Across the Universe, unlike popular beliefs is not a song but a book written by Beth Revis. It was published in 2011 and it became the NY Times #1 best seller overnight. No doubt there, as this book features strong political themes to add to a solid plot driven story.
Across the Universe follows two teenagers (Elder and Amy) and their journey on board Godspeed. A ship designed to travel the galaxy, delivering humanity to its new home, Centauri-Earth.
To endure 300 years worth of space journey, earth-born Amy joins her parents in cryo-sleep. Expecting a new world when she wakes up, Amy opened her eyes to metal walls, dazed, confused, and cold. She woke up from her stasis prematurely, and soon learn that she will be older than her parents by the time the ship reaches its destination.
On the contrary, Elder the future leader of Godspeed, have lived inside the ship his whole life. And will live and die to maintain the ship.
Elder met Amy, and he fell head over heels. Amy on the other hand, well imagine leaving your home planet frozen, only to be woken up with the realization that everyone you once knew is long gone, and to have to accept the fact that soon you will be older than your parents. I know. Though under the circumstances, they’ve managed to establish a budding romance. Follow them around the ship, as Revis tries to introduce us to the ill sounding dictatorship (led by Eldest, current leader) system Godspeed had undergone, the ethical and political complications, and herd-mentality. But hey, Space travel!
One of the selling points of this novel would be how vivid it is. Revis made sure to make the readers feel like they’re on-board, facing the same challenges alongside the characters. In addition to that, Revis gave us a richly layered villain. The monstrosity behind the antagonist of the story is justified by reasoning. Again, Across The Universe is one of those book that challenges the limits between good and evil, right and wrong. This is shown by how Eldest’ cruel way of ruling is more than just an evil vendetta, the more we know about Eldest, the more we tolerate his decisions.
[TL ; DR – you can feel that being in space is scary, and the bad guy is actually not that bad]
Personally, this book has been on my to-read list for quite a while now. The only regret that I had was not reading it sooner.
Now to the more important part. Should you read this novel? My answer is, give it a go! It’s a very well-written novel with an interesting plot and wholesome characters. It’s a wonderful sci-fi novel and I couldn’t put it down.
Final Rating – ★★★★★
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