A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{December 7, 2011}   Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Plot: 17-year-old Amy is frozen alongside her parents and placed on a settler ship. The trip to their new planet was supposed to take 250 years, but Amy is woken prematurely. She finds an entire society has grown inside the ship, a society frighteningly different from the one she remembers and ruled over by an unquestioned leader. With the help of Elder, the future leader of the ship, she investigates the murder of her fellow frozen passengers. But their research also begins to uncover the horrifying secrets that are holding the society together.

I’ve missed good science fiction with space ships and all. Revis delivers a truly enthralling example of the genre.

Revis grabbed right at the start with her description of the freezing process. Her cold sleep is no peaceful rest and her descriptions of it are so viceral that they sent shivers down my spine. And Amy’s awakening leads to one horrifying discovery after another about the world Elder lives in; many can be guessed at early on but they are no less terrible for it.

I don’t agree with all of Revis’ world building choices. For example, I doubt in her idea of monoethinicity. I don’t think that in a system where every human is of the same race they will see themselves as undiffentiated; I think they would notice the smaller differences. I also wonder if a society with open mating seasons would have the concept of fornication. But there’s nothing wrong with the fact that I sometimes disagree with her, it didn’t make her world less interesting or believable. She made me think about her future and the possibilities she presents, whether I agree with her is irrelevant. I enjoy the speculation.

If you want to read another story about cold sleep, I highly recommend A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan. It has a different approach to the topic but it is done so well.

Challenges: 2011 Debut author challenge (7), Futuristic/Sci-Fi Challenge (10)


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