Release Date: January 15, 2013
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The final book in the New York Times bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Galactica and Prometheus!
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.
FUELED BY LIES.
RULED BY CHAOS.
I love a good sci-fi series, especially the wild ones. It's not often we get to experience an entirely new planet, and it was fun to try that in this novel. It's fast-paced, almost a thriller, but doesn't quite reach this level. Even so, it's a major page turner that kept me up late into the night. This last installment was just as brill as the two books that came before. This review kind of makes it sound like I didn't love this book, but believe me, I did.
Elder is okay, I guess. Not the best character ever. I like him more than Amy, which isn't actually saying much but still. He tries to be a good leader, but he's a teenager and we are not the best leaders. He tends to doubt himself when he needs to step up, but he also has no idea when to let go. He's an all right character, but he could have used some improving. I don't hate him, but I have no more real love for him. I used to like him more.
I'm not a huge Amy fan. She irritates the living hell out of me. She has these ideals and she's she freaking stubborn and her way is the right way and that is that. And we're supposed to just take that. Guys, Amy is what, seventeen? I sincerely doubt that she holds all the answers to the universe in her hands and that is not okay. She is always, always portrayed as being right in this book and she just really got on my nerves like nothing else.
The number one thing that bothered me about this book: It was so freaking ridiculously liberal.
Granted, this is a personal issue. and, speaking frankly, I am a teenager and probably have not settled in permanent political views yet. But I was raised as a conservative, and my parents are conservative, and despite the fact that I am liberal in a few select aspects I am still, at this point in my life, mostly a conservative. So, this did affect me. I was so frustrated by all the things that Amy wanted to do and her ideas to govern the colony. However, those are my personal opinions and this might not bother anyone but me.
So, moving on. Shades of Earth is very, very fast-paced, but at other times it kind of drags. The pacing is weirdly off. It's always fast or slow, and kind of frustrating. I couldn't get a grip on it. I loved when it moved quickly. It was always fun to hear my heartbeat speed up, but that only made it all the more annoying when everything slowed down.
Love the concept, though, and the originality of it. It was fun to explore a new setting. The previous two books took place on the ship, but this one moves away from that. Instead, there's a new planet. New dangers. Unexpected twists. Some things were way too coincidental and unrealistic, but if I let that go and simply enjoyed this for what it was, I had a lot more fun.
All in all, I did love this. It wasn't perfect, but perfection is relative anyway. I truly enjoyed this.
I am not necessarily a huge fan of Amy and Elder's romance. I don't hate it, but it's so goddamn boring. They have no chemistry whatsoever. It's sweet but it lacks substance. I was much more willing to ship Amy with the creepy Chris, who I really didn't like at all, which says a lot. Still, if they want to live a passion-less life together I suppose that's their choice. It felt a lot like a first love thing and just didn't have that extra oomph.
Beth has gorgeous writing when it comes to description. She describe Centauri-Earth so vividly that it's almost like we're actually there. There's an incredible level of sensory detail. However, I am not a fan of Amy's and Elder's voice. They just come off to me as so immature and irritating. They've improved since the beginning, but they still needed work. They also aren't nearly distinct enough. I understand the dual-POV thing, but if you're going to do that you need to have distinct, separate voices.
I really think that Shades of Earth reached a wonderful ending. It was far from clean, but it was realistic. There's death and destruction and everything isn't neat. There's going to still be changes that have to be made, and they're going to have to rebuild their lives. But it's not a cliffhanger as much as it simply is an open ending. There's more to come, but for us, the story is over. At least for now. However, I wouldn't object to a novella set in this world in the future.
Not that the Across the Universe series has come to an end, I absolutely cannot wait to see what Beth spins for us next. I'm sure it'll be full of sparkles and romance, and I'm definitely excited. Whether she moves away from sci-fi or stays within the genre, I have high hopes that I'll love it. For old fans of this series, you need to pick this book up ASAP. If you're new to this series, I highly recommend it even if you're queasy about the sic-fi stuff. It's that good.
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