Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Living in Space

Across the Universe
How far will the world go to save humanity? Will the financial crisis make us go where we have never gone before? Beth Revis's Across the Universe explores just how far our world, in all its messes and disasters, is willing to go to ensure humanity has a second chance at life.

Godspeed is the ship designed to take humanity to the outer reaches of the universe. It will take 300 years for the ship to reach its destination- the new Earth. In order to ensure people with special abilities make it to the new planet, they are frozen cryogenically and another crew of people lives and survives on the ship. It is big enough to be like a speeding city in the sky, but over the course of centuries, a lot can go wrong. When Amy is woken up on the ship before she is supposed to be, her awakening becomes the catalyst that exposes everything wrong with life on the Godspeed.

Amy was awakened accidentally, or so Eldest and Elder and Doc thought. Eldest is the leader of the ship and Elder, 17 years old, is his replacement. Elder learns everything Eldest teaches him, but he knows there are things the old man is keeping from him. As Amy, a girl who remembers her time on Earth so many centuries ago, starts to question the strange, zombie like people that live on the ship. As she becomes the insight of discord, she finds herself on the wrong side of Eldest. But her questioning leads Elder to find out just what it is Eldest has kept from him. As more bodies are thawed from the cryogenic freeze, and a few are murdered, they all suspect Eldest. However, the problems with the ship and the people living on it go deeper than any of them could have imagined. 

I know this book has been out for a while, but I just never picked it up until now, despite the recommendation from multiple trustworthy sources. There it sat on my "to be read" shelf, staring at me for months. I wanted to read it at a time when I could sit down and really plow through the story in one fell swoop. What I didn't expect was a gripping story I would finish in essentially one sitting! It was SO exciting and interesting. I could NOT put it down! The idea of being frozen for over 300 years and waking up to a whole new social dynamic is both terrifying and exciting! And the way Eldest and the Eldests that came before him twisted Earth's history to appease the masses and control them was masterful. They actually twisted Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address to illustrate Lincoln's support of separating the races to eliminate the races (difference was the first cause of discord) and send anyone of African heritage back to the African Continent. Amy was the catalyst that blew the top off all their lies and deceit, and boy did it get ugly!

This is a great Science Fiction/Dystopia cross-over that gave the space junkies enough to sink their spaceship teeth into but still enough corruption to make the dystopia addicts happy. It was a great balance of the two and could interest any type of student. The language is fairly simple, and most of the scenes are scary, but pretty mild. There is one near rape scene that was scary, but not particularly graphic. I would suggest this series for a wide range of students, and the great news? The sequel is out in a couple of weeks! Yeah!

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