Saturday, March 28, 2015

Review: Shades of Earth

Book Cover: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
Published January 2013 by publisher
Source: eBook gift from Lemonitsa

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.

My Thoughts

Shades of Earth is the concluding chapter of the Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis. In the first two books, we meet the two protagonists: Elder, the young leader of the approximately 2,000 ship-born residents of the spaceship Godspeed, and Amy, a teen who was cryogenically frozen to travel in the spaceship. The frozen passengers are military and scientific specialists who expect to be revived 300 years into their future when Godspeed reaches its destination, an earth-like planet circling the star Centauri.

Amy was violently awakened when someone tried to murder her along with all the other frozen passengers. At first she's told that the ship won't arrive at Centauri-Earth for another 100 years, but later learns that the ship has been in orbit around the planet for many, many years. The spaceship is aging and conditions are deterioration, but with the planet inhabited by monsters, the decision had been made to stay aboard the ship rather than attempt a landing. Finally, at the end of book two, Elder and Amy lead majority of the ship-born down to the planet, carrying the frozen with them.

Shades of Earth begins immediately after the events of A Million Suns, with the landing of a shuttle from Godspeed and the beginnings of a colony. Elder revives the frozen, which looks like it might be a mistake when they immediately arm themselves and start issuing orders to everyone else. Amy's father is the senior military official and while she is thrilled to have her parents back, he's not willing to listen to her or Elder—leading to major problems between the ship-born and the frozen. Yes, as the previous book told us, there are monsters on the planet. Everyone needs to work together to survive, but cooperation is jeopardized by the attitudes of the formerly frozen group. To say more would totally spoil the book.

After eagerly anticipating the release of this book, I finished it with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the story for the most part, but I was disappointed with the direction that Revis chose to take the story of the landing on Centauri-Earth. I felt that her treatment of the conflict between the frozen and the ship-born was too predictable. Three stars.


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