Amy was supposed to spend 300 years as a cryogenically frozen passenger on the spaceship Godspeed. She was supposed to sail through space, unaware of her arrested state, until finally being awoken on a new planet. She was supposed to see her parents again. But everything goes wrong when someone wakes her up 50 years before the scheduled landing—and nearly kills her in the process.

Amy finds herself trapped on Godspeed, desperate to see the sky and smell real air again. But it’s not long before she discovers that these are the least of her worries, as most of the passengers on Godspeed follow their leader, Eldest, without a single thought in their own heads. Fortunately, Amy is not alone in this Brave New World scenario. Eldest’s rebellious protégé, Elder, is supposed to be spending all his time learning to be the next leader of the ship, but his interest in Amy seems to highlight more and more of Eldest’s secrets. Now Amy and Elder must race an unknown murderer to save the rest of the cryo-passengers, while Eldest’s thick sheen of lies grows thinner and thinner.

Beth Revis’ debut novel, Across the Universe, pushes the boundaries for teens who feel trapped, whether literally or figuratively. The world Amy encounters lacks the civil values that every teenager should learn as they grow up in modern society, such as free thought, respect for all races and the power of every person’s voice. Even sex has lost all significant meaning, reverting instead to mere animalistic urges. On Godspeed, Revis’ characters and young readers alike must think for themselves or risk the silent, and deadly, consequences.

 

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