quarta-feira, 19 de junho de 2013

Shades of Earth, Beth Revis

This book was read for the 2013 Don't Let It End Reading Challenge hosted by Fiktshun.

My thoughts: I'm going to miss these books so much. I mean, reading them for the first time, uncovering the twists and turns the author has in store for you, walking alongside Amy and Elder in the Godspeed ship, or in Centauri-Earth... In retrospective, this is the perfect ending for the trilogy - it's something I expected to happen since the first book (the exploration of the planet that was the target of Godspeed's mission), and yet Beth Revis managed to surprise me with where she took us with this one.

A compliment to the author I have to make is that it really shows she is a science fiction fan. She knows and uses well the tropes and the scenarios, but gives them her own flavor and turns them into something, if not unique, at least very believable, like it will actually happen in the future - as all sci-fi should.

Shades of Earth takes us finally to Centauri-Earth, and starts with the landing of the shuttle (formerly a part of Godspeed), which carried Amy, Elder, the frozen, and the people from Godspeed that agreed to travel to Centauri-Earth. Trying to establish a colony in Centauri-Earth, the group soon realizes that something is wrong. There are things that shouldn't be on the planet. And soon they realize... they know... they are not alone.

I think every book in this series had me questioning the sense of preparing a mission and a ship like Godspeed and sending it the moment Earth did, and with the parameters it did. This book made me question it even more. The true intent in FRX's mission ended up being very screwed, and it was ultimately the reason why Godspeed ended up the way it did. Had they waited a little longer, had they had truer intentions, the missions would have been better planned, and gone better.

I know, this last paragraph is way cryptic, but I'm trying both to be non-spoilerish, and to explain why I was so upset with FRX and its intentions toward Centauri-Earth. In the end, I guess it was pure human greed, and that makes me so sad.

It was interesting to see how there was this huge planet waiting to be explored, and Beth still managed to evoke this claustrophobic atmosphere that was present in the first two books. Many things in Centauri-Earth are wrong and unexpected, and the group of shipborns and Earthborns tries to stick together. Yet, they are not really united. One of the things I wish was considered when creating the mission was to send, among the frozen ones, people more flexible and better prepared to deal with a variety of scenarios when they woke up.

I mean, Amy's father behaved as would be expected for a military officer in charge, but I wish he had not been so close-minded and dismissive of Elder and his people. It created a lot of tension that was unnecessary to establish the colony. I understand his dismissal of Elder as the shipborns' leader, as Elder in only a teenager, but he didn't even try to understand why the shipborns were the way they were - even Amy could have helped him understand them. If he did, maybe there wouldn't have been so many deaths. And he placed his trust where he shouldn't have, and that was just plain stupid.

Also, people should have talked more about what was going on. Not only Amy's father and the military, whose obssession with keeping everyone in the dark was unnerving, but Amy and Elder as well. I think there were some weird transitions between scenes where information should have been exchanged and it wasn't, or maybe it was but that wasn't made clear to the reader... anyway, I wanted Amy and Elder to try to explain more to the Earthborns about what was going on in Godspeed and what eventually made them try to land in Centauri-Earth. They didn't tell anyone about Phydus until too late, which was just weird, as it was a very big part of the plot.

I finally liked to see Amy and Elder together. I still think the relationship is a bit unbalanced, since Elder seems the more involved one, but there were a couple of moments I loved where Amy shows her loyalty to him. And she finally figures out what exactly he means to her. Their moments together were so cute. Amy realizes the right path for her, and she takes a little more responsibility throughout the novel. I still questioned Amy and Elder's decisions here and there, but I believe they are trying to do the right thing. Especially Elder, who is trying to be the leader his people need, and to do right by the shipborns that remained on Godspeed.

The mystery behind the strange happenings in Centauri-Earth was very compelling, and I couldn't wait to know what was really going on. And it was mind-blowing. It made so much sense in the end, and Beth did a good job of tying loose ends and making sure everything was linked. I hated the new players for the actions they took, but I loved to understand what had led them the path they took. It was human greed, after all. How such a tiny thing could elicit such a big change in the world galaxy universe, er, whatever, and in these people.

I probably made it sound a bit like I didn't like the book, or at least part of it, and it couldn't be farther from the truth. I loved it because it made me think about these kinds of things, and made me question a lot how people are. And I adore that Beth Revis chose to write these books the way she did, because they show a good understanding of human nature and of what makes people tick. I am very curious to read whatever she writes next, because I'm sure it will be fabulously awesome.

P.S.: The only thing I actively disliked was that cover, and the way they changed the books' design. *sigh* This may be the only time I've ever felt this strongly about changing covers. And it makes me sad.

Pages: 384

Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)

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