Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3)
Author: Beth Revis
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: 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.
Another great series ending...I know, I've been finishing a lot of these lately.
I had read a lot of mixed reviews on Shades of Earth, so when I bought it on release day, I didn't know what to expect, because reviews on the first two books are pretty positive. The first book I liked okay. The second book I really liked, and now this one, for the most part, was pretty frexing brilly. (Also, if you take a look at Goodreads for the series ratings, I'm not alone in my opinion.)
Sci-fi is my favorite genre, and there just aren't a lot of great new YA sci-fi books without the dystopia angle, nowadays. I think that's why I stuck with this trilogy, because even though it takes place in the future and Sol-Earth is mentioned, technology is advanced, but there was no catastrophic event to reset civilization on Sol-Earth and make it a dystopia. Anyway, we don't even see Sol-Earth, just make a few communications to them. I like that distance, because it allows a lot of freedom for developing two new worlds; Godspeed, and Centauri-Earth.
While Godspeed world-developing took up the first two books, and we have about two pages of it in here. Centauri-Earth is the main setting for Shades of Earth, and its described beautifully. I shared Amy's wonder in the similarities to Sol-Earth, and yet all the little (and big) differences on the new planet. There are two suns, interesting plant-life, and...not so kind creatures. This is the main mystery for the plot and though I thought I guessed a few things, I tried to keep my suspicions to a minimum so I could enjoy the story. And a lot of it I did not see coming at all, or I thought I did and then it took a completely different direction. That's always fun!
I do wish the shipborn people had more development, after coming down in the shuttle. They're mentioned as a group a lot, but then up to leading to the climax, after that, there isn't more than a few words about them! I'm really curious to see how many of them, er, survived. And how they're starting a new civilization, etc. The focus became directed to the military side toward the end, and I see how it's needed, but it feels like those shipborns were forgotten about.
This is what you don't want to hear: Lots of people keep dying. And when you think everything is finally okay? Another person dies. It's not pretty, any of the deaths, and I will admit that I might have gotten a little misty-eyed on a few of them, and also queasy. Just trust me, you will be mad at the book at some points. I was very surprised, because I didn't expect it to be so filled with so much death and despair. These people really have horrible luck, and can't catch a break.
The pace is fast, the first page starting off mere seconds after A Million Suns ends, and the action doesn't stop until the last chapter or so. Actually the last few chapters felt rushed a little, but I didn't mind that much. Everything felt complete and tied up, with no straggling ends and a whole new world to explore.
I'd recommend the series to anyone who likes the book Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card (my review here), or the movie Wall-E, or the TV series Terra Nova (which got cancelled after one series, grrr.)
Now I get to put this new hardback on the shelf with my two other hardbacks that don't match on my shelf...is it just me, or have these mid-series cover changes been more and more frequent??
Anyone have recommendations for more non-dystopia YA sci-fi??