This book is just as good, if not better, than the first in the series. I was skeptical about the author coming up with a logical story line after the first book, but I really liked the direction she took this one. The characters and their relationships were deepened and further developed, and there was enough action to keep the story moving.
A few disappointments, though…
– the eventual antagonist had a very cliche TV-villain-like monologue that sounded really contrived
– another antagonist was pretty much just “disposed of” rather unceremoniously, and although we can assume, it was never really explained what happened to this character
– Amy is still selfish, immature, and kind of unlikable. I thought it would get better after the first book as she learned from her experiences and got used to her new life, but I’m still having trouble liking her
Heads up: This book contains some pretty serious, mature themes, including murder, suicide, & rape
I was really drawn in by the plot, which moved along at a fairly brisk pace. The concept of a modern-day girl waking from cryostasis aboard a spaceship hundreds of years in the future (yet years before she was supposed to be awaken) was really intriguing, especially when the reader observes all of the differences that took place in the ship’s dystopian society. The plot pulled in questions of free will vs order, dictatorship vs other forms of government, what really determines if a person is “sane,” and whether ignorance really is bliss.
The mystery on which the plot revolves was interesting, but with all of the other morality questions posed by the novel, it kind of seemed to take a back burner. Although I had early on figured out the culprit behind the attacks, it took much longer for me to figure out the motive, and there were other aspects of the story which were hidden until the end and made for some interesting revelations.
Though “Across the Universe” could easily be a stand-alone novel, I’m planning on reading the sequel as soon as I can. Hopefully it will live up to the first in the series!