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. ALMOST HOME.
WARNING! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE SERIES: ACROSS THE UNIVERSE AND A MILLION SUNS.
Holy crap! That was my first reaction to completing this book and this series. The way that Ms. Revis took what we knew about Amy, Elder, and the whole Godspeed plot and turned it on its head was unexpected and extremely entertaining.
The last time that we saw the Godspeed crew they were leaving the ship for good and trying to land on the planet that they had been circling for ages, Centauri-Earth. Shades of Earth picks up right where A Million Suns left off with Elder, Amy, and over a thousand others heading towards the planet. From there, readers watch as these people's lives change forever.
I have been kinda tough on Amy in my earlier reviews for this series, but this book really made me love and appreciate her. The development of her character and the way that she grew up to become the strong-minded woman she is has been a real joy to read about in these books. Shades of Earth allows Amy to reunite with her parents, but then forces her to really think about the differences between their opinions regarding the ship dwellers and hers. I liked how she had moments where she was still a teenager who looked to her parents and the other adults for advice yet never took their word for absolute truth.
One character that I have not had a difficult time liking and wanting to see more of is Elder. I have been fascinated by his journey since the moment we met him. A teenager who is forced, by tradition and tragedy, to become the leader of a group of people is an interesting story line especially when his authority is tested by the arrival of new people. Watching Elder adjust to his leadership role in A Million Suns was a nice introduction to the trials that he faces in this book. Now that the people from Sol-Earth are unfrozen, Elder must try to balance his urge to rely on the authority of Amy's father while still maintaining the morale of his people.
A new "character" that emerges in this book that I think requires mentioning in the review is the planet itself. Readers have been hearing about this illusive world since the beginning of the series and I was super excited to finally see what it was like on the surface. What I got was a world full of beauty and danger. The gorgeous trees and lakes are balanced out with the existence of terrifying animals and monsters that the frozens and ship dwellers were not prepared for. Revis allowed Centauri-Earth to develop a personality of its own which I really enjoyed and appreciated.
I can't say much about the plot of Shades of Earth without spoiling it for future readers. But, what I can say is that the action starts from the first chapter and does not stop until the explosive and heart-wrenching ending. Readers are exposed to almost everything a good conclusion needs: curious sites, political intrigue, death, destruction, and some very angry neighbors.
In conclusion, I found Shades of Earth to be a satisfying and adrenaline-pumping conclusion to an already amazing series. The journey of Amy and Elder was mind-blowing and emotionally taxing, but worth my time and energy. Revis does an amazing job of making her readers feel for her characters as well as forcing them to really think about the situation on Centuari-Earth and what they can learn from it.
Across the Universe Trilogy
1. Across the Universe
2. A Million Suns
3. Shades of Earth
Nemo -- Nightwish
**Ultimate theme song for Elder and his journey throughout the series.
Cosmic Love -- Florence & the Machine
**Amy and Elder's love song.
BOOK CHALLENGE ENTRY