a HUGE twist) I couldnt help but hate that there wasnt more romance though, it was mainly alot of suspense, mystery, and well just weirdness too. Amy and Elder are both great characters, Amy is strong willed and knows what she wants and isnt afraid to speak her mind, even if it means what she is saying could risk her life...and Elder, he is mesmerized by how different Amy is from everyone and cant keep her off his mind...no matter how much Eldest tells him to stay clear from the "freak" Elder knows she isnt one..in his mind she is nothing but perfect.

    -I was very surprised that this book is going to be a series, when i finished the book i thought it was going to be a stand alone, but YAY for it going to be a trilogy (:!!
    --A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) By Beth Revis is expected to come out in 2012.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2011

    meh

    Nothing really new here. Others have done it better both with dystopia and sci fi. Characters were a bit flat. The story could've been great....

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

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    Review from Blkosiner's Book Blog

    I usually stay away from anything that is too science fictiony, but I heard so many good things about this book and managed to snag a copy from Librarything Early Reviewers program. And let me tell you, about 50 pages in, I completely forgot about genres and devoured Across the Universe.
    The world that Revis has built as well as the rich characters is simply amazing. Well, actually nothing but simple, I was on edge, eager to turn the page to find out why people are acting the way they do, what secrets are being kept and why. I was able to empathize with even the bad guy, because it showed how it could come to those choices and decisions, but I am glad that I was able to cheer when secrets were exposed and things were starting to be set right.
    I like reading from Amy's point of view better than Elder but maybe that is because I am a girl, I am from the same world as Amy or because it started with her POV. I totally understand the why and the necessity of the dual POV, but just thought that I would throw that out there.
    The love story in AtU was well written, and understandable. It did not take the spotlight in the story and on one hand I am very glad for that, but on the other, I wanted MORE.
    AtU is very plot driven, rather than character. I still connected with Amy, and cheered for Elder to rise up. The plot is well paced, creating just enough questions and mystery to keep me constantly turning the page, needing to know more. It is not confusing except in a few places, but that was all for a reason which are revealed in due time.
    I would recommend to give this a try

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2012

    First before I began I just want to say: THIS WAS FREXING BRI


    First before I began I just want to say:

    THIS WAS FREXING BRILLY. THIS BOOK I LOVED IT SO MUCH! HANDS DOWN To this epic well written sci-fi thriller book.

    Imagine being unable to see the sun? Would you forget how the stars looked like? What if you woke up on a cargo within and a spaceship, would you remember how grass felt like? Imagine a life without natural air, or the feel of the wind blowing. Would you remember the color of the leaves during fall?
    The book is about the Amy waking up on a spaceship, Godspeed, she is left to undercover a mystery murder and Godspeed has changed since it launched from Earth. And although the Book Cover seems to shout ROMANCE, well let me point this out it's not the main focus.
    The beginning had so much suspense. I was honestly scared, confused and worried what will happen. I couldn't put the book down. I couldn't imagine how it would be if I were in Amy's position. My god and Elder is one of a kind, stand out guy book character. He isn't your typical macho snarky character. He was his own person. The book is dual-pov of Elder and Amy, and each chapter kept switching between both of them. I would finish one chapter wanting to continue reading what will happen to Amy, but I was so enthralled and eager to continue into the world of Elder's and understand him better. I became so attached to them both, that at times I ached for Amy when she would remember her old life on Earth. I wish I was there to give Amy a hug and tell her Ill help her with this mystery and give her a piece of the life on Earth.

    Congratulations to Beth Revis for making me feel as lost as Amy did. What I loved so much was the fact I felt like I was a foreigner just like Amy. I was so sucked into this world on Godspeed; their lifestyle was so intriguing. They aren't aliens, who are flying in space, but humans just like you, and me but they have been living within a spaceship, and I'll tell you this there world is no way possible compared to ours. My emotions were all over the place, and not the emotions that pour a waterfall of tears, but more like when you are on a roller coaster. The roller coaster momentum is slow and as it rises and comes closer to drop the anticipation, fear, thrill, suspense, builds as you are waiting for that drop. But the fact is through out reading the book I kept feeling I was on a roller coaster that would continue to rise then BAM instead of dropping takes a sharp turn twist rise then drops on full speed.

    As I mentioned before this book isn't mainly focused on a whole love romance plot, although there is an attraction between both characters, but what I enjoyed about this book it was Elder who was more attracted to Amy. She was more reserved but her feels were starting to bloom.

    The dual-povs was written very well and made the story flow smoothly. It was exhilarating to continue on the journey with Amy and adapt to this new environment. Half the time I was wondering would I be as brave as Amy? Would I go complete crazy for the fact I can't see the sun? Or stars? When was the last time I looked at the stars and took in the moment to see how beautiful the art of this world that surrounds us? When was the last time you saw the Sunrise? This book made me realize how much I take the beauty of this world's for granted.

    If you want to read a book that has a dual-pov, and has plenty of originality, a murder mystery then I recommend this book for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    My Favorite Novel!

    This book is unimaginably out of this world, literally. I'm a very picky reader, but when I got my hands on this novel, I read it in just a few hours. The concept is beautiful and you won't regret buying this book. It's got a little bit of everything in it. Emotions, fantasy, greif, anything you can think of. I just LOVE this book and can't wait for the next one, A Million Suns.
    The author herself is so nice and she always keeps up with her fans on facebook. I've talked to her myself once and I also did a project for my college english class based on this novel.
    I'm just totally in love with this series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2013

    very cool book!!!

    very cool book!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2013

    What a beautiful story! This series is great for sci-fi fans and

    What a beautiful story! This series is great for sci-fi fans and romance. Must read, it breaks your heart then the next chapter mends it and makes you crave more!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2013

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    I have seen this book around the blogosphere but I never really

    I have seen this book around the blogosphere but I never really knew what it was about. I was in my Borders one day and I saw it there. So I decided to read the synopsis. It sounded really good so I bought it. I discovered that the back of the book jacket had a blue print of the ship on it and it made me want it even more. I wasn't going to read it right away but it looked really good so I decided to read the first chapter to see if I wanted to read more of it. The first chapter hooked me into this awesome book so much. Beth Revis is such an awesome writer. If this book looks interesting to you then I suggest reading the first chapter and I guarantee you will most likely want to read more. I can't express how much I loved this book. It is one of the best books I have ever read. It intrigued me so much. I didn't know that I would really like a book that takes place in space aboard a spaceship but I guess I really like that genre. This book has so much in it that I just loved. It has lies, murder, inventions, space and a love story. It even has some twists and turns and shocking moments in it that I wasn't expecting at all. This book, even though it takes place in the future, reflects how humans can act and how the passage of time doesn't really make a difference. I loved Amy and Elder as characters. They both had there own personalities that made the book even better. You really got to know them as they tried to figure out what was happening on the ship. I even loved the background characters. They really stuck out to me as great characters even though they were in the background. I am so glad that I read this book right away after I bought it. Overall I give this book a 5 out of 5. It was so fantastic. It is definitly one of my favorite books of 2011 so far. I think everyone should read it and just about everyone will like it. I just loved this book so much, I can not wait for the sequel A Million Suns to come out in January 2012. I can't say anything more positive about this book. I really hope you all go check it out because I loved it so much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Amazing

    This entire trilogy was fantastic! Twists and turns you never expect, a whole lot of mystery, and just a hint of romance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Reader101

    This book is amezing the charets are well set and the setting is amazing. I give the author NO fault on this

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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