Tag Archives: Across the Universe series

2016 Discovery Challenge – August Roundup

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After reading Joanne Hall’s thought-provoking post, I decided to read and review at least two women authors unknown to me each month. During August, I managed to read 3 Discovery Challenge books, which takes my yearly total so far to 25 books read by women I haven’t previously encountered.

Across the Universe – Book 1 of Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and acrosstheuniverseexpects 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.

This YA generational ship adventure manages to evoke a real sense of claustrophobia as Amy views with increasing horror the way society has evolved during her long sleep. The shocking ending means that I hope to be able to revisit this entertaining series before too long.

 

The Thousandth Floor – Book 1 of The Thousandth Floor series by Katherine McGee
the1000thfloorWelcome to Manhattan, 2118.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose. Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched. Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart. Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one? Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies. And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

We’ve all seen the plot device on CSI – the episode starts with one of main characters in a burning building/being shot/another horrible situation, and then the narrative jumps back in time to lead up to that particular point… And this is exactly what McGee has done with her debut novel. The book opens with a beautiful young girl plummeting to her death from the top of the tallest building in New York – and then the narration jumps back two months to introduce us to a cast of characters whose lives intertwine in a variety of ways.

 

The Changelings by Christina Soontornvat
Izzy’s family has just moved to the most boring town in the country. But as time goes on, strange thingsthechangelings start to happen; odd piles of stones appear around Izzy’s house, and her little sister Hen comes home full of stories about the witch next door. Then, Hen disappears into the woods. She’s been whisked away to the land of Faerie, and it’s up to Izzy to save her. Joined there by a band of outlaw Changelings, Izzy and her new friends set out on a joint search-and-rescue mission across this foreign land which is at turns alluringly magical and utterly terrifying.

Soontornvat’s pacing is nicely judged throughout in this children’s fantasy adventure. Layers of information unpeel along the way, as we need to know about it, rather than enduring any semi-omniscient info dumps so often occurring in children’s books. An entertaining read for the age group who are ready for Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men.

 

Tackling my TBR
This is in response to my habit of continually gathering up new books – and not reading them. I want try and reduce the teetering pile by my bed, so I’ve decided to report back on how I’m doing in the hope that it will nudge me to read more of them. Except that during August, I was so busy reading Netgalley arcs and other review copies, I only managed one book – Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

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Review of Across the Universe – Book 1 of KINDLE Ebook Across the Universe series By Beth Revis

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This was recommended as a cracking generational ship read during a discussion about this science fiction sub-genre, so I went looking for it…

acrosstheuniverseSeventeen-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.

This YA adventure is set on a generational ship and the two protagonists are Amy and Elder, the leader-in-waiting, who is being groomed to take over running the ship by the cynical, short-fused Eldest, who brooks no opposition. When Amy is woken decades earlier before the ship is due to land, she quickly realises it was an attempt to kill her – and when other stored personnel are murdered in the same way, she is desperate to protect her parents, still frozen in the hold of the ship. Meantime, she now has to try and fit in with the other inhabitants of the ship – a far taller order than you might think, given that everyone else on board is genetically very similar to each other, and with her pale skin and auburn hair, she immediately stands out.

We learn about the trammelled society aboard Godspeed through Amy’s appalled eyes and Elder’s increasing restlessness at Eldest’s autocratic pronouncements. It’s nicely done and the sense of claustrophobia experienced by Amy as she realises she will spend most of her life aboard this ship, is vividly portrayed. I liked her efforts to discover who is murdering the frozen personnel who are stored in the ship’s hold as she continues to come to terms with what is going on.

Meanwhile, Elder becomes increasingly distracted by her to Eldest’s fury, though he is also struck by how attached she is to her parents – which leaves him feeling isolated as the custom is that the ship’s Eldest never knows who his parents are to prevent any dynastic ruling family taking control. Revis continually provides us with a steady dripfeed of answers while posing the next layer of question. This book steadily ramps up the stakes as the extent to which Godspeed has deviated from the original mission becomes apparent.

Of course, in order for this story structure to be really successful, the reveal has to pay off. We have to be amazed and/or appalled at the denouement and feel it was worth the book-long wait. Revis handled this beautifully – she produces the big twist at the end and just as I was coming to terms with how this is overcome, she gives us yet another big game-changer. I really enjoyed the way this played out, transforming this book from an 8 into a 9. The good news is that the next two books A Million Suns and Shades of Earth are available and I can see why this book garnered a shedload of nominations for awards when it was first released in 2011.
9/10

Sunday Post – 14th August

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Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

The grandchildren have now gone home and I’m very glad I’m currently crazy busy so I can ignore the fact the house is a lot quieter and emptier… Last Sunday we travelled to my parents’ house for a family gathering in Ringwood. It was a shock just how much warmer it was away from the coast and the constant cool wind as we relaxed in the garden, catching up with other family members as the children cycled and ran around the garden. On Tuesday my sister-in-law and niece came down for the day and I got to see the pics my niece took during her month-long pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, during which she and a friend walked over 800 km – an amazing achievement. It seems only yesterday when she used to come and stay with us as a five-year-old. On Wednesday morning Himself and I took Oscar to play crazy golf down at the beach – the weather was just right, sunny without being too hot and we all enjoyed ourselves and declared it a draw, though I think we all did very well – no one lost a ball. In the evening, our writing group was held here as I had Oscar still staying and it was lovely IMG_0174to catch up with everyone during this holiday period and hear how everyone is getting on with their various projects.
On Thursday, we dropped the children back in Brighton to stay with their other grandparents and in the evening, my daughter and I met up in Brighton after she finished work, had a lovely meal, then attended a question and answer session with Scroobius Pip at Waterstones to celebrate the launch of his book Distraction Pieces as she is a fan of his podcast. It was an interesting evening – he is an excellent speaker, irreverent and funny with some sharp things to say about modern life.

As you can see, I’ve had a very social week – which has impacted a bit on my blogging and reading…

This week I’ve managed to read:

Telepath – Book 1 of Hive Mind series by Janet Edwards
telepathAmber is one of over a million eighteen-year-olds in one of the great hive cities of twenty-sixth century Earth. She’s about to enter the Lottery of 2532, which will assess her abilities and decide her hive level, her profession, her whole future life. Amber’s dream is to be level 10 or above, her nightmare is to be a level 99 Sewage Technician. When Lottery discovers Amber is a rare and precious telepath, she must adapt to a new life protecting the people of the crowded hive city. Her job is hunting down criminals before they commit their crimes, but she doesn’t know she’s being hunted herself.
I really enjoyed this latest book from Edwards and have reviewed it this week.

 

 

 

Fluff the Magic Rabbit by Roger Shadbolt
Roger is one of my students and he’s been working on this children’s book for a couple of years. Now he has it in book form, complete with some beautiful illustrations, he presented me with a copy so I could roadtest on Oscar. He thoroughly enjoyed it – it is far sharper and funnier than the title may suggest, so I will be reporting Oscar’s observations back in due course, along with a couple of tweaks I noticed while reading it to him.

Across the Universe – Book 1 of Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and acrosstheuniverseexpects 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.

This was recommended during a chat about generational ship books – though I cannot recall who suggested it. If it was you – thank you! This is a really enjoyable book, full of tension as Amy grapples to cope with a dystopian nightmare that is now established on Godspeed. I’ll be reviewing it in due course.

My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 7th August

Teaser Tuesday – featuring Across the Universe – Book 1 of the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Nevernight – Book 1 of The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff

Friday Faceoff – The Heavenly Host featuring The Madness of Angels – Book 1 of the Matthew Swift series by Kate Griffin

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Telepath – Book 1 of the Hive Mind series by Janet Edwards

Other interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

A Pirate’s Life for Me-ish https://mylittlebookblog.com/2016/08/12/a-pirates-life-for-me-ish/
It’s lovely to have Lizzy Baldwin back and blogging – and this amusing, yet thought provoking article reminds me all over again why I’m a frequent visitor to her site…

Interview with a Holocaust Survivor https://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/interview-with-a-holocaust-survivor/
This amazing interview by Frank Grunwald is riveting – he is such an exceptional individual and so brave to share his experiences.

Six Word Stories: Polluted https://richardankers.com/2016/08/12/six-word-stories-polluted/
Sometimes it doesn’t take long to make your point – as long as your word choice is absolutely spot on…

Photolicioux – Sueño No. 1: Artículos eléctricos para el hogar https://photolicioux.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/sueno-no-1-articulos-electricos-para-el-hogar/
There is something about this particular image I found very disturbing – I even dreamt about it…

Guest Post – The Moon Village and the Space Economy http://earthianhivemind.net/2016/08/12/guest-post-moon-village-space-economy/
Steph featured this fascinating article about a future settlement on the Moon – one envisaged by scientists rather than writers…

Many thanks for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.