Monday, May 14, 2012

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe
Beth Revis
YA Sci Fi/Romace
Published: 2011

If you have the chance to listen to the audiobook, I highly recommend it. The narrator is actor Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) who is superb (Sadly, I only made it through a few chapters of the audio due to some technical problems with my download, so I finished the book in paperback). 

Across the Universe is a Young Adult novel with sci-fi elements; I would label it "gateway sci-fi" as it takes a lighter approach to a space travel mystery. The main character awakens from her cryochamber too early on the 300-year journey to a new planet. Her story is told in alternate chapters with a teen boy born on the ship who is prepped to be the ship's next overseer. He has no idea an entire cargo floor is inhabited by frozen humans who founded the exploration project; meanwhile, the non-frozens have birthed new generations and a dictatorship rose within it, which is, expectedly, mysterious and tyrannical. 

What sold me on the book was Beth Revis herself, who is a delight in person. She spoke fondly of a childhood watching Star Trek and reading sci-fi novels. I can definitely see those facets worked into the story, even though this is a far cry from hard sci-fi (which I personally am not into, but have read a sampling of). 

I like that YA explores twists on so many genres; this is a cool concept that feels more fresh than the seemingly endless paranormal abilities stories. This book only scratches the surface of a larger plot that will continue in books 2 and 3. I would recommend it for a first foray into sci-fi, or if a YA space adventure mixed with romance sounds appealing.


  1. I love Beth Revis and I can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the great review.

  2. I have yet to "read" an audio book.
    Wonder how the experience will be.

  3. This has been on my TBR pile for WAY too long and I'm always looking for good audio!

  4. This sounds great, and I can imagine Lauren Ambrose being an awesome narrator. I don't typically "read" audiobooks, but I might have to give this one a try!

  5. @Haddock and @RebeccaB - audiobooks are definitely a different experience to reading a book; the narrator can make or break a listening experience. also, the type of book to listen to varies by your own preference; I personally can't listen to classics or stories that are very literary (I tried a Toni Morrison book on audio ad it just didn't work for me).

    I get all my audio books from the library. It makes my commute to work so much better!

  6. Oooo... great review! I normally don't read this type of stuff, but I'm definitely intrigued... :D

  7. I thought this book had one of the most riveting plots I've encountered in a long time!! I like how you called it "gateway SF" - great term! Describes it very well.

  8. I really need to check this one out soon - it just looks SO great!

  9. I just started this and I'm halfway through right now. I'm loving it so far. (audio)

  10. I love the idea of listening to this in the form of an audio book. I really enjoyed reading it, and have it a 10/10 on my blog (you can read my review here).

    I might have to check this out for the next book in the series.

    Love Rie x


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