Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Review: Across The Universe by Beth Revis

When I first heard the concept for this book, I got excited: A cryogenically frozen girl on board a spaceship wakes up fifty years too soon when her cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed. Sounds cool, right? But how could the author sustain this concept over an entire novel, let alone a trilogy?

She does it. And she does it brilliantly.

This book succeeds on so many levels because there are so many layers to this story. (Just like a croissant!) We get a murder mystery, a political thriller, a space fantasy, a medical intrigue, a love story (could you guess from the cover?).  But we also have the story of a teenage girl who wakes up fifty years before her parents in a foreign world where she is a minority of one. And that's a powerful story.

There is so much to love about this book. It's beautifully written, full of action and the futuristic gadgets are way cool. I was blown away by the thought and detail she put into creating the amazing society that has survived for generations onboard this spaceship. The main characters pull you into their stories with their distinct voices. The questions she raised and the themes she explored left me thinking about it for days on end.

A few things bugged me in the beginning, but by the end of the story, they totally made sense. And while there are some loose threads dangling for the next book, there was enough of a conclusion to the story to leave me more than satisfied. That's huge for me. I don't like reading a series only to be left dangling on the edge of a precipice because, you know, there's another book coming out in fourteen months. That makes me hate the book and the author. I'm glad that didn't happen since Beth is a bloggy friend of mine.

Now before you start thinking that my review is colored by friendship, let me just say that reading books by blogging buddies can be a double-edged sword. Because if you don't like it, then what are you supposed to say? So I was apprehensive going in. I wanted to like it but worried that I might not. I'm so glad that I didn't have to worry.

Across the Universe comes out January 11, 2011. I'm sure some of you are holding your breath, wondering if I'll be giving away the ARC (they are a sought-after commodity!). But I already have a lineup of people who want to read it here at home because I can't stop telling everybody how good this book is!

Even though I have the ARC, I'll be buying my own copy of the hardcover version. The story is THAT good. This is a book I will read over and over again. Plus there's a cool perk that comes with the hardcover version: a reversible cover.

 This map of the ship will actually be a reversible cover. How cool is that? You can't get the full impact with an ARC.

I was excited when Beth got her agent, amazed by how quickly her novel sold, even more surprised when I saw what a fast-track the book was on to publication. Because seriously people, last year this time Beth didn't have any of that. None.  (You can read the interview I did with her here to learn more about her road to publication.) Now that I've read the novel, I can see why.

Congratulations Beth on a stunning debut!!

17 comments:

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for the review.

I'm really happy for Beth. She wrote a series about her writing journey on her blog. Once she got a measure of success, the rest quickly followed. But it took her a long time to get there.

I loved the first chapter, so I can't wait to get ahold of the book. Too bad it has to make me look forward to winter.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Hooray for Beth! I'm really looking forward to this.

JEM said...

I too am amazed by the fast track to publication! Not because Beth isn't amazing, because she IS, but just because I didn't actually think this industry could move at that speed :). Thanks for the great review, I'm jealous of all these people who got ARCs!

Kristan said...

WOW, sounds amazing!! I'm hopping over to the interview now. :)

Anne R. Allen said...

Great review. Beth's success is so inspiring.

lotusgirl said...

I'm dying to read the rest of this book. Beth is such a sweetheart on top of being an awesome writer.

Tere Kirkland said...

Can't wait to read more than the first chapter of this. I may have to splurge on the hardcover instead of the e-book if the cover is going to be so awesome!

Thanks for the review, Sherrie!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I'm another lucky ARC winner, and I agree completely with you. I'm not giving mine up any time soon, either, since I've got a lineup waiting to read it.
I was breathless much of the time I was reading and was blown away by the layers of mystery.

Krispy said...

When I heard about this, the premise was intriguing, but I wasn't sure I'd dig the sci-fi that much. Then I read the first chapter, and now I desperately want to read this! Lucky, lucky you! Okay and also the cover is all kinds of GORGEOUS. (And Beth is cool!)

Tiana Smith said...

Sounds very interesting, and I'm like you, I hate it when books leave off and I'm not satisfied. Ugh. Don't they know that I'll lose interest in 14 months if they don't wrap things up for me? LOL. It'll be interesting to see what the map looks like, cuz I'm not sure I understand the concept ... I'm excited for the book to come out :)

T. Anne said...

Yes, congrats to Beth!!! I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lenny Lee! said...

wow this sounds like a really exciting and cool book. you did a really good review on it. is a little too old for me but im gonna tell my brothers and sister about it. thats what cool for me about reviews cause if its not for my age it could be for someone in my family and i always tell them.
...hugs from lenny

Marieke said...

I'm not at all jealous! :D This book sounds absolutely A-MA-ZING.

Cinette said...

I don't mind teen romances, but I'll usually pick up a paranormal, sci-fi or thriller YA first. Sounds like this one is a must, though. It's on my wishlist now!

beth said...

:::beams::: Thanks for the review Sherrie!!! :)

Jen said...

Agh. I was all about to jump on my library's website and reserve this. Sadly, I'll have to wait. :( In the meantime, I'll put it on my GoodReads to-read shelf. Sounds fantastic, thanks for the review!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

WOW! This is awesome! I'm so excited for this book! I've pre ordered my copy. Great review.

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