May Contain SPOILERS
Characters: the story is told using alternating point-of-views between Amy and Elder. I like the interaction between Amy and Elder. There’s a bit of romance but at this point it seems to be one-sided. Amy seems to make Elder a better person and kind of inspires him to want to be a better leader of Godspeed (read setting for more information). There are other characters but most of them are a bit creepy in my opinion (i.e, Eldest, Orion and Doc) at first I was a bit skeptical of Harley but that sort of went away. (I like the fact that Amy is a free thinker and a runner- I think this helped the story move along).
Plot: Well the beginning was a bit slow for me because I didn’t know much about the story before reading it. There was dialogue and action in the beginning and it was an introduction to Amy and her parents prior to being cryogenically preserved. The whole process was hard to grasp simply because it was described in such a way you can imagine the pain Amy and her parents went through. After that, Amy’s perspective was told from her subconscious (it was as if the reader got a peak into Amy’s thoughts while she was frozen). Amy’s point of view wasn’t pleasant to read (in my opinion) probably because there wasn’t much action and it was a bit creepy being inside someone’s head. Every thing aboard Godspeed seems to be going well until Elder discovers a secret level of the ship and decides to explore it.The action begins once Amy is accidentally unfrozen and when others like her begin to be discovered unintentionally unfrozen it becomes clear that someone is actually trying to kill them (the Frozens). Amy, with the help of Elder and his friend Harley search for the truth and what they find is more than what they’d thought.
The events featured in Across the Universe made it an interesting story. The secrets revealed led to questions and in the end left a few unanswered but I suppose that is to lead into A Million Suns (sequel to Across the Universe). Oh and in the process of trying to solve a mystery (who is improperly unfreezing/ trying to kill the Frozens?) Elder and Amy find out that Godspeed is deteriorating and must be fixed or the ship will float aimlessly and lost in space.
Setting: Well the first part of the book took place in cryogenics lab in Colorado (I think but I could be wrong because Florida was mentioned as well). Godspeed is the setting for the greater portion of the story. Godspeed is the name of the ship headed to a new Earth–it’s the size of a small country. The story takes place 250 years into the future. (The fact that a person could be frozen that long and survive is hard to fathom- I know it’s a science fiction story but still hard to fathom). Godspeed has three main levels:
- Keeper Level -Elder & Eldest live on this level in their separate chambers/rooms, the Learning Center is also on this level-this is where Eldest teaches/trains Elder to become a proper leader so that he may one day lead the people of Godspeed
- Feeder Level— the Hospital, city, greenhouses, farm, Recorder Hall (where records of Earth are stored), Solar lamp (the ships version of the Sun) and the entrance to the storage (where 100 Frozens are stored) are located on this level
- Shipper Level—the engine room, research labs and a bridge are located on this level. (I suppose the storage level could be a fourth level even though it was originally supposed to be a secret)
Centauri- Earth is the name of the place where Godspeed is headed and isn’t an actual setting in this book it is mentioned.
Theme: Across the Universe has a dystopian theme where there’s a world ruled in such a way that the residence aboard Godspeed are led under Eldest and whatever Eldest says is correct–no questions asked. Romance is present but not so much to the point it is overdone. Mystery is present as well. The combination of science fiction, romance and mystery make this book very interesting.
Style: the way the story is told is interesting and helps along the lines of suspense. As mentioned earlier, this book is told from the alternating point of views of Amy and Elder.
This story may start off a bit slow but it definitely picks up the pace and keeps you turning the page until you can’t help but to pick up the sequel as soon as you’re finished. I understand that this type of book may not be everyone’s cup of tea but even if you’re not a fan of dystopian/science fiction I recommend it. There’s the absence of a love triangle, insta-love between both parties, werewolves, vampires, fairies, etc and included is mystery, some romance, a twist and the brave-independent-rebellious female character. Whatever you read Across the Universe for, whatever you’re reasons for reading I’m sure it won’t disappoint–or at least in my opinion.
Check it out at your local library or bookseller below b(links are non-affiliate)