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, 300 years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end 50 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.
©2011 Beth Revis (P)2011 Penguin Audio
This book is written from the perspectives of two characters in alternating chapters with two different narrators. Both narrators do a very good job portraying the emotions of the young characters, and the story is easy to follow as an audio book. It combines elements of mystery, sci-fi, utopian paranoia, and a bit of romance. Although I thought I had it figured out, and sometimes was on the mark, it still held some surprises. Having just finished the Hunger Games trilogy, it's hard not to make a comparison. This book was less action packed, and less violent, and I thought that although most of the characters of both books could have been a little better developed, those in Across the Universe were a little more realistic. The descriptions of the ship and new inventions were detailed enough, but not so lengthy and full of description or space jargon that I got bored (The book's web site has a diagram of the ship). This was a work more about human society than space travel. It made an excellent audiobook, and I look forward to the next.
I love to read books; and now just recently I've discovered that audio books are very cool!! I'm also an author. You can find the SciFi book "The Curse of Europa" here on Audible or on Amazon.
So, yes, I knew this was teen / young adult going in. I had read the first chapter in the book store when the book first came out and really like it; but I hesitated purchasing it as it wasn't really geared towards middle aged men. But I have to say, I really liked it and it wasn't too bogged down in teen/YA issues. But yes, there were some of those moments, but it was bearable.
The base premise wasn't new but it had a twist that was new (to me anyhow.) I ended up really liking the book and I think it was well done; done good enough to cross beyond the Teen/YA boundary and hold it's own in the more mature market as well.
It's not hard core sci-fi but it was well done. The narration was very well done also.
I have since read the other two books and I was not as impressed. I think the story was ultimately good, but books 2 and 3 became a lot more teen/YA based. Granted, that is what the books are, but for me I had to roll my eyes at some of the dialog and scenarios in those books. But I understood that it wasn't written for middle aged men so I just suffered through those parts and enjoyed the rest of the story. I have recommended to my 16yo daughter that she may like the series.
This book (and series) has received a lot of very good reviews, so I thought I would give it a chance. I was pleasantly surprised by the story. It was easy to follow, cleanly written, and had an interesting story.
This is very YA dystopian, just within the confines of a ship. What I thought would be more of a 'solve the murder mystery with a romance slapped on' ended up being more of a muse on society. There were several scenes/moments where I did have to suspend disbelief; but they didn't end up being too annoying.
The book got better as it went along. Some plot elements could be seen far in advance but there were several surprises as well in the last few places. The romance was believable, not overblown, and appopriate for the gravitas of the story.
The audible readers did a decent job. I felt the female narrator did a better job here, though, since she really brought the emotion to the surface.
The Dragon Mother
We listened to this as an audiobook, narrated by Lauren Ambrose and Carlos Santos, so our reviews are based on that version.
I really enjoyed this story of this ship hurtling toward a planet they hope habitable. They carry the future with them. This story is about what happens when someone starts unfreezing the cryogenically frozen people … before they arrive at their destination. Not only do people start getting unfrozen, but whoever is doing it is just shutting off the mechanism that keeps them frozen and not taking them out of the frozen liquid so they don’t drown.
Besides the threat to the frozen people, there is something else very strange about the people on this ship. If you were in a closed environment, how would you know that something was not as it should be? As the story unfolds, you get little hints here and there but it really takes the unfreezing of Amy to really see the difference. She is not like the others on the ship and she knows things are not right. She can’t fix what is wrong on this ship and the leader of the ship has made it very clear that if she makes any waves on his ship that she will be dropped off amongst the stars.
Although this book is part of a series, the author brought this story to a satisfying conclusion so we weren’t left hanging. The story can be read as a stand-alone, but there is enough left unsaid and I am enjoying the story so much that I want to continue onto the next in the series. I have to know what happens! My rating: 4 of 5 Stars.
This was a very interesting book. This book had a plot that for once, I never heard before! (((OMG))) The book had the right amount of violence, action, and drama. I also love one of the charters, Harley!!!! He’s amazing, if only that didn’t happen in the end…. Anyway I liked this book a lot and I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars, mostly because of the whininess of the main character.
The Narration Review
This audiobook was narrated by Lauren Ambrose and Carlos Santos. I enjoyed the two different voices as they switched between the perspectives for the two main characters. Both voices sounded age appropriate and both seemed to carry the different attitudes and personalities of the characters they were portraying. It is great to have that contrast when listening, especially when you are shifting between perspectives.
The best word to describe this book is beautiful. The book cover is beautiful, the writing is beautiful, and even the narration is beautiful. Upon listening to the first two chapters, I was pulled into the story with genuine interest. However, as beautiful as the writing is, I cannot recommend the audiobook and even if I had read the book I’m not sure if my opinions would be any different.
Amy and her parents are cryogenically frozen on a spaceship called Godspeed heading towards a new planet. Or at least Amy was frozen. Her cryo chamber is mysteriously opened 50 years earlier than planned and the ship is no where near there destination. Once woken her long freeze, Amy discovers that she is the only person on the ship from Earth and life is very different from what she’s used to.
On Godspeed, everyone is similar in appearance, brown hair and medium colored skin. There are no cultures, ethnicities or religions. This is all to prevent disputes and keep peace on the ship that is traveling millions of miles across space. That said, I found it very strange that the narrator for Elder, long time ship resident and the ships future leader, had a distinct accent. This is horrible but a little distracting when trying to picture his character without a culture. In addition, I found his narration very grating and I really disliked listening his parts. I did enjoy the narrator for Amy and her parts kept me interested.
As stunning as the writing is, and it really is gorgeous, the story was consistently depressing. The genre is dystopian so things are expected to in a state of disarray. However, as a reader I need a little bit of joy in a story to stay inspired and to keep a sense of hope for the characters. The characters and their situation began to wear on me. I was annoyed by their actions and I can’t say that I liked or related to any of them.
I hate to give Across the Universe a bad review as Revis truly did a good a job but this book was just not for me. I need a story where I can rally behind the characters and root for them and in the end I couldn't care less about Amy and Elder’s fate. Fans of dystopian novels might really like Across the Universe and I encourage everyone to try it as many readers did thoroughly enjoy the book.
A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) releases in February 2012 and once again the cover is absolutely beautiful.
I judged this book by its cover, so even though the summary sounded interesting, I saw two people on the cover who looked like they were about to kiss and I blanched. Nope. Not interested in a love story right now. Pass. Eventually, I needed to use up some Audible credits and finally decided to download Across the Universe.
First, let me clear up the misconception. This is not a love story. The picture on the cover has no relevance to the story, and I have no idea why the cover artist designed it like that. The closest scene to the cover image is when Elder first notices Amy in cryogenic sleep. He gets very close to her face to observer her. It wasn't much more to it. He was just looking at her, not kissing her. I must not be the first person to be turned off by the cover, because I noticed that Beth Revis has since changed the cover image.
The book was great. Beth and her parents are put in a cryogenic sleep so they can be the first colonists on a new planet that will take 300 years to travel to. Here's something freaky: She thinks she's going to go into an immediate sleep, but it turns out, she's awake during the whole ordeal. What a nightmare!
Meanwhile, there are people living on the ship. Their jobs are to keep life on the ship going and to maintain the ship so it arrives on the planet safely. The workers on the ship will never make it to the planet. Their lives are purely on the ship. Elder is a kid who is training to be the ship's ruler (called the Eldest). He discovers the room with the cryogenic scientists and notices a young girl his age. Soon after, someone opens Amy's compartment, and she's awaken too early. There is no way to put her back in a frozen state so she thinks she'll never make it to the planet and never see her parents again. She's pretty mad about it. Being from Earth, she also notices that the ship's government system is a little strange and somewhat suspicious. She encourages Elder to snoop around an ask more questions. What they uncover is pretty exciting and the conflicts that ensue were great.
I would have given the book five stars, and here is why I didn't. There were too many scenes where a character started to do something and then stopped for no reason. It was kind of like, "Oh, I'm going to open this box now" and just when he reaches for the box, he thinks, "Well, maybe I shouldn't open the box. No, I'm not going to open the box." Those scenes were incredibly annoying and frustrating. In the real world, when you are faced with a conflict full of mysteries, and the answers are all right in front of you, you're going to check it out. You're not going to wait until later, forget about it, decide not to, or remember that someone didn't want you to. Most of the book went smoothly, though, and most was thoroughly enjoyable.
I don't like science fiction but love teen books. It was wonderful. Captures you from the minute you start it. The charaters, the story it is all wonderfully woven to bring her into Elder's world!
I'm 52 and enjoy sifi, history, funny romance, fantasy type books. I give my views as to how a book is based on my emotions.
Be nice to have both readers reading back and forth instead of changing chapters. Like if Elder asks Amy a question, Amy's reader should answer, not Elder's voice. Over all, I liked it.
Better dialogue, more interesting characters, a greater emphasis on the wonder of it all. The reader needs an ally in the book and one never emerges. Maybe one important character who is fascinated by this adventure, as the reader is supposed to be.
The premise is great. Colonizing another planet with thousands on a self contained ship traveling for 300 years from Earth.
Better material to work with. A little less snarling by our lead characters. I know "they're teenagers." Make them more interesting teenagers. It might not reflect the real world but it makes for better reading.
I would have eliminated most of the human mating scenes. They were boring, unbelievable, and did not advance the story. They were much too graphic for a book that appeared to be directed to YA audience. The public mating would be more shocking to our 16 yo heroine from the early 21st century than is depicted.
It's one of those books where the characters seems never to see the obvious. Also, the author did little to offer answers to the hard questions about multi-century travel. How and why did the travelers lose (or never acquire) a sense of adventure. How do they keep peace on the ship. There is respect for the leader but we know he's a tyrant. How does that work? Why can't they lock the darn cryo chamber. The listener may drift off thinking of the story that could have been.
I think I probably would. The narrators have pleasant voices and speak clearly when sped up. I listened to this audio book at 1.5x speed. I enjoyed how the chapters were set up switching between the two characters. Although I did find the male rendition of the female character a bit funny. Overall it was quite funny.
Harley was my favorite! He quoted Alice in Wonderland and was just magnificent! :D
I was a bit shocked by one particular moment. I knew it was coming, but I was still somehow taken off gaurd.
Overall, the book was fairly predictable in plot, but the writing and the narration made it fun to listen to while I was working on my art. The world building was in depth enough to keep the story moving, and the references to Sol Earth made me giggle at times. It was a wonderful experience. I tried reading this book a year ago, and I flew through the pages. I had to move so I didn't get a chance to finish it, but this version was fantastic to finish off this book. Can't wait to check out the next.
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