In My Mailbox (24)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the Story Siren to highlight all the wonderful bookish things bought, borrowed, downloaded, or received during the week.

I'm pretty excited about my week. The only things that have been arriving in my mailbox lately are bills and useless fashion magazines. But this week...  

For review:

An ominous vision and the discovery of a gruesome corpse lead Sarah Engelmann into a terrifying encounter with the supernatural in 1913 Salem, Massachusetts. With help from Alex, an attractive Greek immigrant, Sarah sets out to track the evil to its source, never guessing that she will take on a conspiracy involving not only a 900-year vampire, but also a demon-loving Puritan warlock, disgruntled Egyptian gods, and an immortal sorcerer, all on a quest to recover the holy trumpet of the Archangel Gabriel. Relying on the wisdom of an elderly vampire hunter, Sarah's rabbi father, and her own distrubing visions, Sarah must fight a millennia-old battle between unspeakable forces, where the ultimate prize might be herself.

My Bookworm (secret) Santa sent me:

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy, #1)  Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy, #2)

 Downloaded from NetGalley:

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)  Mesmerize (Mystyx, #4)  The Gathering Storm (Katerina Alexandrovna, #1)

What awesome things did you get in your mailbox this week?

Review: Across the Universe (Beth Revis)

Product Details:
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 398
Publisher: Razorbill
ISBN: 9781595143976
Source: my own copy

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Let me start by saying that I am not a Sci-Fi fan. I am dedicated to the fantasy genre. Even though I don't usually read science fiction, I really enjoyed Across the Universe

It’s hard to say what I liked most about this book. Let me start by praising the author. Beth Revis has a beautiful writing style. It’s poetic at times without being wordy or flowery. It’s simple and dramatic. Poignant. 

I also love authors that include subtle clues in their novels. Everything in this book has a purpose, even the name of the ship Godspeed. I did a little research (based on a comment from Amy, the MC in the book) about what Godspeed actually means. No surprise that it has hidden meanings. The Old English etymology of the word “speed” has nothing to do with actual velocity. Instead, it refers to prosperity and good fortune. Adding God was an acknowledgment of God’s generosity and blessing to an endeavor. Thus, speed in that sense became the acquisition of wealth and prosperity through a divine blessing. The irony of the name of the ship was not lost on me. It was interesting that the ship was named Godspeed by the original builders, but yet the current inhabitants look at religion as “fairy tales” and myths. There is no God on Godspeed. I also noted that Dante’s Inferno was referenced in the book as well when the crypto chambers were described as the final level of Hell: icy and cold. Oh, Ms. Revis you are a genius!

The plot of this book is also a tightly written piece of literary genius. There are many twists and turns and lies. Oh, so many secrets and lies. The three causes of discord were described as difference, lack of leadership, and individual thought. But really, the main cause of discord is lack of trust. Imagine living on a ship for centuries without ever knowing what was going on. History has been erased and rewritten, but no one knows the real truth because the secret has been preserved for generations. Imagine the chaos that would stem from such leadership. Or maybe there is no chaos because the people on the ship are so heavily drugged that they have no sense of reality? Only the “crazy” people can see reality for what it is. Imagine… 

The characters are also perfectly written. Believable. Damaged. And some are evil beyond words. Eldest, the tyrannical leader of the ship, enjoys being compared to Hitler. He views Hitler as a leader worthy of admiration. Whoa. Then there is Luthe, who is to me, the worst of the characters in the book. Eldest has a reason for his crazy beliefs, and at times I could side with his rationale. But Luthe… oh gosh. When the rest of the ship is acting out its animal instincts during “the Season,” he is in perfect control. He is not influenced by hormones and drugged water. His cruel actions are 100% his own and intentional. That makes him far worse than any other antagonist in my opinion. I was a little disappointed how quickly he disappeared from the plot after his horrible act. But I don’t think that was an accident. I have a feeling Luthe will reappear in the future book in a way that can not bode well.

It is so hard to talk about this book without giving away too much. It reminded me of the C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy that I read as a teenager. (C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors that I do not compare others to often because his writing is perfection in my eyes). I enjoyed reading Across the Universe. In fact, once I made it to page 30 or so, I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up until 4 a.m. to finish reading it. So many unanswered questions leave me begging for the next book (which I hear is fabulous). If you still aren’t sold on this book, let me leave you with this: My dad (in his mid-50s) hijacked my copy of Across the Universe before I could read it. I had to endure listening to him laugh and make noises of contemplation as he read my book (another reason I finished it in one sitting). To understand the irony and importance of this situation, you have to understand my father. He is a reader. His choice reading material: military tactics, biographies, and the classics. Not YA reading material. So, for him to say, “This is a pretty good book” is HUGE.  Monumental even. 

This book is worth reading, even if you don’t like science fiction, you will find something to appreciate in this book. 


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