Saturday, February 2, 2013

Shades of Earth

Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Released: January 15, 2013
Genre: YA Science Fiction Thriller
Series: Across the Universe #3
Source: Bought

Once some of the people aboard the Godspeed hovering above Centauri-Earth decide to land against the decisions of previous generations and Orion's dire warnings, they feel infused with courage and anticipation. But nothing goes as planned. When the frozens wake up, they want to take control and relieve Elder of his duties - which he isn't standing for, and which creates tension between the shipborns and Earthborns in addition to their differences and distrust of each other. But the planet itself doesn't seem to want them there either. Vicious creatures are killing off the colonists one by one, and there's another life form that manages to stay hidden but is apparently even more deadly than the vicious flying creatures. The planet hides many secrets - will Elder and Amy and their people be able to uncover them in time to save even some of the colonists?

What an end to the series! Shades of Earth is amazing amazing amazing! It's a real up-and-down ride, taking you from utter fear to relieved complacency, right back to horrified terror and back again. The surprises keep coming, and the way the shipborns and Earthborns distrust each other means that they're all keeping secrets from each other even though they're all trying to find out the planet's secrets. It makes the whole story even more suspenseful. And waiting to see who will die next adds even more breath-holding to reading it. Just when you're starting to like someone, he or she is killed by the flying carnivores. And just when one of the scientists finds something illuminating, another twist happens so that all their theories are overturned.

The surprises started in the first two books, but they're intensified and magnified in this book. And as the book draws to a close, those surprises come thicker and faster. By the last fifty or so pages of the book, I was alternating between gasping in shock and slapping a hand over my mouth in grief, and cheering and shaking the book in the air in excitement. I literally went through that cycle at least five times, as every few pages the status kept changing. I love how the book ends. Believe me, you're in for a real shock there! Aside from figuring out what exactly has been going on on this planet and making huge decisions about how to deal with these revelations, Amy and Elder's relationship is tested and shaken. It's not a happyhappy last ten pages, but there's a satisfaction in having ultimately done the right thing, hard as it was, amid the grief over all those who have died.

Defintely read this book. It's a great end to the series, making this trilogy one I'm likely to reread often.

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