My friend Adrienne has introduced me to lots of great reading from the Young Adult side of the book world. Without her and the other youth librarians in the state (Cathie Sue, Emily, Karl), I might never have discovered the wonderful Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, or found myself in the nail-biting world of Incarceron, Catherine Fisher’s extraordinary tale that stands up with some of the best of adult science fiction.
Protagonist Amy has joined her parents on the starship Godspeed. She is frozen along with hundreds of others for a 300-year trip to a new planet. Other shipmates remain awake, living out their lives in space, their descendants keeping Godspeed functioning through the generations. When Amy is thawed too early, in what appears to be a murder attempt, the stage is set for the reader to discover this strange ship and its unusual history through her eyes. For things, of course, have gone awry during the journey, and they have much to say about the issues of our own world.
So far, so good. Amy is a strong character, and a good mouth piece for the values that have been corrupted on the ship. Elder, the young man who will soon assume the mantle of Eldest (leader of the ship), is also believable as a teenager struggling to understand his role, and as a love interest for Amy. There is mystery, suspense, and conspiracy—all typical elements in sci-fi thrillers.
It’s a good book. And yet… something was missing for me. It’s been a couple of weeks since I finished the book, and I’m posting now because I think I know what I found lacking: true, terrifying, danger. Is this because I was never really able to put myself in Amy’s shoes? Is it because I was expecting something as hair-raising as in The Hunger Games or Incarceron? I don’t know. I just know I was left a little disappointed.
I’d still give the book 2 1/2 stars out of 4, or 3 stars out of 5. Like I said, it’s a good book. And I expect some great work from this new author in the future. I will say it’s been hella busy at work, and maybe I wasn’t able to give my all to Across the Universe.
I need some help here. Have you read it? If so, what did you think?
Tour Godspeed and find out more about the book at the official site.
And how cool is this trailer!