Across the Universe
Mar 3, 2011
Author: Beth Revis
Publication Date: March 2011
This is a very good young adult book that asks the question - how to control people in a very claustrophobic, no hope of escape setting.
The Godspeed ship has taken great minds of the earth, all with needed skill sets, and cryo-frozen them before sending them off on a 300 year trip to the edges of the universe to populate another planet. They are to be the salvation of an overpopulated planet. Amy, a teenager, was allowed to go along with her parents to the new world.
But Amy suddenly awakens and finds that she's still on the ship and it doesn't arrive at the planet for another 50 years. She also finds out that she wasn't supposed to wake up but someone tampered with her cryo-box. Why this occurred is a mystery, as are an entire population of people she had no idea were to be living and breeding on the ship while it traveled to the destination.
Generations of families have lived on the ship to grow food, keep records and make new discoveries and inventions while traveling through space to their new home - where at that time - they would awaken all of the "experts" to make the planet habitable. Meanwhile, history has been forgotten and most of the people appear to be nothing more than placid inbred field workers....... except for the crazies.
This is the world Amy wakes up to. One leader, Eldest, always with an apprentice beside him, and one doctor - their goal is to keep the ship running, the people calm and the generations growing, at a controlled rate. But at what cost? What will they do with Amy, who clearly doesn't fit in and might make people start to question what they've been taught for the last 250 years?
And what of Elder, the apprentice to the Eldest who is Amy's age, looks at her with longing, and already questions how he's supposed to shortly run this entire ship and maintain the people.
Note - while this is a very gripping book and set in a YA setting for it's readers, there are some very adult sections of the book, including attempted rape. I would say the Young Adults need to be on the more mature side of that group.