Across the Universe by Beth Revis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
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.
My Take: I love the premise of this book. It's a little Lord of the Fly - ish. Amy finds herself on a spaceship that is completely foreign to her. Differences are no longer evident. All of the people are monoethnic which makes Amy stand out. The government is also totalitarian. One man rules. Another is in training for the following generation. Generations are tightly controlled. Mating occurs at a certain time and then it's over. Genetic alterations are common. The further Amy digs (with the help of Elder, the next in line to be Eldest, the leader, the more uncomfortable with the ship she becomes. The people are ruled with lies, fear, and something else which would be a spoiler.
With the appearance of Amy, Elder questions Eldest's leadership style. Discord is bred by differences, weak central leadership and something else that, again, would be a spoiler. Troublemakers are housed in the mental ward of the hospital. They are actually the normal ones. Normal is abnormal. Abnormal is normal.
I loved the symbolism of the Koi fish, Harley's choice in paintings. The Koi is really a regular carp that is not distinct unless kept in captivity. When bred properly, the Koi are easily manipulated to exhibit colors not previously seen in nature. But they are also quite fragile and, if not kept in a controlled environment, will die.
Great concept. Great story. Likeable and hateable characters. Intriguing description of ship and what can be found on it. Also an interesting twist on nature vs. nurture, choice and accountability. Loved it.