WRITING: 4 wings
Revis really shines with opening sentences. Each chapter has an opening line that really draws the reader in and makes you want to know more. Because the story is ping-ponged between Amy and Elder, we have a slightly different vocabulary and understanding between them and I enjoyed the made up swear words and other terms in Elder’s chapters. I think this book works well in audio format in this regard because I think I would’ve been more annoyed at the back and forth narration if I were reading it in print since sometimes the POV switches in the middle of a scene.
PLOT: 4.5 wings
The back and forth of the POV really worked for the audiobook. It allowed us to know the details of life on Godspeed through Elder and feel for Amy’s situation at having woken up early on a spaceship. I really enjoyed the amount of thought and detail that went into the ship and the people’s lives aboard it.
Makes you think if you had the opportunity to be cryogenically frozen and be put on a spaceship to go to a new Earth, would you go? And there would, of course, be the risk that there would be complications with your freezing or melting, so you could die without even reaching the planet. I think I would go. But only if I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to do on Earth first.
Some story threads like the character Orion, the mysterious man who works in the Record Hall and what his real deal was were pretty obvious. Others, like some of Eldest secrets, did actually surprise me.
I wonder if the ending would’ve been more interesting if Elder had decided NOT to tell Amy a particular secret that was apparently eating him up inside for the entire book. This particular secret could’ve eaten away at him for another book or two and built up enough tension to create a big explosion, but instead, he tells Amy his secret. This was probably a good move in that it makes Elder more sympathetic, and ends the book on a more positive note with their relationship.
CHARACTERS: 4 wings
I liked that Elder and Amy didn’t fall head over heels for each other. Their relationship was a small piece of the tapestry of story threads that was Across the Universe. Because of the heavy themes of the book, like the survival of the human race, Amy’s feelings of loss because she realizes she will be older than her parents when they finally wake up, it fit that the romance was more subtle and mature. I also enjoyed Harley. He wasn’t your typical third wheel best-friend character and he had his own thing he was dealing with. The character of Orion, as I mentioned, was pretty see-through if you read closely enough. One character I am curious to see more of is the Doc, and how he will cope in the second book.
OVERALL: 4.5 wings
A thought provoking piece of young adult science fiction. Can’t wait to find and read the second book.