Monday, February 4, 2013

Shades of Earth Book Review

 Author: Beth Revis. Release date: 2012. Publisher: Razorbill. ISBN: 9781595143990.

Annotation: Amy and Elder land on Centauri Earth, along with the members of the Godspeed who chose to abandon their ship and start a new life. After thawing the frozen leadership of the original Godspeed mission, including Amy’s parents, Amy, Elder and the rest of the colonists realize that Centauri Earth is far more dangerous than they ever anticipated.

Personal thoughts: Wow, this is one of the best series I have ever read. I loved the first novel, enjoyed the sequel even more, but can safely say that the third book was the best…not many trilogies can accomplish that! From start to finish, this is an amazing book and I was completely satisfied with the ending. I am only sad that the series is over, but I am really looking forward to reading what Beth Revis comes up with next. This trilogy is a must-read for anyone who simply likes a well-written, exciting and entertaining story. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

Plot summary: Amy, Elder and the inhabitants of the Godspeed who chose to start a new life on the planet have landed on Centauri Earth. The frozen members of the original Godspeed mission, including Amy’s parents, have been released from their icy chambers and work must now begin to colonize their new home. But everything is not going as smoothly as Amy and Elder had hoped. The shipborn colonists do not trust their new military leaders, and the Earth natives, including Amy’s father who is now the leader of the mission, are even more wary of Elder and his people. More troubling, however, is the planet which they must now call home. Inhabited by fierce dinosaur-like creatures, deadly vegetation and unpredictable weather, Amy and Elder aren’t sure if Centauri Earth is as habitable as they were lead to believe. The colonists also begin to discover ruins: proof that someone has been to the planet before but seems to be gone without a trace. Will Amy, Elder and the rest of the members of the Godspeed mission be able to survive long enough to learn the truth about Centauri Earth?  

Review: This third and final installment in Beth Revis’ best-selling Across the Universe trilogy provides the series with an incredibly exciting and satisfying end. Revis is a master at creating twists and turns that are difficult to anticipate, and the reader will find themselves along for a very bumpy ride as Amy and Elder learn the truth about the mission that has brought them to their new home. Free from the confines of the Godspeed, the author creates an entire world for her characters to navigate, providing opportunities to develop Amy and Elder even further as they learn more about themselves and each other. The novel is action-packed and paced perfectly as well, building suspense throughout the plot that comes to an exciting climax. In her Across the Universe trilogy, Beth Revis has created a story and set of characters that is certain to stand the test of time as one of the best science-fiction series ever written for the young adult audience.  

Genre:  Science-Fiction

Reading level: Grade 8+

Similar titles: Across the Universe and A Million Suns by Beth Revis, Glow and Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan, A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan.   

Themes:  Space travel, spaceships, dystopian future, control, mystery, conflict, rebellion. 

Awards/Reviews:  Positive reviews from Booklist, Horn Book and Kirkus.

Series Information: Final installment in Across the Universe trilogy. First installment, Across the Universe, published in 2011. Second installment, A Million Suns, published in 2012.  

Discussion questions:

-         Why do you think Amy was in such a hurry to unfreeze her parents and the rest of the frozens? Do you think it was a good idea?
-         Why do you think the frozens were so distrustful of the shipborns and vice versa? Do you think Elder made the situation better or worse? How?
-         What role does Phydus play in the series?
-         Do you think Colonel Martin was like Eldest and Orion? Why or why not?
-          What do you think the future holds for Amy and Elder after the events of this final installment? If you were to write a continuation story for the trilogy, what would you include?
-        Which novel in the Across the Universe trilogy is your favorite? Why?

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