Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book Review: Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis

Title: Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3)
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Publishing Date: 369 pages
Length: January 15th 2013
Keywords: YA, science fiction, romance, adventures, new planet, death
Source: Bought

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.


Summary by Goodreads 

please note that this review contains spoilers for people who haven't read A MILLION SUNS!

You haven't yet recovered from the adrenaline rush named A MILLION SUNS and you need a break? That's something the thrilling last book in the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series can't serve with. SHADES OF EARTH continues the strong and action-packed storyline you've surely come to love in the previous books. 

Here's a short reminder how the second book ended: 

'"It's worth it." I move to touch him, but he grabs my hand first, squeezes my fingers, then let's me go.
"What was it you said to Doc?" Elder asks. "About faith?"
"I don't remember," I say with a dry laugh. "I was too busy trying not to get killed."
"Well, whatever it was - you were right." His hands rests over the auto-pilot launch button.

"Ready?" he asks.

And I was SO ready for the next book then! Fine, you know that Amy and Elder are alive, but what about the fact that the new planet has been there all along? I wante to scream! And then they didn't push that launch button in the end of book two? That was just mean, because anything would be possible after that. So, you can imagine my outburst of joy when I finally held my copy of SHADES OF EARTH in my hands.

With the new planet within reach, Beth Revis' possibilities to continue the story seemed endless. Isn't the idea of a new world scary and exciting all at once? Amy, Elder and their group could build an entire new world or be attacked any time. Beth made sure that this planet wouldn't be a snooze.
After the landing, our group is surrounded by unknown land and after only a few hours on their new planet, they know that they are not alone. Always knowing about the dangers out there, but  never being entirely sure about their origins or how to protect yourself from them. There are hostile animal-like creatures, unpredictable plants, abandoned ruins looking like houses built for humans. It is not 100 % alien-free either. The tension was tangible! There are scary things happening in SHADES OF EARTH and you should definitly be prepared for DEATH (yes, capital letters. Beth Revis is THAT evil).
And the mystery behind the beings responsible for all that misery and harm, is an entirely different category. It is as brilliant as it is disgusting and contemptible. Beth Revis never reveals too much at a time, she keeps the reader constantly charged up, always athirst for answers, to learn more about the intrigues and complots sourrounding Godspeed.

With all the new-found land, animals and dangers one could think that there wouldn't be time for love. But Beth was kind enough to guarantee us some quality time with our lovely Godspeed couple Amy and Elder. I was so relieved the new planet didn't have a no-kiss policy. These scenes of affection and care gave hope and lightened up the dark mood the consequent uncertainty caused.  

Amy and Elder continue to be awesome and well-rounded characters. Amy grows stronger every day and I've always seen the leader potential in her that she's showing in SHADES OF EARTH. I'm glad they both are critical in nature, and ask questions first before they follow any commands. And that is even more important in this very difficult situation caused by the differences between ship-born and earth-born people in the colony. The clash of beliefs and attitudes between sol-earth military and Godspeed inhabitants is a very prominant issue in this part of the story.
Advanced technologies and highly interesting scientific research make SHADES OF EARTH a diversified and intelligent read, presenting us with numerous inventive ideas that could affect our future at some point, too.

SHADES OF EARTH is a science-fiction book through and through. Spaceships, new plants, aliens and the task to master life in an entirely foreign and new environment. It is the conclusion to a thourougly well-written trilogy.

1) of its dual narrative
2) of an unforgettable character cast
3) of its extremely adventurous nature
4) of all the countless mysteries surrounding Godspeed
5) of a perfect ending

5/5 ***** SHADES OF EARTH - The beauty lies in the stars. Beth Revis caught them and spun them into a powerfully written and adventurous space mission tale.

When I started with this series I was very reluctant to give a story with a space adventure a chance to sweep me off my feet. Right now I can't imagine not reading more science-fiction and set in space YA books! I'm counting on many more books by talented author Beth Revis! SHADES OF EARTH is the last book in the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy, that's how it's advertised, but I really do hope that there is still room for more books in the series. And so I'm having my fingers crossed for a spin-off series, who doesn't?!

* Want to read more about the AtU books? Beth Revis wrote a novella, titled AS THEY SLIP AWAY which offers background information about some characters. You can read it here.

* Read an excerpt of SHADES OF EARTH here.

* Watch the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE book trailer!

* Explore Godspeed on the official ACROSS THE UNIVERSE book page.

* For further information about Beth Revis and her books, visit

1 comment:

  1. I finished this book three days ago and omg I really liked it but I thought A Million Suns was better. I felt that the Shades of Earth ending was a little bit of a cliff hanger. I love it all in all except the romance. I agree how the cast is unforgettable. My favorite part would be when Elder had to go back to Godspeed. I was like YESSS!!

    Little Book Star