April 17, 2013

Latest Read: Shades of Earth

Here are the basics ...
Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis
Publication date: Jan. 15, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Category: Young Adult - Dystopian
Source: Borrowed from library

Summary: Amy and Elder have finally left the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh 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 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 else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. (Adapted goodreads.com
My thoughts…
The good: I don't think ending a series is ever easy. There are lot of expectations and hopes for these characters that you've been along for the ride with and as a reader, you want that satisfying end. For me, there are only a handful of series enders I've truly felt happy with and I'm sorry to say - Shades of Earth was not one of them. Plot-wise, I think the author was completely on target and took her story in the right direction. It picked up where A Millions Suns left off. Elder, Amy and all the Godspeed passengers who wanted to leave the ship are headed towards Centauri-Earth. They were finally going to breathe in fresh air and step on solid ground. The chaos, fear and general sense of panic was captured really well. I could feel their emotions as if I was on the ship with them, scared it going crash straight into the ground. But as expected, Centauri Earth is not this bright, shiny place all ready for them to inhabit. It comes with its own set of dangers (like pterodactyl type creatures, poisonous plants and more) and the truth is, its completely alien to all of them. And the longer they're there, the more dangerous it becomes as the real history of their ship's past and its ties to Sol-Earth are revealed. The overall plot and little details we've been given in each book came full circle by the end.

(Major) reservations: The biggest (and impossible to ignore) issue, in my mind, were the characters. Elder is the only person I liked consistently from the beginning of the series to the end and it's because he evolves. He grows up and tries to be a strong leader for his people, although he's still a boy (and one hopelessly in love with Amy at that). More than ever though, he wanted to do what's right. As for the rest of the main/secondary characters - I was so frustrated with them. Especially Amy. I was already having issues with her in the second book but her self-centered bratty behavior was magnified in Shades of Earth. I couldn't connect with her at all. And then we finally get to meet her parents and they ended up being one-dimensional, close-minded people who didn't try to adapt to the new world in front of them. They thought they could just wake up and take charge with little regard to Elder or the people of Godspeed. And I could've understood their behavior at first but there was no growth. I honestly couldn't get past Amy or her parents' attitude or actions and that feeling of frustration clouded my entire reading experience. After following her journey for three books and knowing her desire to be reunited with her parents, this was not what I expected.

Do I recommend?: I think if you've already read the first and second books, you should read this as well. Even though I wasn't satisfied, I am glad I saw the series through to the end. The writing is fast-paced and engaging and I know some people who really did love this, so you may feel differently than I did.

Happy reading!

6 comments:

  1. Awwww... I hate it when the last book in a series disappoints. I haven't read this yet, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to avoid the series. Characters are so important to me when I'm reading; I can't roll without them. Thanks for reviewing!

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    1. It's a shame because the story itself is really interesting and she's a good writer. But when you can't stand one of the main protagonists (or 90% of the characters).. that's a problem for me haha. Oh well. Thanks for the comment!

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  2. I really want to read this series but at the same time I'm very hesitant to pick it up. I've read some really good reviews about this and I'm quite curious about the story. At the same time I see all your points and why it didn't work all that much for you. Great review, Rachel! : )

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    1. The first book is great! I mean I had a couple issues with it but overall, I was totally sucked into the story. And I do think the plot behind the entire series was well done. It's just the characters, namely Amy, that I had a problem with. My frustration with her really detracted from my enjoyment of the book. But who knows, you may feel differently! If you decide to pick it up, I hope you enjoy it more than I did!

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  3. After just finishing this, I can definitely agree with you on the unlikable characters. I was never Amy’s biggest fan, but in this book I felt she became very immature and closed-minded. She failed to see the other side of things, and I found it very hard to root for her, especially in the last half of the book. So that was disappointing.

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  4. I hated Amy in A Million Suns - like Elder didn't have enough problems, but he needed to hold her hand the whole time too? She really grew on me in this though, since she wasn't about to let her parents stop her from doing what she felt was right. But her parents were just awful - Amy had painted them as such kind people, and they just wake up and start walking around like they owned the place!

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