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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.
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 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An unforgettable opening scene * Kirkus Book Reviews *