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To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Philip José Farmer
Storm Glass
Maria V. Snyder
Across the Universe - Beth Revis 2.5 StarsI wanted to give this book 3 stars, I really truly did. *sigh*So, I'm a sci-fi freak from waaaayyy back in the day. I think it all started with Star Trek: TNG and Wesley Crusher. Ah, Wesley Crusher, with your bobbing Adam's apple and your polyester unitard, you ruled my silly early teen fantasies. There were two main issues I had with this book, two reasons that it never reached past 2.5 stars for me.The first is that this is probably some of the worst sci-fi I've ever read. The job of sci-fi is to take the improbable and spoon feed it to the reader, coated in the golden, honey coating of deep imagination. Now, I'm not saying Revis doesn't have an imagination. Goodness, she has that in spades! My issue is that she doesn't seem to have the imagination it takes to write SCI-FI. In fact, her heroine, hero and story line would lend themselves much better to an out and out dystopian fiction or maybe another one of those boring first person present tense urban fantasies everyone is always raving about. (I kid.) So, let's discuss why this is not the best sci-fi... Well, it's not for lack of generic sci-fi jargon and technology, that's for sure. Genetic engineering, check! Super confusing and secretive mode of light speed (assumption) travel, check! People who get frozen and sent to colonize a new planet, check! New elevator technology, check! Super cool futuristic swear words... you better FREXING BELIEVE IT! The only thing the author is missing is a holodeck and Captain Picard and she would have her own show!Another thing that felt totally out of place in a sci-fi SET IN SPACE THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE REALISTIC, is all the pop culture references. It's almost as though Amy was living right in 2011! She went to prom! She's been to Walt Disney World. She's played with LEGO's. Unless your sci-fi takes place on present day earth, it's VERY UNUSUAL to include modern day language ("freaking" "gah") and like I said, those pop culture references.I mean, this girl sounds like my next door neighbor, not a girl who exists when technology can FREEZE you and BRING YOU BACK TO LIFE. And in such a world, how is it that a FREAKING IPAD is so amazing? When did the author write this story, 1990??All this might be forgiven, given that the characters are likeable, the story line itself isn't horrible, and the author herself has quite a bit of potential. And then... there's the ending.It's unforgivable. LITERALLY. I'm sorry, it takes a couple of minutes to forgive someone for eating the last piece of chocolate cake. In what world (or what spaceship) does it take mere minutes to forgive someone for separating you forever from the parents you loved and chose to follow "Across the Universe"? In what universe do you actually turn to that person, FORGIVE HIM, and then actually demand that he be yours forever? "Yes, I know you just ruined my life, damn you. I'll hate you forever. Except, you know what, now that I think about it for a couple of minutes, probably like 180 seconds or so, I DO forgive you. But only if you promise to be my very bestest boyfriend!"Maybe I'm a big B-I-T-C-H, but I could not forgive someone that quickly, if at all. A more realistic way to end this book would have been for her to refuse to forgive him and for him to have to woo her back. That would have been way more realistic and satisfying and have given some actual impetus for the next book. As it was, I have no desire to learn what happens next. I'm happy to leave these silly characters in their improbable world.And just so you don't think I'm making it up when I say this is bad sci-fi, I challenge you who doubt me to read the authors on this list —they are all fantastic— then come back and take another look at this book. Make me a liar. Tell me it's any good as sci-fi.Suggested reading for the author:Isaac AsimovDavid BrinNeal StephensonVerner VingeLarry NivenAnne McCaffreyDan SimmonsAndre NortonRobert HeinleinSheri S. Tepper