I wanted to read this after I read such a great review at The Hub. The general premise of this book reminds me a great deal of Wall-E. There is a gigantic spaceship housing thousands of people that has been traveling for many years. In Wall-e the ship is simply out in space until Earth is habitable again. In Across the Universe the ship has a destination-a new planet that scientists have deemed habitable. However it will take a three hundred years to get to. Therefore all the people who are necessary to get things going on the planet-top military strategists, genius genome splicers, brilliant scientists, etc. have been cryogenically frozen and will be awoken when the ship arrives, ready to colonize the planet and cope with whatever is already there. Along with the brilliant minds is teenager Amy. She has chosen to be frozen along with her mom and dad. Unfortunately for Amy she is unfrozen 50 years to soon. The first thing you and she realize is that now, even if she waits 50 years, she’ll be older than her parents are when she next sees them. Which is weird. Also, it will be boring waiting on a ship for 50 years. Also, things are crazy on the ship. How crazy? Well, about what you might expect when thousands of people are put on a spaceship and it is expected that generations of them will live and die on that same ship. Think about that. That means they are living simply for the purpose of keeping the ship going. That means that if generations of people live and die there they will have developed their own culture and history relevant to the ship. That means that everything we and Amy know will have become simply legend. Things like the Sun.
The great mystery is who woke up Amy and why? The story is told quite a bit from the point of view of Elder, the next in line leader of the ship’s people. He begins to question things he has always accepted. Why are all the creative people considered mentally ill? Why is everyone so docile? From Amy’s perspective she can see all these things immediately, but not so Elder. There were definitely some cliches, and I kept shouting in my head “Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!!!!!!”, but overall I really loved this. I get such an education from novels. For example, should I ever awake someplace where everyone acts strange….don’t drink the water.
I was delighted to learn that a sequel is coming out soon!