Saturday, 20 July 2013

A brilliant ending to an amazing series: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Shades Of Earth (Goodreads)

For pure originality, depth of characters and imaginative world-building you cannot beat the 
Across The Universe series. (Goodreads

In this, the final book in the series, Amy and Elder and fifteen hundred of the Godspeed residents land on their new home, planet Centauri-Earth. Unfortunately, they quickly discover that the planet is far from welcoming. Hostile is how I would describe it. The stories they had been told before leaving the Godspeed about 'monsters' are real. They are being picked off like flies, with someone dying - often brutally - every day. But before Elder can even establish his leadership, Amy immediately sets about unfreezing her parents and the other military personnel and scientists. This brings instant conflict. So instead of working together, the Earthborn and Shipborn fight each other instead of their common enemies - the aliens who already inhabit the planet.

So what did I think of Shades of Earth? 

I admit it took me a while to get into. But that was for a very simple reason: Amy made some early decisions that made me really cross. (I tend to get very invested in books I love) But in hindsight, if she hadn't been so selfish and stupid I suppose we wouldn't have had such a thrilling read. So I guess I forgive her. Elder did, so how can I be so hardhearted?

The pace is fast, the tension high, and the characters hopped off the page. 

Beth Revis needs a round of applause for her world-building. 

As she says in the acknowledgement section of the book: 
"the problem with discovering a whole new world is that it could be anything, and without the guidance of Ben Schrank and Gillian Levison, Centuri-Earth would be nothing but a pale imitation of what it is now. They made me dig into the sandy soil and uncover what lay beneath the surface of the planet; they tilted my head to the skies so I could see the pteros flying there, and they led me to the poisoned heart of the world and helped me to discover a way to cure it."

And what a thrilling ride that journey was.

 Once over my fit of pique with Amy, I sucked Shades of Earth up like I was there.  I felt every bit of tension, every pain, every loss (and trust me, people die in this book. There are no sacred cows. If a character needed to die to move the plot along, then . . . off with their heads)

The book definitely showed us the seamy side of human nature. Greed. Prejudice. Fear. Beth Revis asks us to decide what really makes a person a human being. Very thought-provoking.

The Heroes?

For me, the real hero of this story is Elder. He became a man in this book, a leader anyone would be proud to follow. Amy? She got off to a slow start, but by the end she had found her place in the world and became a person of real substance. I salute what she made of herself, despite the horrendous challenges she was put through.

The Love?

The romance was there, but it definitely took a back seat to the action. And that suited me fine. A love triangle threatened, and for a moment I thought Amy was going to do something really unforgivable, but her love for Elder held true to the end. I was very pleased about that. I think I would have coughed up a pteros egg if a love triangle had developed.

Five gleaming galaxies. 

Other series Across the Universe competes with

If you love the Under the Never Sky series (my reviews here and here), then you will enjoy this too. Other brilliant series which also run neck to neck with Across The Universe are: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (My reviews here and here) and The Grisha. That gives you an idea of how amazing these books are.

Have you read the series? If so leave a comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

P.S.  In case you're wondering, I own two copies of this book: The Kindle version and the paperback. I bought both. Why the paperback? I had to complete my paper collection. I love looking at the covers!

Follow on Bloglovin

Disqus for Gwynneth White