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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review: Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1) by Beth Revis

Publisher: Penguin
Published: January 11, 2011
Pages: 398
Source: Won from Looksie Lovitz (Thanks!)
Rating: 5 STARS

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.

In short: Across the Universe by Beth Revis was a completely enthralling novel, with stellar world building and a fascinating story.
This is going to be an odd review because though I did in fact find a few faults with Across the Universe, the positives managed to outweigh the negatives resulting in a five star rating, surprisingly. Ultimately, I was just so enraptured by the world building, the dual narrative, and the story written so wonderfully by Beth Revis that despite some problems, Across the Universe still managed to rank as one of my favourite reads this year.

My main fault with Across the Universe was the mystery surrounding the identity of the murderer on the ship: it was so incredibly obvious, which is so incredibly unfortunate. However, I was happy at least that the motivations of the murderer were a mystery to me right up until the end. Furthermore, even with the main mystery being spoiled, there were plenty of surprise reveals and plot twists that made Across the Universe a very fun and exciting read.

My other problem with Across the Universe was that there were a few plot points that weren't entirely scientifically believable... I won't go into them here though. People who know me know that when aspects of the plot are not scientifically accurate, it can severely affect my enjoyment of a book or movie. Surprisingly however, this was not the case with Across the Universe. I was so caught up in the story and stellar world building that I found I didn't even care if there were some inaccuracies, which is quite impressive indeed.

Overall, despite finding fault with the obvious mystery and scientific inaccuracies, the captivating world building and intriguing story in Across the Universe won me over. I can't wait for A Million Suns, coming out January 10, 2012.

Other Reviews:
The Bookworm is Here!
Unputdownable Books

Author Links:

*Read as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge


  1. I'm with you on this book. There were a few things that totally didn't make sense to me but overall I really enjoyed reading the book and can't wait for the rest of the series!

  2. Glad you liked it more than it's drawbacks! I love when I love a story enough to forgive it a little of the things I didn't like.

    I think I need to check out this series but I might way until it's all over, that way I can read all the books in a row.

  3. I loved this book, there were a few things that didn't make too much sense, but overall it was awesome!

    The Bursting Bookshelf

  4. Yay, I'm so glad you liked this one, Aylee! Across the Universe was definitely one of my favorites this year. I was able to overlook the few faults, too, because otherwise the book was fantastic. Great review! :)

  5. I'm so glad you loved it, this is one of my favorite books!! I loved the world building in this one. I can't wait for A Million Suns.

  6. I love books that are just so enjoyable to read that you can forgive little things. That's the sign of a great storyteller! I didn't realize A Million Suns was coming out so soon. AAAAAHH! I have to start reading this asap. :)

  7. I'm probably not smart enough to catch the scientifically unbelievable stuff or the obvious murderer, so no worries here. LOL

    I did try this one earlier this year but totally gave up on it just a couple of chapters in. I can't remember exactly why though. I might have to see if my library has a copy to give it another go.

  8. I still haven't read this one - despite the pretty cover - because I've seen a bunch of mixed reviews for it and because I'm not a sci-fi fan. I'll probably give it a try though since you rated it so highly. Hopefully, I'll get sucked into the story so that I can ignore the scientific inaccuracies as well. Great review, Aylee.

  9. Haha murder mysteries often surprise me I've read so many I always end up guessing them so now I don't expect them to actually be shocking so I think I'd be ok with that part. I have to get to this one soon it seems everyone is really loving it!

    Xpresso Reads

  10. I found parts predictable, too, but Beth Revis did an amazing job with the world she created. I can't believe A Million Suns is coming up so soon -- can't wait! :D

  11. Dude, I know what you mean. I think this book had too many flaws too. But I couldn't stop reading it. I ended up liking it way too much as I thought I should.

  12. Awesome review! Thanks for the reminder that the sequel is releasing next month - yay!

    This was definitely one of those books that was an addictive read for me. Despite its flaws I couldn't set it down for too long and I can't wait to see what the author does next with this series.

  13. I agree. The murder mystery was rather obvious and I was not surprised. But yes...the world-building! Every aspiring author should take cues from Ms. Revis. Fabulous! Great review :)

  14. I'm still on the fence about this one for exactly the reasons you highlighted. Nine times out of Ten, I can usually figure out who the murderer is, and that drastically reduces enjoyment of the book for me. But the world building and plotline do sound interesting, so I'll probably still read this one, but I've got a few in line before I pick this one up.


  15. I'm glad you loved this one ! I actually wasn't planning on reading it but I have to admit that I'm reconsidering it now .. Thanks for the great review and for stopping b my blog :) !!

  16. Christa: It's funny how that is. How some things kind of bothered me, but I was enjoying myself too much to truly care about them.

    Alex: I love it too. It's a sign that it truly is a great story, I think. Good idea on waiting; I often feel that's best. If only I could bring myself to hold out that long after hearing so much hype!

    Anna: Glad we're in agreement then! :)

    Lauren: Yup, it made its way into my top favourites of 2011 too. It was easy to overlook its faults when I was enjoying myself so much!

    Cynthia: The world building was amazing. I'm just so stoked to find out where the story is going to go for A Million Suns! I have no clue, honestly.

    Logan: It really is the sign of a great storyteller! Those problems really didn't seem bad at all in the face of the pure awesomeness that was everything else.I'm excited to hear what you think of it!

    Missie: Hmm, I would be interesting in knowing why you gave up on it as well. I found the first few chapters to be riveting, but perhaps you weren't in the right mood, which is key. I'm sure you could figure out who the murderer is - there weren't too many options!

    Zahida: I've never seen myself as a sci fi fan either, really, but this one is sci fi dystopian, which is awesome. I know you aren't too into dystopians either, but I would recommend you give it a go. I know you dislike scientific inaccuracies as well, so hopefully that won't be a problem for you either.

    Giselle: I'm usually pretty bad about guessing who the murderer is so you know this one has got to be pretty obvious, heh. I hope you love it!

    Stephanie: A Million Suns is coming so very soon! Wee! It's a shame it was a bit too predictable because the mystery really could've been great but I loved the claustrophobic world she created. So well done.

    Chel: Heh, I don't think that's a bad thing though. Sure, it could have been the most incredible read if it hadn't had so many little problems, but the important thing is that it was completely unputdownable!

    Jessica: So excited! It was so addictive. It was hard to find a moment when I didn't want to be reading it! I'm trying to picture where Beth will go with this series next... I'm not sure!

    Julie: Yeah, very impressive job for a debut author on her part. For me, the most important part of any dystopian is that they get the world building right - and Beth sure did for this one!

    Lori: It did reduce the enjoyment of the book for me too, knowing who the murderer was... but in its defense, the motivations of the murderer kept me guessing right till the end, which is something at least. I do hope you give it a try, at least for the stellar world building!

    Elodie: Ooh, you should read it! I highly recommend it!

  17. I loved this book, I don't really like sci fi but I really enjoyed this book. But I'm with you cause the whole "who is killing everyone" was annoying. It was fairly obvious! I have so many theories about what's actually happenening on the space ship and I am eager to read A Million Suns.

  18. Sara: I know, I've never really seen myself as a huge fan of sci fi either, but I was totally into this book! Maybe because it felt more like a dystopian. Hopefully A Million Suns won't have another obvious mystery. But still have a few surprises here and there because that's always fun!

  19. Nice! I'm so glad you liked this one. I thought it was a great take on the scifi YA sub-genre!

    1. I know, I don't usually describe myself as a sci fi fan, but I think I might be now!

  20. I popped over hear off of a link on your book #2 review (I've not read book one yet, so I didn't want to spoil book #2). Anyways, sounds like you had mixed feelings on this one, but its strange how the positives outweighed the negative. I find it amazing you still enjoyed the book so much, especially if the murderer was that obvious. I'm currently listening to Glow on audio. I wonder if these books have more similarites than just the setting? Have you read Glow?

    1. It was strange and surprising. That just goes to show how much I enjoyed this book, really! I have heard that AtU and Glow have similar stories, though I haven't read it yet myself.