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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Audiobook Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

TITLE: Across the Universe 

SERIES: Across the Universe, Book 1
AUTHOR: Beth Revis
NARRATORS: Lauren Ambrose and Carlos Santos
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
DATE OF PUBLICATION: January 11, 2011
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 10 hours and 11 minutes
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction


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, 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.


Amy is a 17 year-old teenager, whose parents are going to be cryogenically frozen so that they can travel in space for 300 years to land on Centauri Earth. Her mother is a geneticist, and her father has a military background, and the government has hand-picked them as well as other essential people who will help colonize and conquer Centauri Earth. Amy and her father watch as her mother undergoes the cryogenic procedure. Her father gives her the chance to back out by going next, telling her that he wants her to be free to make her own choice without their influence: Whether to go with them on their journey through space to be reunited in 300 years, or to remain on Earth with her aunt and uncle. Unbelievably, even after watching her parents drown in cryogenic goo, she still opts to go through with it!

Amy is jolted back to reality when someone turns off her cryogenic chamber and she begins to thaw. Rather than awakening on Centauri Earth, she finds that she is still on the spaceship, Godspeed, and that it is still approximately 49 years before it will land. With her parents still cryogenically frozen, Amy realizes that her parents will outlive her since she will be in her late 60s or possibly even dead before her parents return to the land of the living. As Amy looks for answers as to why someone would want to kill her, she uncovers a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal.

The story is told from alternating points-of-view between Amy and Elder, and I do tend to like these types of books. I feel like it gives the reader an opportunity to get to know the characters on a deeper level.

I really liked the character of Elder, who is Eldest’s successor in governing the people on the ship. He is only 16 years old but was born and trained to fulfill this position of leadership. At the end of the book, I thought he faced his responsibility with maturity and a clear vision of what it means – to him – to be a leader. I found this quote to be particularly poignant:

Elder's thoughts: “Eldest thinks power is control, that the best way to be a leader is to force everyone into obedience. Holding Amy against me, I realize the simple truth is that power isn't control at all-power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn't someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others so that they may have the strength to stand on their own.

This is what I've been looking for since the first day I was told that I was born to lead this ship. Leading Godspeed has nothing to do with being better than everyone else, with commanding and forcing and manipulating. Eldest isn't a leader. He's a tyrant.
A leader doesn't make pawns-he makes people.”

It didn’t knock my socks off, but I still really enjoyed Across the Universe. I thought that it was a solid series opener. The pace of the book was good, and Revis hooked me right at the beginning with her graphic description of the cryogenic procedure which left me squirming! I thought that the antagonists were quite vile, and they became more and more repugnant as Amy uncovered the extent of their deceit. It will be interesting to see where Revis takes us with the next in the series, A Million Suns. I have a feeling that the series is only going to get better!

This is my first narration by Lauren Ambrose and Carlos Santos. I thought that both portrayed the teenage roles convincingly.


4 stars!! It was really good, and I would recommend it!

This book qualifies as:


  1. I've heard lots of good things about this one but I still can't bring myself to pick it up. Don't know why.

    1. @Dana: I don't know about you, but I tend to shy away from books labelled "Science Fiction." I haven't really ever been a fan of book set in space, but I have read a few now since I started blogging that have changed my mind! I just finished A Million Suns (review coming up), and it is FANTASTIC! This book is less sci-fi to me, and more like one big sociology experiment!

  2. I have an autographed copy of this on my shelf. I hope to get to it soon.

  3. I have this one and its sequel on my wish list and I keep seeing them get good reviews. I must get busy and read them. I have only recently brought myself to pick up a Sci-Fi or Fantasy, but these also have mystery and romance too.

    Thanks for sharing your review!

  4. I read the first chapter of Across the Universe and can't wait to read the book!

    Marlene Detierro (Search Engine Optimization Indianapolis)


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