Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3)

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Overall rating 
 
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Plot 
 
4.0  (7)
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A great end to the series
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This book left me speechless after I finished reading it. It was a great conclusion to the series and really upped the action and intrigue. I have to say I loved this book. It left me with so many emotions at the end and even though the ending was left open I didn’t feel robbed. The only complaint I had with the series is that I didn’t fall in love with the main characters. Elder and Amy seemed realistic to me (considering what they what through) but I couldn’t connect with them and their love for each other just felt lacking in some way. Overall this series is great; it was a fast pace, page turner that I devoured in no time.
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Good ending to the series.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What a nail-biting ending to this series! I would say that this was probably the most sci-fi book of the series. They have landed on the planet that is supposed to be their home and there are so many things they don't know and are faced with. Amy also releases all those frozen from Earth and that brings a whole different dynamic. There were also so many ironies. The people on Godspeed stayed on the ship instead of landing for their safety, but were eventually put on the mind and emotion-altering drug for the leaders to maintain control. Something similar happens on Centauri-Earth. The frozens don't like the people from Godspeed and vice versa just because they are different. There are many others, but I would give too much away if I told you about them.

There were a few things I didn't like. I felt Amy was a little inconsistent. I also got frustrated with her and Elder not just saying what they were thinking or being honest with each other. I wanted Amy to tell her parents that she had been responsible for herself for three months (was it really only that long?) without them and would have also been so if she'd stayed on earth, so they should stop treating her like a child. Some of that was that she didn't think she would ever see them again. Eventually they get through it though, thank goodness. Some things were also never explained, such as why the Phydus patches were taken, how Phydus got into the shuttle, and why the natives chose to do what they did when there were such better or more logical options. I guess I get the why to an extent, but it didn't completely work for me. At least Amy holds them accountable.

I still really loved Amy and Elder's characters! Their relationship is still developing and is strongly challenged by Amy's parents and the things they face on the new planet. I also really liked the rest of the minor characters. Then the whole plot! I just wasn't sure what was going to happen. There were so many surprises and difficulties. I wasn't quite sure if things were going to work out. I could definitely see this one being reenacted on the big screen. I'm sure it would scare me to death in a few spots because things get pretty intense and psychological. Definitely a great ending to the series!

Content: Faux language, one non-descriptive sex scene, violence
Source: Library
Original review posted here.
Good Points
Page-turner
Great characters
Intriguing plot
Great writing
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Mostly satisfying conclusion
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
The highly anticipated conclusion to Beth Revis’s debut trilogy was…well, not what I was expecting. A Million Suns ended in a manner that left things very open-ended, but I figured that even so, Shades of Earth was going to follow the basic outline I’d constructed in my head. It didn’t. By and large, this is a good book, and it’s mostly satisfying. However, this book wasn’t perfect, and in some cases I’m not sure things were fully explained.

Like Revis’s first two books, Shades of Earth hinges largely on the fact that those in positions of power are corrupt and that they lie. This is even more the case here, where the earthborn scientists and soldiers are no longer in cryo-sleep and are, generally, fulfilling popular anti-intellectual tropes in YA fiction. Our two narrators, Amy and Elder, stand in as the voices of reason, with the shipborn at their backs. That children and common laborers are portrayed as the sole source of right-mindedness in this book should not go unnoticed.

Plotwise, there’s not too much I can say. Shades of Earth is mostly about exploring the new world, and then getting ready to kill malevolent aliens who are already there. Now-deceased Orion has a few tricks up his sleeve, of course, and in the end everything comes together with a happy ending for all—except the evil scientists, of course.

Most of my dissatisfaction with the book has to do with the final fifty pages—not the final scene so much, as I think cheesy endings are a necessary evil. However, by the end of the book, I had no idea who Amy was as a person. I’ve always respected her as a protagonist, but in the end she was blinded by her own hurt (very realistic, I agree), and ended up refusing to see the other side of things, acting childish, and definitely regressing as far as maturity level goes. I was forced to wonder what I’d ever seen in her.

However, Shades of Earth is still a great book. Beth Revis can definitely write, she has the ability to engage readers and keep them on their toes. I may not agree with the choices she made here, but this book is still successful and I’m happy with how things turned out. It was definitely nice to get all the answers I wanted, and everything came together smoothly.
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Good, but disappointing.
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Well, that was certainly unexpected. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Shades of Earth, it’s that you can’t trust the government, the military, big corporations, or aliens. Not that I trusted any of these before reading it, except maybe the aliens. Anyway, I will start by saying that Shades of Earth is easily my least favorite of this series. The first book was super amazingtastic. The second book was really good, but not as good as the first. This one was, well, a bit unsatisfying in many areas. I was hoping for a big finish, and kind of got that, but it seems like all of the build up didn’t create a large enough climax. It was still good though, and I read it all in one sitting.

The Godspeed has finally landed, but not without difficulty. Once on land, Elder, Amy and Company realize that Centauri-Earth is much more hostile than they were expecting. Immediately they are attacked by one of the strange creatures that calls this planet home. Not a very warm welcome. Of course, the frozens must be defrosted now, including Amy’s parents. Her father is the highest ranking official on board and tries to assume role as leader, but Elder is willing to stand up to him for his people. This causes a very strong divide between the shipborns and the Earthborns. The tensions get even higher when the colonists are mysterious picked off one by one.

I love Centauri-Earth! It’s the best thing about Shades of Earth. It’s beautiful and dangerous. The basic structure is similar to Sol-Earth, but sometimes the most beautiful flower can be the most deadly. There’s a heavy sense of fear as the people leave the ship, since everything is unknown. What plants are edible? What kinds of predators are there? Is the water clean? We only get to experience a few of the interesting creatures and I really wish there had been more. That would have slowed down the plot too much though.

The plot is super fast paced just like the previous two, but it felt really repetitive in places. Amy and Elder almost always have to go against the military’s orders, and they discover something, but Amy’s dad won’t listen to a pair of teenagers, so they run off again to do more sleuthing. If you thought they were done with all of Orion’s clues, think again! Nothing is what it seems on Centauri-Earth. I had my theories, which were all mostly wrong. I had one little thing right, but it didn’t even compare to the bigger picture. Actually, the big reveal is kind of a giant info dump that spans a few chapters. It was information overload.

Now for the weakest link of the book: Amy and Elder’s romance. It’s probably one of the worst romances I have ever read in YA. I just don’t buy it. I miss the Amy who stood up and told Elder that they don’t have to be together just because they’re the only teens around and are in an emotionally charged situation. Now she can’t seem to stop grabbing him for make-out sessions. There is absolutely no chemistry between them! I would have much preferred if the romance had been one-sided with Elder pining after Amy and her wanting to just be friends, at least for now. Then there’s an added love triangle, which was the lamest addition to the series ever. I don’t think the author’s strength lies in writing romances. It was just awful.

I did like Shades of Earth. It answered all of the billions of questions that popped up in Across the Universe and A Million Suns, but something just didn’t work for me. It felt like there were too many twists and turns that were unnecessary (Amy even points one out at the end!) and the climax was an info-dump. It still has the addictiveness of the other two books, but it just kind of fizzled at the end. I do like how the ending wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The people of Centauri-Earth are going to continue to face many more complications. We just won’t be witnessing them.
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