If you’d take a look at my could-not-finish shelf on Goodreads, you’d realize I’m not the most patient reader… Okay, I’m not patient at all. The point is, I’d much rather put down a book then attempt to finish a book I’m not feeling. This generally happens because I’m not in the mood for whatever genre I picked up or the book isn’t moving fast enough. I’d much rather give up a boring book and pick up another one then be stuck with in a horrific book slump.
I was this close to putting aside Across the Universe and moving on to another book burning a hole in my TBR list, but I am so glad I stuck with it. I had gotten to chapter ten and Amy was still frozen and I was thinking, Please, Creator of the Universe, make something happen. And guess what? It did! And I wound up loving this! So the lesson of this anecdote: I need more patience with slow starting books, because I could wind up loving one of them like I did this one.
As you can probably tell, I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction here lately. However, Across the Universe is my first venture into space this year. I’m not big on space voyages and futuristic fiction, but I have always been curious about cryogenics so when I realized this book would be a whole new take on cryogenic-ally freezing the human body, I jumped at the chance to check it out from the library.
What is cryogenics? It’s basically the idea of flash freezing the human body after someone has died so that eventually, when scientists are able to transplant people into younger bodies in "the future", they will be thawed out and placed into a healthy body. The reason they have to “flash freeze” them is because the process of freezing a body and thawing it out causes living cells to burst and die a “true death.” This is actually something you can buy into before your death… it’s a kind of funeral plan and I’ve always found it so fascinating!
Now in real life, people shell out money for scientists to flash freeze them after death (very soon after death, but they are dead when this happens) but in the case of Amy and her parents in Across the Universe they were alive when cryogenic-ally frozen so that they could board a spaceship and land on Century-Earth – a newly discovered planet that is able to sustain life… they hope. I’m not a squeamish person but reading and watching Amy and her parents practically kill themselves for a dream that they might inhabit this new planet made me shudder.
It also felt like a stupid risk for something that is out of their control… anything could happen to them while they are frozen, something Amy is now finding out the hard way as she learns she thawed out 50 years before her parents will. There is no way for her to return to her frozen state, either, because the way she thawed almost killed her. I can understand her rage and disbelief and sadness, but at the same time I’m thinking YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE OUT THAT YOU WERE GIVEN!!! I love my parents, but I don’t think I could have followed them to their frozen deaths for 300 years. Nope, I have a hard enough time giving up control – that would be the ultimate sacrifice I doubt I’d ever be able to give. Guess I’m selfish like that. *shrug*
Let’s Chat Characters
Strangely, I had no problems with any of the characters! It is rare for me to like all characters in a young adult novel – I typically have a complaint here and there but fortunately, I liked both the protagonists and even the evil Leader of Godspeed (the ship they are on), Eldest. Even though he’s the future’s Hitler he was the kind of villain I couldn’t wait to see what he did next!
Amy was a bit whinny and rather depressed but I found that it was realistic for her problems and her age. If I found out that I am trapped on a ship 50 years too early with an evil dictator who has brainwashed everybody but two people on a ship full of thousands to think I am a freak because I’m not monoethnic (meaning she her skin, hair, and eyes didn’t match everybody else’s on the ship – apparently “difference is the first reason for discord” *scoffs*) and I don’t blindly follow everything that Eldest tells them – because it’s all lies, mind you – yeah, I’d be one pissed off chick trapped on a ship with people who hated the sight of me and with at least one person trying to murder me. You gotta give her some leeway.
I also liked Elder’s character (his name is Elder because he is next in line as leader, and will be called Eldest… yeah, I know. It’s a stupid name for dictators to have), even when he made stupid mistakes in the name of curiosity. Though I would chalk that up to finding out that the person who’s sort of a cruel-father-figure for him has been lies and secrets he should rightfully know, well… He’s not such a bad guy either.
While I found Across the Universe to be a bit predictable at times and slow-moving at first, Revis threw plot twists into the mix that kept me on my toes and itching for more. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the series, A Million Suns, because I need to see what happens between Amy and Elder after that massive cliffhanger! I recommend this book to young adult readers who enjoy adventures in space.
This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger