Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis [Joint Review]

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)4 out of 5 Robots!

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #3
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Release:  January 15, 2013
Hardcover: 358 Pages
Publisher: Razorbill
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon and Julia
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed 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.


(Courtesy of the Publisher)
Shannon and Julia's Thoughts:
Welcome to another wonderful installment of our joint reviews.  We hope you're having as much fun reading them as we are writing them!  Today we're reviewing the final book in the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis.  We both agree that this series is fun, but has a few hang ups.  Yet it is oddly compelling and we wanted to see how everything turned out.  Read on to hear our thoughts!

1. What was your favorite and least favorite parts?

Julia: My favorite part is when we get to know about the hybrids and others on new Earth. Their background/history is super intriguing. (I could never remember the names of the old/new Earths, sorry! haha) I wish that this story line was introduced in the beginning of the book and we were fighting the FRX from the beginning together. Instead, there are a million pointless deaths and running around doing nothing. The book would have been so much better if we just started solving new Earth problems from the get-go.
My least favorite part was everyone referring to those terrorizing them as aliens. They never saw them, had no idea or evidence that it was someone outside of the colony, yet kept blaming it on 'aliens.' Now, I know that it was in fact others that was terrorizing them, but we just had to take their word for it. And they shouldn't be called aliens because they were there first. I don't know, the whole use of the word alien annoyed me.

Shannon: My favorite part was we were finally off the ship!  I was so tired of the ship.  And the pointless running around following clues or trying to solve whodunit mysteries.  I liked that the earthborns were woken up (again, finally!).  And I liked learning the history behind the new Earth.  And, I actually liked most of the plot twists.
My least favorite part was probably how disappointing the earthborn acted once they woke up.  They were awful to the shipborn and it was very uncomfortable to read.  I also didn't like how there were almost 2000 shipborn who were allowing themselves to be bossed around by 100 earthborn.  The alien thing bothered me too!!
2. This final book takes a bit of a departure from the first two now that they are settling on the new planet.  How did you feel about that? 

Julia: I loved it. Just wish they did a little more settling than running around. We didn't really get any interactions with the shipborns... or actually anyone outside of Amy, her parents, Chris and Elder. Hmph.
Shannon: It was a needed departure.  I was getting very tired of the ship.  I wish we learned more about the settling as well.  And you are totally right - there are only 5 people seeming to run the whole show.  I get that it is hard to include a whole colony of people, but we were given only a very narrow view. 

3.  What frustrated you?  What made you happy?

Julia: Amy is frustrating. Elder made me happy, just wish he had a different name. I was sort of happy with the end, but also frustrated. I want to say why, but I can't because it is a spoiler. Most of the things I want to say spoil the plot in one form or another.
Shannon: Amy is awful!!  But I think what frustrated me the most was the interactions between the shipborns and the earthborns.  I thought the earthborns were way out of line in their treatment of shipborns.  And I thought the shipborns just kind of rolled over and took it.  And then when you added the aliens and "monsters" into the mix....it just got out of hand.

4. What did you think of the main characters?

Julia: I didn't really feel anything for them. Nothing made me feel emotionally connected to them. Elder is probably my favorite because he is pretty consistent. Amy is a brat. 
Shannon: I seriously can't stand Amy.  I find her so hypocritical, immature and selfish.  She started to get better half way through, but I still had a really hard time liking her.  I also really disliked her parents.  Her father was really rude, secretive and dismissive.  I hated how he treated Elder and the other shipborns.  Her mother wasn't much better.  But mostly I found them pretty one dimensional.  Which was too bad because Amy spent all two books whining about them. Chris was ok, but once you find out about his past...things just got real weird.

5. How did this book compare to the first two?

Julia: It is a lot better. I was way more interested in the turn out for this book.
Shannon: This was my favorite out of the series.  It was overall well-paced and exciting - lots of action!  I also found the plot was tighter (and more plausible) than the other two. 

6. What do you think about this series in general?

Julia: Honestly, it's kind of silly. A million plot holes. I kept thinking to myself "that is stupid" while reading. Though, says something for the book that I still finished and enjoyed the ride a little bit. haha. I think this would be a great set of movies.
Shannon: I wanted to like this series more than I do.  I think the biggest problem was plausibility.  Especially in the first two books.  There are a lot of plot holes and things that just didn't make sense.  I thought this was especially true with the second book, which had the most ridiculous and pointless plot.  But there was something there that kept me reading. They are oddly compelling books.  I think the series ended on a high note, but generally makes me feel more favorably to the series overall.

Books in the series in the order they should be read:
1. Across the Universe
2. A Million Suns
3. Shade of Earth

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