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 uncover who – or what – 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.
Oh. My. God. Honestly, that was my reaction at the beginning, middle and end of Shades of Earth by Beth Revis. I think this one is my favourite of the trilogy, hands down. I was completely happy and had to hold myself back from reading the ending so many times. I just wanted to know that everyone was ok and that things turned out right for Amy and Elder.
Beth Revis continues to amaze me with her descriptive world building. And now we get more than just the Godspeed! The planet is lush and fully realized. There’s this bit of a Pitch Black feel to the creatures that Amy, Elder and the others come across. The emotion that comes through in the writing really adds to the sense of fear and the unknown that permeates the majority of the novel. The shuttle landing was intense and Amy’s dad? Kind of a dick. I mean, as the book goes on you kind of understand where he’s coming from, but I still was not his biggest fan. There’s this amazing mystery that starts to unfold as soon as they land on the planet and wake those frozen in cryo. All the little pieces start to come together and mesh as the story continues, with the big reveals wonderfully planned out for shock and “I should have known!” moments. The suspense is one of the best parts of the book, as is the fast-paced plot and action mixed with a murder mystery.
I also really enjoyed that we get to see snippets of the Plague Eldest and learn more about Godspeed’s mission and why Orion did what he did. I honestly was surprised and impressed with the twists. I definitely didn’t see the final explanation coming and guh. Just guh. Beth Revis likes to kill off her characters, that’s all I can say! Characterization was still wonderful – I feel that Amy and Elder continue to grow as individuals and a couple. And of course we get to see a different side of Amy once her mother and father are present, and how they (and the others from cryo) interact with Elder and the shipborns. Elder really falls into this “hero and leader” persona that you could tell from Across the Universe and A Million Suns he had in him all the time, he just had to embrace it. Elder’s got a good head on his shoulders and he really cares for his people and Amy.
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis is a fitting and beautiful end to one of my favourite trilogies. Everything that has occurred in the previous books was leading to this epic end and I couldn’t have been more happy with it. And she left it open to continue playing in this universe if she wanted! I mean, the ending gives us this great “and now you imagine what happens next” scenario in that way really good books do, but I would love to see a fifteen years down the road type story at some point. New characters but with the old ones still in the background and new obstacles. Let’s face it, I just don’t want to say goodbye to Amy, Elder and the shipborns yet!
ARC received from Razorbill (Penguin Canada) in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!