Beth Revis – Shades of Earth
Length: 372 pages
Genre: YA dystopian sci-fi
Started: 08 April 2013
Finished: 10 April 2013
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Last book, and Revis is so good at the cliffhangers.
a new world, is the danger
monsters… or people?
Summary: Elder and Amy have finally made the decision to leave the damaged spaceship Godspeed behind, and attempt a life on the planet Centauri Earth, the destination of the ship’s centuries-long voyage. They know it’s a one-way trip, but Amy believes that anything has to be better than the claustrophobia of living on Godspeed for the rest of her life. Plus, once they land on Centauri Earth, she can revive her parents, and the rest of the cryogenically frozen crew. But things don’t go at all as Amy and Elder had planned. Centauri earth is full of terrifying pterodactyl-like monsters, poisonous plants. The shippers are terrified of their first taste of life without walls. Supplies are missing or running low. The military personnel – including, heartbreakingly, Amy’s father – take immediate command, and refuse to take Elder seriously as a leader. And worst of all is the fact that they might not be alone on their new planet…
Review: This book is substantially different from the previous two in the series in terms of plot, but they’re all three very, very similar in how fast-paced and crazily addictively readable they are. Seriously, they’re such quick reads, but they’re hugely enjoyable, and actually have some meat to them as well. They’re a great blend of action and mystery and romance, all told in quick alternating chapters from the POV of the two leads, and they are so easy to get sucked into.
So, Revis is obviously skilled at pacing. She’s also got a very deft hand with worldbuilding, and that remains true even once the characters are off the Godspeed. Centauri Earth is described pretty vividly, and incorporates a lot of really neat elements that I think Revis makes work as part of a cohesive whole. And it may be a matter of the various new elements added in to this book, or she may have gotten more subtle in her plotting, but I thought the mystery element worked a lot better in this book than in previous ones. In the first two books of the series, I had most of the solution pretty well mapped out well ahead of the characters (Didn’t stop me from totally devouring the books, though), but in Shades of Earth, while I figured out some pieces pretty easily, the whole picture of what was really going on remained mysterious until nearly the end.
Really, the thing that bugged me about this book was how… not passive, exactly, but how acquiescent Amy was about everything, even when her parents were being total dicks. I totally understand that she was happy to see them unfrozen again after everything and didn’t want to stir up trouble, and her dad was obviously not the easiest person to talk to, but the fact that she had such a hard time about speaking up about anything, at all, even when it was direly important, seemed not entirely in keeping with her character as written.
But regardless, this was a great – and unpredictable – end to a very enjoyable series. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: These books don’t recap much previous action, so the series needs to be read as a whole. But anyone who likes fast-paced and fun YA sci-fi should have a blast with it.
First Line: “Wait,” I say, my heart clenching.
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