Monday, 16 September 2013

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3) by Beth Revis

Description from Goodreads:

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceshipGodspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.



I had really liked the trilogy before I had read the third and the concluding book Shades of Earth. I was even feeling a little bit of nostalgic as Across the Universe and A Million Suns had given me so many memorable and exciting moments. Therefore, I think it goes without saying how much I was looking forward to this book. 

Even though the beginning was very action filled as Amy and Elder faced all sorts of problems and dangers, I wasn't very captivated by the events. In fact, it took a really long time for me to actual get absorbed in the book. There definitely were all sorts of things going on which I didn't first see coming, but I just couldn't help but feel a tad bit disappointed as the plot development was rather predictable in general. The big revelation wasn't a surprise but more of a confirmation to my own speculations, and this was the biggest let down for me. Previously Revis has taken me by a surprise, but Shades of Earth didn't just do it for me. 

Quite many new characters are introduced to the readers which have been mentioned before, but haven't been fully known. Amy's parents for example are some of these characters. In the previous books we have gotten a very subjective opinion of Amy's father, Colonel Martin, as he was always described from Amy's point of view. However, when he is unfrozen the readers realise that he in fact isn't exactly the kind and sweet type of dad, at least not 100% of the time. He is the colonel first, and being a dad comes second (he is on a mission, after all). Like Elder mentiones, he is way too similar to the Eldest which makes Elder very suspicious of him. I was really happy that Colonel Martin wasn't exactly what Amy told us, as it created tension between the dynamics of Amy, Elder and Colonel Martin.

One of the other things that I've always found really well executed is the romance between Amy and Elder. Even though the element always is somewhere in the background, it never is the main theme. Across the Universe after all is about survival and finding your own place in the world. However, there is some notable progression in their relationship as Amy finally starts to realise that Elderis  exactly what she wants and needs. However, there also are some bumps in the road as the trip to paradise isn't without obstacles.

As Shades of Earth is the final book the trilogy, I think it's pretty mandatory to talk about how I liked the ending. Revis took pretty safe way to end the book, but it worked pretty well. There were some dramatic events, but it wasn't too difficult to figure out how things turn out to be in the ending. Even though I said that the final chapter worked okay, I wish there was something extra special there. Something that would make the readers gape or exclaim in wonder/surprise - just like in the end of book 1, Across the Universe. That would have been the cherry on the top for the trilogy.

The trilogy has been amazing, even though I think that Across the Universe was the best of all. A Million Suns takes the second place, and Shades of Earth comes third. I have to say that the books worked better in space than on ground, and I wished Shades of Earth would have concentrated on there too. Nevertheless, together the books has given me an amazing adventure with Amy and Elder, and I'm really happy I decided to pick  Across the Universe. Thank you Beth Revis for giving me a great ride with these incredible characters.

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