Release Date: January 15th 2013
Published By: Penguin Books
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Rating: 5 out of 5
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.
Review: Wow, what an epic conclusion to the Across The Universe series!
Shades of Earth tells a very different story to Across The Universe and A Million Suns. Essentially Shades of Earth starts with the shuttle landing on Centauri-Earth and the fallout of what happens after they land.
I really liked the world building that happens in this book. We are discovering what Centauri-Earth is at the same time as Amy and Elder are and there’s a real sense of fear and wonder when they open the doors to the shuttle to walk out in the open for the first time.
I also really liked the way that the story built itself up. So initially they discover pterodactyl type creatures on the planet who are trying to attack them. And as the story goes on, there are more and more ‘mystery’ attacks and deaths occurring that you can’t help but feel like you’re part of a murder mystery dinner, and you need to guess who is responsible. Personally, I quite liked this aspect of taking something that could have been innocent enough and then manipulating it in a way where we understand that there is something more sinister at play.
I didn’t really feel the connection between Elder and Amy in this book was as strong, and whilst there is some romance still between the two of them, I felt like I was more just being told what happens instead of feeling what happened. That was the only disappointment in this book, as I felt up until now, their relationship was written in a really great way.
Shades of Earth bought about new issues entirely with Amy’s parents being woken up from having been cryogenically frozen. Amy’s overbearing father automatically takes full control of the whole situation and we’re reminded rather quickly that Elder is, after all, a teenager.
There’s also a theme of racism strangely enough that starts to emerge with there being a very clear segregation of “shipborn” people and “earthborn” people which I found interesting.
Ultimately though, this story is one of trying to merely survive. People are being killed at random it seems, and the only option they have is to try and outsmart the attackers and fight back, with the limited weaponry that they have, and with surprise results.
The ending didn’t make me swoon, but I will say that in hindsight I don’t have a better suggestion as to how it *should* have ended. Based on this, I am giving Shades of Earth a full 5 stars!
“I learned that life is so, so fragile. I learned that you can know someone for just days and never forget the impression he left on you. I learned that art can be beautiful and sad at the same time. I learned that if someone loves you, he’ll wait for you to love him back. I learned that how much you want something doesn’t determine whether you get it or not, that “no” might not be enough, that life isn’t fair, that my parents can’t save me, that maybe no one can.”
“I’ll always come back to you.”
“We all die someday.” Maybe the only thing that makes that fact bearable is the idea that death is the only way we can return to the stars.”