Book Review: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

This review contains spoilers for the first two books in the series. You can check out my reviews for those books here:
Book 1 (Across the Universe)
Book 2 (A Million Suns)

Title: (GoodReads) 
Author: Shades of Earth
Page Count: 369
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: YA Science Fiction

Goodreads Summary:
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.

Opinion:
First off, I have to complain about the cover. The first two book in the series had absolutely gorgeous covers. Why they decided to change everything for the last book, I have no idea. The current cover isn’t horrible, but it’s nowhere near as awesome as the covers for the first two. This has nothing really to do with the actual book, but it still bothered me.

Although, in hindsight, I guess the different cover of the book was sort of an omen that things were about to change. This whole book felt so different from the first two. And, really, it is different. They’re no longer in space. The frozens are about to wake up. They have this whole new planet to deal with. Everything is different. So I guess it makes sense for the cover to be different, too. And the fact that this cover is worse than the others sort of hints at something, too.

I don’t want this review to sound as though I hated this book. Because I didn’t. I quite enjoyed it for the most part. Or, rather, most of what I didn’t like wasn’t really a flaw. I don’t deal well with change. I don’t like to see people take over who I don’t feel deserve to be in charge. I don’t like feeling that Orion was right to kill off the frozens. But that’s how I felt for most of the book. I hated most of the frozens, and the other people on the ship already annoyed me from the second book, and Amy was acting strangely for part of it, and I just spent most of this book hating everyone.

Except that was also realistic. Because if you’re the head of the military personnel on a ship, and you find out that some sixteen year old is in charge of everyone, you would start to question things. I probably wouldn’t trust Elder, either, if I hadn’t already known what happened. So all of their reactions make sense, and I’m glad Revis wrote it like that because she didn’t take the easy way out. There was a real power struggle, and I liked that. It was realistic.

I also liked that there was some mystery. We don’t really know what’s with the aliens or whatever it is that’s trying to kill them. There’s more secrets about the ship that we don’t know. In a way, it was much more dramatic than the first two (or at least than the second one) because there’s more stuff going on. And more people keep dying. And you want to know why, and you keep thinking you have some idea, but there’s always more that you don’t quite know.

I could have dealt with that. And there was a lot that surprised me, and a lot of it was handled quite well. I still really enjoyed this book. But I couldn’t help feeling, once I got to the end, that so much of what happened could have been avoided very easily – so easily, in fact, that it sort of feels like that all happened for nothing, and it makes me question the whole book. There were so many great layers to this story, and I thought it would keep getting better, but it didn’t. It’s like she wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen, or she had a great start to an idea but needed to make it more dramatic so it would last for a whole book. I’m not sure.

Maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe the events were realistic and I’m the unrealistic one to think that it could have happened a different way. I just found much of this book to be a bit, well, anticlimactic for me. I felt like there were so many more things to wrap up in the end, and maybe instead of writing a bunch of stuff that didn’t really need to happen, she could have focused on a different aspect of the new world instead. But that’s just me.

Overall, this was still a great book. I’m glad I read it, and this is still one of my favorite series that I’ve read this year. I still highly recommend this series to everyone. It’s not nearly as big of a letdown as the last Hunger Games book was. This book just wasn’t quite as good as the first two.

Rating: 8/10

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Posted on December 30, 2013, in 52in52, Reading. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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